1. I am so excited!!! Christmas is on the way and of all the holidays, Christmas is my favorite. I am even more excited to be asked for this breakout I created based on the Twelve Days of Christmas. I hope you enjoy doing this with your students.
3. How do you get your students to really think about the answers they are submitting on a quiz? Engage them by combining the quiz with a pixel art task. Check out my quiz and see if you can answer all the questions. If you do, you will see a magic picture show. This is not my original idea and I left the copyright at the bottom. If you would like to create one for your class and need help, please ask!! Click the image to get to the quiz.
4. For younger students, have them decorate a Christmas tree and then they can write about the tree as a writing activity. Again, this is not mine and copyright has been attached. Click the image of the tree for the document.
5. Friday at the Movies - Y'all know how much I love the Floppotron! I couldn't resist.
1. Do you like organization as much as I do? Many of you have received new windows machines. (I am still waiting on mine. ) Here is a website with a link to a slide show that allows you to create a customizable wallpaper for your desktop. Please let me know if you have issues with this and I will be more than happy to come help because I think this is awesome!
2. Have you ever noticed the paint roller in a Google Doc or Google Slide and wondered what it was about? It is a formatting tool.
3. Here are a couple of Google activities for you to try. The first one can be used in a spelling/writing/vocabulary lesson. I did this one Drag the letters to the slide to build a word. The second is one I found online. It's called Under the Cloud. There is a number in the box in the top left corner. Take that number and subtract the items outside of the cloud. Students create an equation in the space on the right. You can move the cloud if you wish and add the answer. Click on the image to get your copies.
4. Can you and your students complete this Breakout? If now, feel free to reach out for the answers. LOL!!
5. Friday at the Movies - A Thank You to Teachers from Power School. This is just a feel good vid.
1. Are you looking for ways to prepare your students for the mid year benchmarks? Check out the game called Fling the Teacher! It is part of a free service created by an educator named Russel Tarr. In Fling the Teacher, you type in 15 multiple choice questions, upload your face and then embed the game on your website or send the link to students in Classroom. They get one chance to "fling you into a hole" for every correct answer they give. The kiddos will love this and this isn't the only game he offers. Check it out!
2. NEWS, NEWS, NEWS!!! One of the complaints I often hear about Google Slides versus PowerPoint is that we can't insert audio into our slide decks. Well, by the end of November, you will be able to! I heard about this a short time back but I didn't want to release any news about it until I knew for sure. Sure enough! I have it in my personal account as a option but not in my school account yet. However, according to this Google is planning to release it to everyone by the end of November so keep a watch on your account!
3. I have recently stumbled across a really cool book entitled Balloons Over Broadway which gives the history of the Macy 's Thanksgiving Day Parade and then I found this cool hyperdoc. This would be the perfect STEAM integration for your reading classroom! It even has a suggested STEAM task in the hyperdoc. If you don't like that idea, please reach out to your ITRT and we will bring in the robots and your students can design a float for the parade. How much fund would this be for the holidays? To get your copy of the hyperdoc, please click the image.
4. Do you need a STEAM idea for math, science, reading or social studies, or whatever subject you teacher? Brittany Washburn is a tech integrating educator with a blog post on robots in the classroom. Don't have any robots? Your ITRT does! Call one of us and we can schedule a time to meet with you to plan a really cool lesson tailored to meet the needs of your students!
5. Friday at the Movies - I'm dreaming of a a white snowday. . . .
1. You have to check out Kiddle! Kiddle is a visual search engine for children. All content from Kiddle encyclopedia articles (including the article images and facts) can be freely used under Attribution-ShareAlike license, unless stated. Kid friendly, teacher approved! One way to use Kiddle is to post your word of the week next to the computer with the search engine pulled up and let the students look up the word on Kiddle!.
2. Ever wish you knew where to go on Chrome to ask a quick Googley question? Type and hold ctrl + alt + ? at the same time to open Google support.
3. Here is a word sort I did a couple of years ago. It was a remake from an old Inspiration document. You can use either Google Slides or Google Drawing to create fabulous word sorts. Click on the image to get your own cope of this document and feel free to tweak it to fit your classroom needs!
4. Here is a Crack the Code Breakout I created last year. Can your students (or you) use the binary alphabet to solve the Thanksgiving riddles? Perfect for grades 3-5!..
5. Friday at the Movies - With winter right around the corner (bringing with it tons of snow - I hope), you may want to get together with some of your colleagues virtually. Check out this video for how to do so.
1. Here’s a cool way to check whether your students may have plagiarized part of their essays and writings: the Chrome extension Draftback, which plays back the revision history of any Google doc you can edit—down to the keystroke.
2. In light of October being Special Needs Awareness Month, I would like to share this cool app For students with dyslexia, the OpenDyslexic extension converts web page text into a special font designed to make reading easier. Combine this with Read Aloud , an extension for listening to websites or text selections in spoken form. Read Aloud also works with G-Suite.
3. This week's Halloween breakout is for the older students. It's called Haunted House Goes Dark On Halloween. I would not recommend this one for younger students. The locks are too difficult but this would be perfect for grades 3-5
4. This week's STEAM suggestion is to allow students to create tessellations. Tessellations are easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to make! And tons of fun! Perfect center for those rainy days or days when mowing is happening and the students can't go outside. Check out the directions here.
5. Friday at the Movies -- I thought you may want some help with report cards. Check out his app. LOL!!
1. I am working toward my recertification of being a Google Educator. In my studying and review for the test, I was introduced to a new tool from Google called the Science Journal. Check out the website! This turns a student's mobile device into a data collection tool. Since Google started allowing some apps designed for android phones to run on a Chromebook we are currently exploring to see if this is an app we can put on the laptops students use. In the meantime, check it out to brainstorm how you could use this really cool tool from Google. Below is some data I collected. I was measuring the sound intensity of the school. The readings under 30 were taken in the hall. The 33 reading is a normal kindergarten classroom while the 44 was a preschool class. The 52 reading was taken in the gym.
2. Have you ever closed a tab out while browsing that you did not mean to close? It can get really frustrating! Well, Chrome can save the day for you. If you are using Chrome push the following keys at the same time: Ctrl+Shift+T. And once the tab is opened, Chrome even saves your browsing history so that you can go backwards from the reopened tab to the site you were on previously.
3. I have had several people tell me that they like the STEAM ideas. Some of you are doing these with your own children. I think that is amazing! Here is one that you may like, let the students build with the candy corn that looks like pumpkins. I am going to do this with my own grandsons! Have fun!
4. As promised, here is another Halloween digital breakout! It’s Halloween in Spookyville and the mayor has decided that Halloween will be canceled this year. He has locked away all of the candy in town so no one can trick or treat! You must solve clues to open the box of candy before time runs out! Do you have what it takes to save Halloween?
Remember, your ITRT can bring in a physical breakout to your classroom as well. We are currently scheduling Jamestown!
5. Friday at the Movies--The Evolution of Search
How did Google evolve?
1. Do you have students who cannot type quickly? Wouldn't it be great if we could just let them type by talking? After all, they are good at talking! Well now you can! If you hop on over to the ITRT website and click on Jennifer Harrison's EDTech Digest from last Monday, she has a video on just how to do this. Watch her video and then print out this cheat sheet for a quick reminder. To get your copy of the cheat sheet, just click on the image.
2. Kids seem to know quite a bit about devices these days until something goes wrong. Then all of a sudden, they can't fix a problem. One problem they seem to have a HUGE issue with is rotating screens. Just when you thought you new how to fix your Windows machines when the screen was rotated, we move to Chromebooks and the process again is baffling. No problem, here is the solution for what to do if a student rotates a screen on their device. Push Ctrl + Shift + Refresh.
3. The best STEAM lessons require students to problem solve and breakouts are all about problem solving! For the next few weeks I will be sharing a different digital breakout you and your students can work on together. This week's is called 5 Little Pumpkins. Can you break out? Don't forget that your ITRT can come in and do a physical breakout with you at any time as well!
4. Another STEAM idea involves bringing in some playing cards and using them in all sorts of math games. When the games are over, let your kiddos see if they can build a structure out of the cards. I am amazed at how many children these days have never done this!
5. Friday at the Movies - What a great story starter this would be!!
1. I LEARNED SOMETHING NEW THIS WEEKEND! For a while now I have been thinking that there had to be a way to declutter my STREAM view in my classroom. So while I was working on a classroom I am creating to help folks earn their Google Level 1 Certification, I hunted for a means to do just that and finally had to reach out to our two Google Trainers in Amherst. And of course, because we have the best of the best, one of the was able to help me out. Thanks, Jennifer! So now I have created a Cheat Sheet so that you can clean up your STREAM as well! Just click on my image for a printable copy.
2. I also explored the new Priority and Work Space views in G-Suite. I love this and now have it as my default view when I open up Drive. This way it keeps the important files right at your fingertips. Here is a quick video I did to explain Priority View.
3. Years ago I worked with a wonderful Kindergarten teacher who lamented the fact that it was difficult to find digital math manipulatives. So I created some for her. I now have these on my drive and am sharing the folder with you . Once you have these files you can click on an image, copy, and then paste it into a document of your own so that you can use these in games, digital worksheets, etc. Click on the image to get to the folder.
4. Are you looking for STEAM resources for your classroom that correlate with the Standards of Learning? Have you checked your Clever portal yet? Go to the Amherst County Public Schools home page and locate Clever on the left. Open it with your Google logon and then find an application called EMedia. EMedia has reading articles, videos and even simulations that all support our standards. This would be a great place to pull in resources for your blended classroom!
5. Friday at the Movies - I have had lots of folks asking me about Maker Spaces and why are they important. Here is a great video that not only explains what they are but gives some suggestions for integrating them.
1. I saw this posted on a FB wall and just had to steal: "It's a Google World and we are just teaching in it." With that being said, today I would like to show you some Google search tricks I have picked up over the past couple of years. Most of these came either from my son or a student.
2. Here is a suggestion for writing. Help you students create a Blogger account. Blogger is not part of G-Suite but it is a partner with Google and your students can sign in with their Google user name and password. Years ago when I was in the classroom, my 3rd grade students were given permission to blog. Student get really excited to be writing for the real world. And you can set the privacy so that only certain people see the blogs.
3. Want the kiddos to play a game on a topic? Use this template to do so. This is not mine; it belongs to a person I follow on Twitter by the name of Alice Keeler. I love how she coded the slide show so that there are "dice" rolls available. Notice the word "dice" beside the word Help in the tool bar. Click here for your copy of this template.
4. Want to combine STEAM with reading? Try reading The Recess Queen by Alexis O’ Neill and then have the students work together to build a prototype of a the perfect playground.
5. Friday at the Movies - In honor of that Full Harvest Moon we had last Friday.
1. Google sells its very own interactive whiteboard. The issue is that it costs a great deal of money. You can read about the Jamboard here. Although the board itself is expensive, the good news is that the software that accompanies the board is free! The software is not nearly as strong as Smart's software but when I was messing around with it, I thought back to Microsoft's free paint program that it bundles on all its computers. This would be a great way to allow new Chromebook learners (I was thinking of our PK-ers and kinders.) Try it out and if you think of any great ideas for out older learners, please post them in the comments below. Jamboard can be accessed here.
2.. This week a colleague lamented that she missed the snipping tool on her Chromebook. Again, this is a program that Microsoft installs on all its machines. There is a way to snip on Chromebooks too! If you want to print the entire screen you need to hold he control key + the switch window key at the same time. A screen shot will be sent to your downloads file. To take just a partial screen shot, hold down the shift key = the control key + the switch window key at the same time. The cursor will turn into cross-hairs and you can click and drag around a portion of the screen to "snip it."
3. I created this document to help support place value lessons. This is based on a Montessori lesson I saw years ago in a colleague's kindergarten classroom. Feel free to click on the image to get your copy of the document.
4. I am so excited and am asking you to mark your calendars for March 3rd. Amherst County is hosting its very first division wide STEAM night. The theme of the night will be space. After all, learning has no boundaries! You will hear more about the evening as we get closer to the date. In the meantime, I am asking that you save and bring me some large boxes. I would like to build some photo booths and am planning to get some students to help. You can bring the boxes to the school STEAM/computer labs
5. Friday at the Movies - You know how much I love the Floppotron!!
Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools, located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus, I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler