Skip to main content


Customize Zoom Backgrounds

Recent posts

Teaching Sketchnoting (Online)

Last spring, the second week we were out for distance learning, a friend asked if I would teach some middle school students how to Sketchnote online. She said it would be voluntary and most likely be a small group. I agreed, because I wanted to see how difficult it would be to teach sketchnoting online...for a week. I had five engaged children...all girls...who didn't mind being "guinea pigs" for a daily "Lunch and Learn" session.

Shortly afterward a teacher who had booked me to introduce sketchnoting to her class, prior to the pandemic, asked if I would consider doing it virtually (she taught 4th grade). I agreed, based on my earlier "success" and ended up with between 15-17 students.

In order to get links and material to her students I had her added me as a co-teacher in Google Classroom. I used a 1 hour block of time and most sessions ended between 50-60 minutes.

Monday - I did an introduction presentation with built in challenges (copy of presenta…

Online Etiquette Video (Loom Review)

This summer I was testing out the full version of Loom and made a video that tested out their limited online drawing tools and capability to create a link inside of a presentation.

The general idea is that I could share the video with students, prior to our first online meeting, and post to my Google Classroom for reference.

I definitely liked that you could embed the link to the presentation on the video, using their "Call to Action" button, but felt like, unless you explicitly told viewers to hover over the video (like I did at the end of the video above), viewers could easily miss that feature.

Read Aloud Screencasting

I was recently asked what the best program is to record a read aloud.

This got me thinking about one of my favorite read aloud follows on YouTube, Glenn Malcolm. He does read alouds for his grandson and posts them to YouTube. I like how his face is on the screen during the read aloud in a moveable "dot". The only program I know that can do a circle webcam like that is Loom.

Luckily Loom is offering their full account FREE (forever) to educators.
I recorded the read aloud below to test the program. I used a children's book that I found online in one of four places I have access to online children's books:
- Hoopla Digital (offered through our local library)
- cloudLibrary eBooks (offered through our local library)
- Sora (our district's online library for students)
Epic (library website that is free for teachers to use in the classroom)


I could have snapped pictures of each page or used a webcam but for me it was easier to use a book that was already onlin…

The Edupreneur's Side Hustle Handbook (Book Review)

It is summer and I like to read. I will normally gravitate to a book in the fiction category specifically urban paranormal fiction. My favorites include Patrica Briggs, Helen Harper, and Lisa Edmonds'...her Alice Worth series is excellent. Typically I will also read YA paranormal fiction. I recently just finished The Intuitives which was a fun fast read and one I would enthusiastically recommend to students.

Luckily for me a few years ago my husband purchased a gift subscription to Kindle Unlimited for Mother's Day (they run a deal each year) and he renews it every May which has saved me (and subsequently him...😉) a ton of money buying books. I do try and utilize the public library whenever possible but I really LOVE my Kindle and the gratification of instantly downloading a book.

Each summer I try to add at least one nonfiction book into the mix. Sometimes they are education related and sometimes they are just for fun. This year I picked up "The Edupreneur's Side H…

Summer PD Choice Board

Last year I ran across this summer PD choice board on Twitter. As someone who likes goals and lists it immediately appealed to me as a way of keeping motivated over the summer.

The original file was posted on Laura Cahill's blog and I made a copy and modified it for my set of circumstances. It was fun checking things off the board throughout the summer.

I had filed the idea away to share with our teachers this year (2020) and modified it again with our Beaufort County School District teachers in mind. The week we went out on break I posted it to our district's EdTech Facebook Page (a closed group we started with our district teachers as a place to share EdTech ideas and ask questions).

Like Ms. Cahill writes in her blog "The idea is that whatever your situation, there is something you can do this summer that will re-energize you and reignite your passion for working with students." I liked the idea and with Covid concerns, and many summer conferences cancelled, I ho…

Digital Stop Motion Animations

I love the idea of stop motion animation but not the headache of it. It is something I have always wanted to try in the classroom but when I started thinking about all the "stuff" it requires - props, lighting, storage space, a fixed camera, software, oddles of time...I pretty much said:
I follow an art teacher (Tricia Fuglestad) on Twitter who does an excellent job blending art and technology together and she did a recent post on stop motion.  This got me thinking about a "Flipbook with Google Slides" session I took at a conference last summer with Abby Schiferl where I created a vocabulary animation for science

I decided to use digital tools to try and re-create some of Tricia's samples.

They were super easy to make. I did find one of the best and most helpful blog post from Matt Miller regarding formatting tips for animating with Google Slides, which helped greatly, I made the "cheat sheet" below from it.

The basic idea is that you keep duplicat…