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Showing posts from February, 2020

Google Classroom Headers - March Edition

Last month I wrote that I like to spruce up my Google Classroom headers once a month. My "classroom" is mainly populated with teachers attending training but I'd like to think one creative soul in the room might think changing out headers routinely would be fun for students and give them something to look forward to. 

I wish Google didn't put a dark overlay on the original picture. Sigh. One teacher on Twitter did remind me that I can leave feedback about Google Classroom using the question mark icon. She said if maybe enough people suggested that the dark overlay be removed they (Google) might listen. So every time I go into my classroom I suggest it. Please help me out, if you think of it, and make a similar suggestion in order to bounce the request up the line. 
If you like this March/St. Patrick's Day template you can find it linked HERE. It comes complete with instructions so you can just replace my image with yours. I cut off the "Happy St. Paddy's D…

Student Sensory Posters

Earlier in the month I wrote about making Black History Month Sensory Poster with Google Drawings. I did the activity with third grade students and they did such a good job (a few of their projects are featured above).



The students were able to follow along with my video tutorial and the teacher and I were just there for technical help. My favorite part of the day was one of the students, when packing up, said "That was way more fun than we normally have in ELA." 🤣

To be clear, I think he was talking about putting the project together tech wise and not the researching and writing part.

The hardest part, obviously, was getting the students to put in quality facts in their graphic organizers. Like most student projects some were good and some needed extra help and guidance.



Another teacher, also third grade, tried it on his own with his student and they did it together as a group and he had them put in three sensory facts vs. the five or six on the graphic organizer and that…

Chrome Extension - Sir Links-a-Lot

I am always wanting to send out links to my presentations in "Preview" and "Force a Copy" mode but get annoyed that I have to change the end of the URL manually (so I just send the link in "View" mode and inevitably wind up getting emails from folks requesting access to edit).

A friend of mine came back from the TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) conference and shared a new (to me) Chrome extension that does the work of altering a Google presentation URL for me!

It is called Sir Links-a-Lot and it is great! I made the cartoon below explaining it for my Classy Creation's workshop assignment this week (Captivating Comics).




If you share work you've made within Google you definitely need to check out this extension.



Flipgrid - Emoji Story Retells

This past week I worked with a Media Specialist, Mrs. Waters, to teach a class of fourth grade students how to use Flipgrid (free for teachers/students). Since it is Black History Month we used the picture book "Mae Among the Stars" as our retell project. Mrs. Waters read the book, but I also liked this YouTube video, mainly because the words are on the screen. I also enjoyed this Ryan and Craig read aloud. If you have not heard of Ryan and Craig's read alouds you definitely need to check them out...they are hilarious and kids LOVE them. 

Students were tasked with using the tools within Flipgrid to retell the story using between five and ten sentences. 
Once Mrs. Waters read the book to students we explored all the tools within Flipgrid to see what could be used to help us with our story retell. The emojis were very popular and we discovered a cool space helmet and career emojis that include multi-colored and gendered astronauts.
Zaria's Flipgrid (featured above) was…

Six Word Story Posters

My friend Abby posted this picture on Twitter and I loved it. It looks like one of those inspirational posters you find online about "Determination", "Confidence", or "Character".

Since it is February I started thinking of ways that students could make them for Black History Month. So I took a shot at it:



My initial thought is that Media Specialists (or classroom teachers) can have students make them in order to encourage other students to find out more. So the "six words" need to be a pretty good to draw people in. Here is my second attempt (see my play on tennis words there 😁?). I clearly like the black and white text. 



What I really like is how quick the project would be to complete. Students could access some basic biographical information (via books or websites) and come up with their six sentences and make the posters easily in Google Drawings (which is what I used). The finished 8.5 x 11 "posters" could then be printed and dis…

Bitmoji Valentines

Last year I wrote a blog post about using Bitmojis to make student or staff Valentine's Day cards. In the blog post you will find the template and instructions to make the magical unicorn card pictured above.

If you are interested in turning your letters rainbow check out my blog post with instructions on how to get the rainbow colored word generator.

If you team teach you can use the "Friendmoji" template to put you and a coworker together on a card similar to what a co-worker and I did for a conference session:


The idea, and "Friendmoji" template came from Jeremy Badiner's blog. The post will explain how to set up and use the spreadsheet template.

If you make any Bitmoji valentine's for students or staff I would love to see them to get more ideas. Please feel free to paste a link in the comments or tag me on Twitter @atechcoachlife.



February's Podcast - Research Tips, Tricks, and Tools

Episode 6 of the BCSD P.O.D.C.A.T.S. podcast is live. Listen for our main segment: Research Tips, Tricks, and Tools to help celebrate Black History Month.

🔗 Online: tinyurl.com/podcatsonline

🍎 Apple Podcasts: tinyurl.com/podcatsapple

🟢 Spotify: tinyurl.com/podcatsspotify


Black History Month - Table Toppers

As stated in earlier posts I am currently enrolled in Tony Vincent's Classy Creations online workshop. One of my favorite benefits from his workshops (I have taken his other two as well) is sharing our weekly projects. I ALWAYS look at what other people have submitted to get ideas on how to use all the different ideas from Tony's weekly videos.

I loved these Black History table toppers that Janet W. submitted this past week so much that I added a couple more people in order to print out six for all the tables in one of our smaller media centers.

I have been inspired by so many table topper ideas this week (among other project ideas shared). That I be looking at creative uses for them in the future.




Black History Month - Project Idea (K-2)

This month in school PLC's I am focusing on online research skills and websites for grades K-5 within the context of Black History Month.

I posted earlier about a sensory figure poster using Google Drawings for grades 3-5, that I created in week one of Tony Vincent's ClassCreations workshop, which will be the "project" end of my training for those grade levels.

Unfortunately our K-2 students have iPads and Google Drawings is not an option for them. Students can definitely recreate the same idea using the Seesaw.or Keynote apps. However many teachers like a nice paper project. Since my goal is to use online research sites and strategies I thought I would highlight both digital and paper versions of the project for this grade level.

Below you will find the digital example from Seesaw and Keynote. If you go this route Seesaw is easier for students to complete and turn in. Keynote would be slightly harder unless you use the Google Classroom app. In Seesaw you can set up …

Customized Headers - Google Classroom (February Edition)

I like to spruce up my Google Classroom headers once a month. My "classroom" is mainly populated with teachers attending training but I'd like to think one creative soul in the room might think changing out headers routinely would be fun for students and give them something to look forward to.

If you like this template you can find it linked HERE. It comes complete with instructions so you can just replace my images with yours.

If you decide to get creative outside the template please share! You can post in the comments or on Twitter. You can tag me @atechcoachlife.