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Showing posts from 2021

Digital Portraits

  We are still on winter break here in South Carolina and it has given me time to scroll Twitter more than I do during a normal work week.  I have found quite a few ideas I really liked but this digital portrait one is my favorite (at least for right now 😉). It came from a post that mentioned a Virtual Paint Party. Intrigued, I read through the comments and helpfully someone posted a link to the recorded "party" . I normally scroll Twitter in bed so I spent an hour watching the entire video (much to my husbands annoyance 🤣). The instructor Emma Cottier , a middle school teacher in Canada, was the guest presenter and did an outstanding job of walking through the steps of creating portraits using Google Drawings. There were so many excellent tips. My favorites were changing the color of the neck to provide contrast, using the Zoom feature liberally, and continually moving the originating photo to the front as you work in sections. She also showed student work and gave exampl

One Word Project 2022

I ran across this One Word Challenge on line last year and really liked the concept. The project/challenge is based on a book that explains how focusing on "one word" for the year helps to simplify what we really want to accomplish. In all fairness I haven't read the book but I did buy the student version of it. It is a picture book meant to be read to students at the beginning of the school year so I am not sure it would work for a new calendar year.  The word I chose this year is "Notice". The idea is to "notice" more of the small things I tend to overlook. It is a reminder to myself that positive things, ideas, and actions don't always come in "big" sweeping moments.  Last year I chose "Focus" and ordered an Etsy washer bracelet that I wore most of the year to help me remember. Etsy has fancier bracelets if that is something that appeals to you.  I thought the overall idea of choosing "one word" would make a goo

Photo Editing - Cool Eraser Tool

I just finished up Tony Vincent's Classy Graphics course. It is an excellent online class if you are looking for something fun and creative to do. I have actually taken all of his classes and they are all OUTSTANDING. I made the graphic above in his class as one of my assignments.  He shares so many tools and sites with classmates and one great website he highlighted was . It is a site that can remove ELEMENTS from a picture. I have heard of  sites where you can remove the background  of a picture but not an element of a picture. It is a simple tool to use. You simply upload the picture and then use the brush to erase an element. The system AI does the rest. Here is an example of removing a cone from a group picture.   Sometimes you have use the brush multiple times to get rid of an element. This picture required a lot of passes of the brush to remove the chair and unwanted guest. If you haven't tried it you definitely will want to bookmark the site for future

Giant Tacky Origami Book Character Holiday Shirts

  A co-worker and I are working with students the week before our holiday break to create these fun tacky book character holiday shirts.  I've seen and created  origami shirts in the past and hadn't really thought of them recently until I saw this cool video on how to make a GIANT origami shirt.  I liked the idea of creating a tacky holiday shirt but needed to make the project a bit more academic. My co-worker, a former ELA teacher, suggested adding book character elements in addition to the holiday elements and having students explain their choices in writing. It was such a genius idea that we made a couple of samples. We plan to work with a class so we brainstormed the requirements as we created the shirts. Students would need to work in pairs to complete the folding of the shirt. The instructor in the video did it by herself, and I tried, but it was really nice to have a second pair of hands. While we were working we thought students should be paired together by different

Book Creator Introduction Lesson(s)

  One of my favorite online creation tools is Book Creator . It allows students to create interactive multimedia ebooks based off classroom assignments. The FREE version allows teachers to have one library with 40 books. Teachers can archive libraries and delete books and reset the library count to 40 as needed. Obviously the ideal situation is to get a classroom, school, or district subscription  and it is something to recommend to administrators, PTA's, or even make a grant pitch for.  I am a certified Google Trainer and Book Creator has very generously offered up their 1,000 book library deal to anyone with that designation, which makes it very nice for training purposes. Here are a few books I have made for demonstration purposes: Plastic Bags   Showing Respect in the Halls (Comic Example) Choose Your Own Adventure Style Book Biography (Bessie Coleman) Community Helpers (link to Facebook post...this is a project I completed with a kindergarten class) Because I love Book Crea

Animated GIF Stickers

I have been using GIF's for awhile to provide fun feedback to students but I never thought of putting them into a "sticker" format before.  The idea was presented in a session I attended recently at GaETC21 (Georgia EdTech Conference 2021) and I LOVED it.  The conference session was presented by Meredith White  a high school Spanish teacher from Georgia. She got the idea and template from Ester Park and ran with it sharing how she used her stickers with students to provide engaging feedback.  Ms. Park provides a video overview of the process and I created my own video , just in case her video ever went down, and to share more specific details with teachers in my district.  In all my samples I used Ms. Park's sticker template. If you wanted to change it up they seem pretty simple to make. It looks like she did her wording in another program and inserted them as a picture but I used Google fonts with Google Word Art for the most part in my sample above.  I've step

Fun Staff Photos

  With masking requirements being implemented across states, prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year, I was looking for a creative way to share a department photo without actually having to put anyone in close contact.  Last year I created a fun Brady Bunch style picture but I really like the comic book style this year.  For anyone wishing to duplicate it there were a few steps. The first is obviously to get pictures of your team. I had some from previous years and I started stalking Facebook for some backups. Once I had the pictures saved I emailed them to myself so I could open them up on my phone and save the pictures to my camera roll. I used the app " Photo Lab " to "cartoon" the pictures. It is free with in-app purchases but you may have to wade through quite a few advertisements. I never paid for any features. It is not super intuitive to use so I made this short 2 minute video .  I took screen shots of the finished cartoons versus saving to my camera

End of Year Digital Yearbook w/ Jamboard

You can use Jamboard to create digital year books that can be individually printed out and gifted to students at the end of school year.  This project can be done in Google Slides as well, however Jamboard does offer a couple of advantages. Jamboard slides (or frames) are hidden so it is slightly more difficult to accidentally delete slides (this make collaborating easier). Jamboard offers a drawing and sticky note tool which Google Slides does not.  Unfortunately Jamboard has very limited text sizing, font, and color so I actually set up the names, school, and year in Google Slides and used those as the uneditable backgrounds in Jamboard.   Once the project is complete the teacher can edit and move things around if it needs to be "cleaned up" before printing.  For my "how to" instructions with screenshots click on THIS LINK .  If you use this idea I would love to hear your feedback! You can comment below or tag me on Twitter @atechcoachlife . 

Online Safety Presentation - A to Z

  I recently finished an Online Awareness: Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship course as part of a online teaching endorsement program (specific to the state of South Carolina).  Our final project was to make a presentation. I created an Online A to Z Guide to internet safety that turned out super cute and one I have shared with numerous people.   I used icons from The Noun Project . A couple of years ago I bought a subscription for $19 a year and I have made so many great flyers with their graphics that it was worth the cost...particularly for my job. You can use their icons for free but you must site your source and you have some other limitations. The design idea after taking an online Classy Graphics course with Tony Vincent I included embedded videos on several slides. I would recommend watching them before showing to students (and to verify the links are still good).     - To preview the full presentation CLICK HERE . - To make a copy of the presentation CLICK HERE   If  you

Animal Face Project - Green Screen

  I recently worked with a Media Specialist to recreate a project she saw on Twitter  with second graders. It was ridiculously cute!  We used green masks ( Amazon link  - these masks didn't have a white strip on the top or bottom), a green screen (we had a popup green screen but green cloth would work), and the Doink green screen iPad app  (worth the $4.99 price can use it on an iPhone or iPad). We replaced student mouths with animal mouths in conjunction with the read aloud "What If You Had Animal Teeth?" The book features ten animal mouths but we reduced student choices to eight. I tested out all the animal mouths on us first to have samples for the students and to see which ones might give us the most trouble. The narwhal and the rattlesnake were hard to manipulate so we pulled them as choices.  Most of the students selected the same thing - sharks and tigers - which was a little disappointing because the elephant one was so adorable. To add variety to all th

If I Had a Pot of Gold...St. Patrick's Day Activity

 Need a fun digital writing prompt for St. Patrick's day? Try this "If I had a pot of Gold" activity. The fun, and techie part, requires students to take a picture of themselves, use the site to remove the background and edit around the face, and then layer it within the hat and beard clipart.  To encourage more writing and detail I made the "pot of gold" cursed so that in order to get what you want you have to do something nice with the some of the gold and tell me what and why. Here are some student samples from a fifth grade class: I didn't do this with the group I worked with but you can have them add in their Leprechaun name using this name generator I found online.   In the "If I had a pot of gold" template ( CLICK HERE TO OPEN ) I have an instructional video on the first slide and some "good" and "bad" writing samples ( CLICK HERE TO OPEN LINK TO VIDEO ONLY ). IMPORTANT NOTE:  You will need to make a copy of bo

I'm Lucky Because...St. Patrick's Day Activity

  I saw this activity on Julie Smith's  The Techie Teacher blog  and I thought it was a super cute digital St. Patrick's Day writing activity.  I created a video for students to watch  walking them through how to complete the activity independently to add to Julie Smith's shamrock template . If you are a GAFE district you will need to make a copy of the video in your Drive before assigning to students. Students in our district are restricted from opening/viewing resources shared outside our domain and I am assuming others are the same.  Since our district uses Google Classroom I created a model assignment showing teacher's how I might set it up for users.  If you have your students complete one I would love to hear how it went. You can comment below or tag me on Twitter @atechcoachlife .