Lift-you-up Fish

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Recently, I was speaking with a principal from western Massachusetts. He was talking about the value of effective teacher collaboration. He referenced articles and studies that provide evidence that positive teacher collaboration leads to student achievement.  Pharell, who is always happy, states “Collaborate with people you will learn from.”  I feel like I am always learning when I collaborate both in, and outside, the walls of my building.  It’s important for me, and my own well-being, to stretch myself. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable, but that’s okay. If I’m uncomfortable, I’m growing and sometimes growth can be painful.  However, many times, it’s amazing!

Two quotes that really struck me from the articles shared are as follows:

Effective teacher collaboration is defined as engaging in regular routines where teachers communicate about classroom experiences in an effort to strengthen pedagogical expertise and push colleagues to try new things. From Here

Collaboration is a systematic process in which educators work together, interdependently, to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve individual and collective results. From Here

This task of collaborating can be daunting. How do we find those who can be impactful? Who can truly stretch us and LIFT us up as individuals? Working with those who help me to grow professionally fills my heart. Not only has my tribe helped me to become a better technology integration facilitator, but they’ve also become my friends. Some were virtual friends first that turned into in-person friends, some are colleagues who have become friends, and some are friends who have become my tribe.  Try to find those who fill your heart, and help you grow – I promise it’s worthwhile.  As a result, your student achievement may even increase…a happy teacher is an effective teacher! Take a look below at some sites, tools, and resources that may assist you in finding those who lift your soul.

Instagram

Instagram is a great tool for social networking, but did you know it’s also a great tool for professional practice?  There are educators out there who have a strictly teaching Insta! They create activities and templates and share them via profile. There are giveaways and hashtags among other goodies! Instagram can be a bit easier to follow than Twitter depending on the area of expertise. If you’re looking for a tribe where you can easily watch and observe, take a look at some of these great teachers’ Instas below (one is a teacher of our own!):

Facebook

Have you heard of Facebook? You know, that social networking tool for older people (which I’m one of them)? Well, there are entire groups dedicated to professional practice on Facebook.  Much like the town gossip page, teachers host Facebook pages and groups that house awesome materials and discussions about best practice.  I belong to the two groups below, but there are MANY others for all areas of teaching that you can find here.

Twitter

I mention Twitter a lot, and I love it. However, I do remember when I was completely overwhelmed by this social media platform.  It’s not a tool where you can quietly hide and just watch. Everyone sees what you like, comment on, and post and there isn’t really a way to prevent that.  Over time, I have grown to LOVE Twitter and this is truly a tool where I found my tribe that is outside my school walls.  In my position, I’m a bit isolated, so I go to Twitter to find others in positions like mine. We tweet back and forth, email and even meet up in person and visit each other’s schools! Through Twitter, I really learned more about MassCUE and it’s members and it became my PLN. Like other platforms, Twitter also has great accounts to follow! I have a document here of who I follow (although I need to add a few more). This list is primarily bloggers I follow, not so much my local tribe (see them below).  If you take a look at the hashtag #FollowFriday you can see quite a few GREAT educators tweeting about other GREAT educators. It’s so important that we build each other up and find our tribe – simply for our own sanity!

Another great function of Twitter is LIVE Twitter chats! In a Twitter chat, you answer questions and respond to others.  I always learn a lot from these chats which usually follow a certain hashtag.  There are chats for EVERYTHING! You can also learn about GREAT Twitter chats for education on this resource by Alan November.

Are you happy in your role? Do you feel like you’re growing? If not, consider trying one of the tools above to find those who will lift you up! Follow just ONE new person or group on one social platform – it could change your life (it certainly did for me)!

Take care everyone, and lift each other up 💜

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

I’m lucky to have this tribe

        

What keeps you swimming? 🏊‍♀️ ❓🐟

I appreciate you

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  Truly, is there anything better than this job? We are so very lucky. Think about it…we get to touch the future!

Recently, we opened our pool and I cannot wait until its warm enough to actually go in it! Just seeing it open every day reminds me that warmer days are coming. It gives me the motivation to spruce up my yard, stay fit since I’ll be in a bathing suit often, and stay healthy so I can fully enjoy it. It keeps me swimming, both literally and figuratively.  This analogy applies to my work as well.  I’m motivated to get up and go to work every day – I love my job and it keeps me swimming. What keeps you swimming? WHY do you do this job? What is your why? East Bridgewater Public Schools made a “why” video earlier this week titled “What is your WHY?”. Check it out below. It was a labor of love between myself, journalism students, and those willing to be filmed. Adobe Spark was used to create the awesome video which was uploaded to YouTube by EBCAM, our local media studio.

My why, of course, has to do with tech tools! I just love blending tech tools and learning!  Technology does not fit in all lessons or in all areas of education. However, when it does…I’m your girl and WOW do I love it! One of my FAVORITE tools to use, lately, is Google Sheets.  In my opinion, this is one of the more overlooked Google Apps.  Many times, teachers think “Data” but Sheets can do SO MUCH MORE (of course, like any Google App, right?). The best part…Cloud-Based…so work on it anywhere, anytime!  Check out the features of one of the many tools that leads to my WHY, below:

Google Sheets

Glide

Recently, I was introduced to this really cool resource called Glide.  Brandon Hall, tech integrator at Pembroke Public Schools, shared it with me after he saw it on Richard Byrne’s blog. He created this product (click here) from a simple Spreadsheet.  You could have students create a project using this neat resource. Set your parameters, for instance Boston Landmarks like Brandon, and have them find pictures and information. Use Glide over your sheet and BOOM – interactive app! Check out the how-to video from Glide below!

Flippity

Flippity is an amazing site (click here) which has many different, free, templates that work with Sheets to make a really neat product. In the video below, with no sound, I show one of the newer templates that use Sheets and turns text into Word Art.

 

If/then and other formulas

Sheets, like Excel, can run formulas in the cells.  This can be great for data, budgeting and tracking data but it can also be a FUN activity! Take a look at one way to use an if/then formula below and read here to see more ideas for this Sheets feature! For even MORE formulas that work in Sheets, check out this article!

Ditchbook Chat

There are so many great resources out there, FREE, on Google Sheets. Just this week there was a #Ditchbook chat that focused on Sheets. Here is the Wake of this chat, scroll down a bit to get past introductions. It highlights so many GREAT ideas! For instance, how about pixel art, a student name picker, flashcards, bathroom signout, or timelines? You can do all of that with Sheets! Most of those who posted provided the link to make a copy as well!

Recent Sheets Updates

Checkboxes, delete duplicates, insert images are only some of the most recent updates for Sheets.  Delete duplicates just came out this week and it’s GREAT (see below)! Read more about all Sheets updates here.

TIPS OF THE WEEK:

MUTE reply-all emails!

This is a great post by Alice Keeler I saw this week.  Do you get tired of “reply-all” emails (like group texts) where you have to see ALL of the needless responses? Well, there’s a fix. Simply open the email, press M, and that’s it! Conversation MUTED!

Maybe try Sheets this week. You know what I always say…if you can try just one new thing a week, that’s 40 NEW THINGS in a school year you tried!

Which one doesn’t belong?

Talk about ENGAGEMENT! This is a really fun way to start a class and it gets kids talking. It basically shows 4 pictures that are math related and one doesn’t belong, BUT there is no right answer! Give it a try – so fun!  Click here

snorkeling under water with fish

YOU keep me swimming! Maybe I’ll even be swimming in my pool next week! Come on ova if it’s warm! What keeps you swimming? Reach out and let me know!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

What’s the PORPOISE of STEAM 🐬 🚂 🗃

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The Porpoise of STEAM

One of my favorite books is Steam Train, Dream Train by Sheri Duskey Rinker. She is also the same author of Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, which like Goodnight Moon, I can recite by heart as it was a favorite at bedtime for many years. Naturally, when I hear the word STEAM, as in Science Technology Engineering Art/Action and Mathematics, my mind goes to Steam Train, Dream Train.  What a perfect acronym  – and what a wonderful picture in my mind.  Children, at an early age, are usually entranced by trains. Even now when the train goes by, and my children and I are stopped at the tracks, we turn down the radio, open the windows, and listen.  The train tracks also happen to run by the soccer fields in the town where I live. You can bet, that when that train comes by during Saturday Soccer, almost every child stops to watch!  This, of course, doesn’t bode well for the soccer game – and it gives our home teams quite the advantage during tournaments as they are accustomed to these loud trains coming by every hour or so. Like the STEAM train, STEAM concepts also entrance our students.  The art of DOING engages our students like no other practice.  Children enjoy trains because they’re loud, they have gears that come together to make something so large run and they like to figure out how and why it works. This same enjoyment applies to the classroom as well.

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If we look at the Cone of Learning, it’s easy to see that by DOING we retain the most knowledge and information.  My children, in addition to watching and listening to the train, also had a train set and would build tracks for the train to ride on for hours! What can we do in class to get this same retention? What can we DO, what can we BUILD, what can we ENGINEER?  Well, it’s easier than you think and I’m here to help! Let’s look below:

Digital Breakouts 🔐

Breakouts are a great way to have kids up and DOING! Collaboratively, they work together to breakout, unlock, and/or escape a scenario.  Stacy Linnehan reached out after having much success with ELA breakouts and asked for assistance creating one for math! I had the fortunate opportunity to create and present a breakout for 6th grade. Let me tell you, every child was 100% engaged and it was amazing to watch.  The kids were using technology and mathematics, they were talking and listening to each other. They had to work together to “break the code.” This activity took the exact same math problems they were going to do on paper and packaged them into a different format.  Kids were high fiving when they solved problems and it was awesome to see.  If you want to try the breakout, give it a shot by clicking here and see if you can escape! The forms are anonymous and not collecting emails.

 Let’s Build with Post-its! 🗒

Thank you, Beth Barra and your AWESOME knowledge of using Instagram as a teaching resource (like Twitter).  She shared this really cool lesson, from Post-it, creating Pixel Art with Post-it notes and using it to determine area and perimeter.  Students are BUILDING, and how much fun, right?  If you’d like to see tips from Post-it for this lesson, click here. There are so many STEAM concepts in this lesson!

Let’s Color and Bring our Creations to LIFE! 🖍

Oh. My. Goodness! This is SO COOL!  I can’t really explain it well enough in words, so there’s a two-minute video below. Basically, you color a page provided by the website Quivervision (click here).  There are MANY different pages that contain both fun and educational concepts. Then, you put the app, either on a phone, tablet or Chromebook that supports the Google Play Store, and VOILA! Your creation comes to life and you can INTERACT with it!  My video below shows an animal cell, but the free pack also contains math concepts, maps of the world, an exploding volcano and holiday pages.  I LOVE that this app is available for my own kids’ kindles too! You can download the coloring pages from the Quiver Site, or you can click here and print.  The volcano Eruption is REALLY COOL!

Need More Ideas? 💡

Take a look below at some great resources that popped up in our monthly MassCUE Twitter chat which focused on STEAM, hosted by the most amazing, and a finalist for STEM teacher of the year, TORI CAMERON!

Young Readers 📕

This STEAM site (click here), for early readers, is AMAZING! It has many books that relate to STEAM concepts, each with an experiment and a read aloud on the page! SO CUTE!

What to Make? 🏗

This is a GREAT site below my Mandi Figlioli and has SO MANY AMAZING ideas! Seriously, she is amazing.

What are you Making?

STEAM UP THE CLASSROOM 🏭

Our very own, Tori Cameron, was a finalist for STEM teacher of the year in Massachusetts! She hosts a monthly podcast that focuses on STEAM concepts.  Visit her site here, and take a listen for so many great ideas!

Wakelet Chat 🗣

Lastly, if you need even more – or are just looking to expand your PLN, click here for our latest MassCUE Twitter Chat.  You can review all of the great ideas and questions that teachers had regarding STEAM.

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So, what is the PORPOISE of STEAM? I believe it’s to ENGAGE and prepare today’s learner for our ever-changing world!  STEAM concepts are embedded into so much of what we do! Building, doing, engineering, acting – what will you try?  Let me know!

Take Care Everyone! 💙

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

A BOATload of Google Updates, Tips and TRICKS 🚣‍♀️ 🐟

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Did you miss me? It’s so nice to be back to blogging after the April break! Of course, even though we take a break, technology does not and in the last two weeks there have been some great updates and discoveries! Would you like to share items, but take away the ability to “File Make a Copy” or just display it so the menu bars are gone? Do you mis topics in Google Classroom? How about putting SOUND CLIPS on Google Slides?  Well, this ALL HAPPENED over break!  Either Google released it or I happened upon it for the first time.  Either way, some great learning has come of it! I also saw some COOL things from colleagues Ben Healey and Dana Goldstein! Check it out below!

Google Preview – WHAT?!  Bitmoji Image

This one, as Dana Goldstein calls it, is a GAME CHANGER.  Do you write your morning messages or different problems in Slides, Draw, or Docs?  Well, get it to appear full screen without a menu around the sides! Do you want to show kids something, but you DON’T want them to make a copy?

Take a look at Dana Goldstein’s Google Drawing item that she displays full screen.

Schedule that Gmail! Bitmoji Image

I was a HUGE fan of Boomerang – but now, I will no longer need it. Take a look at how to SCHEDULE your Gmail!! This is an AWESOME feature! Do you send out a newsletter on Fridays? Well schedule it to send earlier in the week! No longer do we need to set reminders of when to send that email, simply schedule it with the new feature! Take a look below!

Audio Clips in Slides – FINALLY! Bitmoji Image

This week Google Slides released an amazing update – voice over or sound clips NOW in Slides. This has been lacking in slides before now, and it a great feature of PPT. Joli Boucher of Plymouth did a great video (posted below) and blog post about this great feature! Check it out AND if you want to try it, reach out! Let me know if you need help OR how it goes when you try it!

Images in Sheets – within Cells! Bitmoji Image

There is SO MUCH you can do in Sheets…but I’ll focus on that in another post.  Take a look here at a new feature, inserting images (easily) into cells! Woohoo!

Chromebook Simulator Bitmoji Image

This is pretty cool – and a new release. Have you ever wanted to see how something appears on a Chromebook, or model a keyboard shortcut on your board, but you cannot? Well, this is a Chromebook Simulator

Click Here to check it out!

Google Classroom – Topics are BACK Bitmoji Image

One of the features we SADLY missed in Classroom were topics…well as of this week they are BACK! They are located in the Classwork page (not the stream). If you do your work out of the Classwork page topics will come in handy!

Tip of the week – AWESOME Jeopardy PPT Bitmoji Image

THANK YOU BEN HEALEY for this find! Check out this cool Jeopardy game. It IS in PowerPoint (since it has some cool features that just don’t run in Slides). It’s a great template and anyone can edit it for their needs!

Click Here

 

PHEW THAT’S A LOT! Bitmoji Image

What little tip do you have? Any new discoveries?  Give yourself a goal of trying just ONE new thing each week, and by the end of the year – you’ll have 40 new things (A school year is about 40 weeks, teachers need breaks too)!

Take care everyone and reach out!  I love seeing you!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

 

Funfetti Fish

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Did you ever have Funfetti cake? I mean seriously…what is better than a Funfetti Cake with Funfetti frosting? This was my go-to in college, and I think I could eat a whole cake by myself! Funfetti cake is THAT good.  Tech Tidbits are kind of like Funfetti, little sweet sprinkles that make something already good, even better…and even more colorful! This week, I’m focusing on some tech tidbits – pieces of Funfetti to brighten your day!

 

Adobe Spark – on your PHONE!

I mentioned Adobe Spark and our EDU Enterprise account in a past post. This is such an awesome platform that I need to mention it again. It is FREE FOR SCHOOLS (premium version) and it allows you to do so much.  The app on my phone allowed me to easily drop in photos and videos. Then I could access it on my computer and manipulate the slides.  Take a look below at Sherri’s AWESOME math class that I was able to use footage from to create a Spark Video!

The Spark Webpage option is also AMAZING! Check it out here, this is an Adobe Spark Webpage explaining Adobe Spark! Reach out if you want to use this tool!

Google Updates – HUGE

Talk about EXTRA sprinkles… There are two HUGE updates coming (among others) to our favorite Google Apps.  First, Gmail will have a “schedule send” feature AND Slides is FINALLY getting the ability to have sound files running throughout the presentation WITHOUT a workaround!!! These updates will roll out over the next two weeks so check for them and expect to see a video from me on how to use these awesome new updates!

Google Snake with Geography??!! 

Oh HELLO, YES!! Remember your very first Cell Phone Game, on your awesome Nokia with the cool custom cover and colorful buttons? I had a bright unicorn cover ( I know you’re shocked by this, right?). Well, Google just released Snake BUT with a geography focus. You can capture various landmarks all over the world! Just a little piece of Funfetti!

Get through your Wall!

This video is POWERFUL! Thank you Amy Schleinkofer for sharing! This is a good watch for both teachers and students.

Tip of the Week: Positive Sign Thursday

Have you heard of #PositiveSignThursday?  It’s a REAL thing created by another teacher, in another state, but it’s spreading across Massachusetts!  Check out the # on Twitter! A few of us have been doing it here! The idea is we all use the same sign. On Thursdays, we post the sign and pictures with our kids and each other! It adds a little sunshine and spreads a positive message. Check out my friend Marty, now principal in Norton and his news story about Positive Sign Thursday here.  See Megan McGovern’s posts (using Adobe Spark) below on Positive Sign Thursday here in EB!!! If you want to join us click here! Simply look at the date of the sign in the speaker notes, print, take a pic, and post with the #PositiveSignThursday!

What’s your “Funfetti”? Reach out!

Take Care Everyone!
oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

A WAVE of Professional Practice Tools 🌊 🐟

Professional Tools

Hello hello! I hope you are well.  As educators, I think March is one of the more challenging months.  It’s longer, first of all, with no real days off or vacations and it still brings with it wintery weather.  However, as we approach the end of March, we are heading into greener months. Trees are budded, the weather is getting warmer, and the days are getting longer. It is a wonderful time, and with it, hopefully, our teaching loads are getting just a little bit easier as children have more time outside! Even our older students can be found hanging out, outside, after school – having the much needed social activity they crave! In my role, I hope to make your teaching life just a little bit easier. This week, I decided to focus on a few tools in your professional practice that you could put to good use! Enjoy 😊

Student “Texting” Activity Bitmoji Image

Are you looking to engage students, and express learning, all in one activity? How about trying this site. It allows students to create a “Fake” text conversation. This would be one way for students to “show what they know” in a different way.  This site even allows students to alter the carrier, battery setting, bubble color, etc.  Students in Sheri Craven’s room REALLY enjoyed this engaging option to show math!! Thanks for the tip, Sheri!

LearnZillion – FREE (awesome) Minilesson Videos Bitmoji Image

Thank you 7th-grade team!  I was in 7th grade common planning time and they shared this great resource with me! LearnZillion is a FREE platform with thousands of great mini-lesson videos focused on Math and ELA! The videos are short but effective AND you can search by topic.  7th grade ELA really likes the argumentative writing mini-lesson for their students! Check out this great resource here! 

Google Classroom Discussion Board Bitmoji Image

Have you ever wanted to have students post their work so others can see it, like a “discussion board” ? Well, take a look below! The ask a question feature CAN work like a discussion board where students post their work, a reflection and have the ability for others to review and comment on their work.

Technology Tool Database Bitmoji Image

EdTechTeam and Google put out a great new database this week!  You choose the challenge area, and in that area, there are tips, tools, and sites to assist you! You can leave feedback too and see others’ comments and suggestions.  You can see the challenge areas below and you can access the site by clicking here. 

Tip of the Week: Google Sheets Update Bitmoji Image

Google Sheets recently had an awesome update, making it even easier to insert images into this great Google App! See the video below!

If you have a tool that will help lessen the load, please share!

I hope you have a GREAT entrance into April!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

SNAPper Fish 🐟 📸

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Fun with Images

How’s it going? Having a good week? I hope you are! It’s a great day to have a great day! Something that makes me smile, and allows me to have a great day, is having fun with images. Whether it’s Bitmoji, Giphy, or Google Draw I always enjoy manipulating images for various items I’m working on.  I also LOVE showing students and teachers how to have fun with images!   There are so many great ways to express knowledge – a picture or series of pictures in a presentation is a fabulous option!  We can do so much with images – let’s check out a few ideas below!

Adobe Spark  

Adobe Spark is an AWESOME program that allows one to create a variety of digital media. Like many programs, it has a free and premium structure; but did you know that Adobe gives FREE Premium accounts to schools?  Recently, we signed up for it here in East Bridgewater – we even have single-sign-on! Adobe has many preloaded images that are copyright free, or you can use your own to create a multimedia presentation or infographic. Here are two student examples of the presentation option below (and one teacher example – mine) that showcase how it can be used.  This great tool is very user-friendly! Check it out today! **Note these student examples are still being worked on. 

 

Remove Backgrounds 

This was a great post by Eric Curts of the blog Control Alt Achieve.  He showcases 3 FREE picture editing tools. I really enjoyed RemoveBG. It allows you to remove a background from a picture. I used a picture of my family, but you could remove the background from any image. Then it allows you to have the image as a PNG (no white around it) for your files.

I had fun playing with this tool!

A NEAT trick with Slides! 

This trick is better to explain in a video! It involves setting an image as a background and using transparent shapes to make it interactive. Take a look below.

Giphy 

Do you like animated GIFs and Stickers? I certainly do! Giphy is an AWESOME database full of copyright free GIFs and stickers.  These are so much fun to use in Google Slide presentation, on a doc, in an email or just about anywhere!

 

Google Tip of the Week – MERGE ALL GOOGLE CLASSROOM ITEMS 

This great tip comes from Dana Goldstein, Mitchell School 4th grade teacher, who wanted to print a Google Doc assignment from her whole team! She was able to use PDFMergy and combine all 55 documents into one PDF for easy printing (rather than go through all of them individually to print). Check it out below!

Do you want to have some fun with images? Need help? Reach out!  I hope you have a GREAT day!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Lend a Helping Fin 🐟

help!

Hello Hello!  How are you doing? I have had quite the past two weeks! Lately, I’ve needed help and I’m lucky enough to have the support system checking in on me when I needed it.  My family and I had a HORRID bug sweep through our house and it took the better part of two weeks to really clear it out.  Needless to say, my blog did not go out last week since I had the bug too and it really knocked me down for about four days.  It reminded me, though, that we can all use a little help sometimes.  It doesn’t make us weak to ask for help, in fact, it makes us stronger. In my case, I really needed help to get stronger for my own well-being.

This week, I had the awesome opportunity to help a few teachers with some fabulous lessons! I sat with Amy Ronayne and had some great conversations and set up of Pineapple charts! She had a super idea and I was happy to help. Sue O’Hea and Meg McGovern really wanted to have some fun with Functions and asked for my help with Flipgrid! Wow, did we have fun filming our “teams.”  Lastly, my pal Stacy Linnehan helped me by showing me ClassroomQ (see below) and asked for my help with Adobe Spark for a lesson next week. This prompted me to take a look (again) at it this awesome tool. I’ve always enjoyed Adobe, but hadn’t yet explored the FREE Adobe Spark for Edu program. Did you know about this? Abobe Spark for EDU with some premium features is FREE for schools.  This led to me asking for help from our tech coordinator to set up Adobe Admin on the back end of the server so we can get Adobe for Edu! Check my blog next week for the awesome work we’re doing with Adobe Spark and THANK YOU to all of those who both ask and offer help #TogetherWeAreBetter .

Let’s take a look at some of the help I was offered, and was able to give, using tech tools this week!

FlipGrid Bitmoji Image

What a fun time I had with Sue O’Hea and Meg McGovern’s class this week making function videos for math class!  We used Flipgrid to post the videos.  For my group, we also used Screencastify and Adobe Spark to make the video. Flipgrid is such a great tool – and you can do so very much with it. Click here and here for instructional videos (in that order) on Flipgrid that I’ve posted in the past, and see below for our example on Functions!

Pineapple Charts pineapple

It’s pretty amazing when you see two awesome colleagues collaborating through Twitter to talk about teaching.  Recently, Amy Ronayne became a Wakelet ambassador (Go Amy!) and Stacy Linnehan made a really cool Wake on Pineapple Charts (Go Stacy!). So, knowing Amy is an ambassador, Stacy shared it with Amy.  Amy then booked me to put Pineapple Charts into action!  Together, we came up with app smashing Google Calendar and YouCanBookMe.com – this is a work in progress, but it’s going to be pretty cool when it comes to fruition! We also added Google Forms with Autocrat to generate positive teacher feedback! MAGIC!

ClassroomQ Bitmoji Image

Do you teach with small groups or facilitate learning around the room? Do you have a “deli counter” system or line at your desk? Well – if you do, ClassroomQ is an AMAZING tool for you. It’s SUPER easy and a tool recommended to me by Stacy Linnehan who used it in Stacy Cullinane’s room during a writing lesson. Students, once they were ready for conferencing, simply clicked their bookmark for ClassroomQ and got a “ticket.”  The computer dings alerting the teacher, and her screen shows who is waiting. On the student end, it shows where they are in line in the queue. The free account allows for five tickets at a time. Simply clear the screen, and the 5 starts again. We don’t really want more than 5 students waiting at a time anyway, right?  This now encourages better use of time for students, rather than sitting and waiting with a hand raised, or in a line at the desk. Once set up, it’s easy to launch. Take a look at the short video below which shows how it works as teacher and student.

Tip of the week: Gmail Confidential Mode Bitmoji Image

This week, I enabled Confidential Mode for Gmail in our Google Admin Panel.  This is one way Google is helping us to protect our information.

  1. Allow users to set an expiration date for messages or revoke access at any time
  2. Disable options to forward, copy, print, and download the email body and attachments
  3. Allow users to set SMS passcodes wherein recipients will get a passcode by text message to be able to access the email sent using confidential mode
  4. Let users choose to remove access early before the expiration date.

Note: Although confidential mode helps prevent the recipients from accidentally sharing your email, it doesn’t prevent recipients from taking screenshots or photos of your messages or attachments. Recipients who have malicious programs on their computer may still be able to copy or download your messages or attachments.

 

Reflect…

How are you asking for help to be the best you can be? How are you helping others to be their best? I ask myself this every day. Be well everyone, and I’m here if you need any help <3  You can book me here. 

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

 

MARCH of the FISH 🍀 🐟 🦁

 🍀 March of the FISH 🍀

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We are MARCHING closer to Spring, even if March is coming in like a Lion 🦁! The first of March and snow is predicted, can you believe it? Just like the weather, technology is also offering us a storm of new ideas! There are so many tools, tips, and tidbits – that it can be tough to keep it all together (Like that alliteration there?)!  Fear not…that’s why my blog is here! Take a look below at some of my finds this week. I think they are totally top notch and many come from awesome teachers you know!

Classroom Screen Bitmoji Image

Thank you Amy Ronayne, 8th grade ELA teacher, for showing me this!

 If you don’t have a home screen set, you may want to have this as your opening tab. No login, FREE TOOL, and look at the screenshot below for all the little tools it gives you. A whiteboard to draw on (smart users), a clock, timer with fun sounds like Mario theme song, noise monitor, traffic light, and MORE! You can also set cool moving backgrounds from their library. This is SUCH A GOOD FINDClick here to check it out!
 
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Tournament Template Bitmoji Image

March is a BIG month for tournaments and there’s quite a bit of madness involved. If you’re looking for a GREAT site with already-made, interactive templates, Flippity.Net is a wonderful tool! It has a Template that is EASY to use for tournaments! Check out the video below!

Jeopardy-Like Game Bitmoji Image

Thank you Cassie Wadden for showing me this COOL site below that has a neat Jeopardy-style game among other features.  Although this site does have a fee structure, it does have some pretty neat free components if you’re looking for something game-like, or for review.

https://www.playfactile.com/

Interactive Fiction Bitmoji Image

Have you heard of Interactive Fiction?  I had not until Amy Schleinkofer gave me a call following her public library visit over the February break! According to Wikipedia: “Interactive fiction, often abbreviated IF, is software simulating environments in which players use text commands to control characters and influence the environment.”  She tried it whole class with her students and they LOVED it. It’s similar to coding…what a GREAT activity!

https://pr-if.org/

Digital Agenda Template Bitmoji Image

This resource is an AWESOME creation by Laura Cahill, fellow Massachusetts Edtech Coach. She made a beautiful template, complete with a timer linked, to use as your initial screen as kids walk in.  Simply duplicate the slide everyday for your whole year of Agendas. It includes an objective space, homework, classroom, subject, and bellringer box. You can also modify it!  I made a copy for myself and added it to our own Template Gallery for East Bridgewater!

For this great template Click Here!

Google Quick Tip: Google Classroom Updates Bitmoji Image

Classroom has had a few updates as of late. You can read about them here or see a short video below. The Stream and the settings have recently changed. Remember how the Stream used to appear – well it’s back (sort of)!!!

 

I hope you’re finding success with technology tools! Reach out and let me know!

Have a great day! 😃

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

WhatDaYaKnow Fish❓🐟

I love the internet

“The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you do with what you know.” 
― Tony Wagner

I love that quote by Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators and Most Likely to Succeed.  We can possess all of the knowledge in the world but if we’re not doing anything with it, then what’s the point? This week, I was fortunate to see what students and teachers are doing with their knowledge.  In this blog, I get to show you what I’m doing with mine! Often, I ask myself, “How do I make it bigger? How do I further my reach? How can I do MORE with the knowledge (mostly surrounding EdTech) that I have?” All of these different tools, strategies, and ideas don’t really serve a purpose just sitting in my brain…how do we do more?

Trying something new…

I always try to do more, to reach further, but always being open to trying new things…here are a few of the new things I’ve seen:

Locked Forms

Google does it all the time: more. They are constantly updating and upgrading to try to do more for teachers, students and overall their consumers. Locked Mode in Google Forms is one example of this.  If you haven’t tried Locked Forms yet, it’s a pretty neat experience.  The Chromebook goes, almost, into kiosk mode. There are no tabs available for the students to click on.  The students can close the Form and access other tabs, but all data would be lost as a result (which is stated right on the form). The only downfall…GoGuardian does not run when the Locked Form is active.  The students appear as “offline” when running the teacher dashboard AND a locked form.

Blurred Faces

Again, it’s what you do with what you know…I learned I could BLUR faces in my YouTube videos!  Take a look at the video above to see an example, and take a look at the tutorial below to see how to do this! It comes in handy if you have any students or staff who do not wish to be filmed. You could also do some fun video projects with this feature. For instance, you know when they interview someone for a crime show that doesn’t wish to be seen? That would be a fun type of project to work into the curriculum – “witness testimony”!

A New Assesment Tool

I’ve mentioned Edulastic before, but this week I was able to see some of the data that was generated from this awesome assessment tool. Similar to Online Mcas, this assessment tool has a variety of question types and includes a bank where you can choose questions. You can also create your own.  Many surrounding High Schools are starting to use this site as their online test prep.  It works across all subject areas and even includes previous years’ MCAS questions.

Wolfram Alpha

My good friend, an amazing teacher, and MassCUE President Rayna Freedman recently told me about Wolfram Alpha.  It’s certainly not new, but it’s new to me! WHAT am I doing to do with it? Well, share it with you of course. I will also analyze how I can use it for myself. I highly encourage you to check it out, mostly because it’s SO VERY COOL. According to the site  “Wolfram|Alpha is a unique engine for computing answers and providing knowledge. It works by using its vast store of expert-level knowledge and algorithms to automatically answer questions, do analysis and generate reports.”  Again, what can we do with this knowledge? What will you do? Check out this amazing site here!

Happy Vacation Everyone! Teaching is Tiring (and worth it) and I wish you all a restful break!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟