BREAKOUT of the fish tank! ๐Ÿ”๐ŸŸ

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Happy November! I can’t believe we finished out October already! We are in the middle of possibly the longest stretch of school that we have all year. September to December has minimal break time and we can get so much accomplished! However, with the changing of the clocks, the increased darkness, and the colder weather it can start to feel a bit mundane, even a bit overwhelming.ย  We may need to think of a different way to excite ourselves, and our students, at this time of year. How can we turn the regular routine into excitement? How can we “breakout” of that boring, comfortable fish tank? Well, I have the answer for you!

Have you heard of Digital Breakouts?!ย  Certainly, this is not a new concept as it has been around for a few years, but Breakouts with Google Tools appear to be on the rise! What is a Breakout you ask? It’s similar to an Escape Room, but rather than escaping students try to solve puzzles and riddles in order to escape the “digital” room or unlock the final lock.ย  You can set the stage with all different scenarios. Each area may have a puzzle to solve, like this one (click here). With each challenge solved, a clue is given for the greater escape!

Take a look below to see an amazing example of a Digital Escape and various resources on where to find them, or how to make them yourself!

A SPOOKTACULAR Example

Still not sure what a Digital Escape is? Well, check this one out! Taylor Almeida created a very sophisticated Breakout using Google Sites, Google Draw, Google Forms, and Google Sheets!ย  I had the fortunate opportunity to watch second graders solving the puzzles. They did an AMAZING job and EVERYONE was excited and on task!ย  This Escape is so much fun AND allows students to practice skills in a different way!

Click here to try it out: https://sites.google.com/view/escape106

Digital Breakouts – a How-To

Erin Foley is a Technology Specialist and Teacher at Hanover Public Schools. Recently, she gave a session at the MassCUE Fall Conference which you can see below. This presentation gives step-by-step directions on how to create your own escape using all FREE Google Tools! One of our own EB teachers (Taylor) attended this great session and immediately implemented it in the example above!

You can find Erin Foley on Twitter at @ErinFoleyEdTechย ย or on her website http://erindfoley.com/

Marisa Foley and Leanne DiPesa of Medfield also presented on Digital Breakouts.ย  They included testimony from students as well in their presentation. This is another take on how to create a Digital Breakout! For more, find Marissa and Leanne on Twitter @Marissafoley325 and @MsDiPesa.

Want to try a Breakout or Digital Escape, but feeling a bit overwhelmed?ย  Reach out and I’d be happy to assist you in making one or even make one for you! Don’t be afraid to “breakout” of the Fishtank!

Take Care Everyone!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ ๐ŸŸ ๐ŸŸ

insPIERation

(*Note: for some reason, my blog post did not email out last week even though I wrote it. It includes Halloween activities as well as vocabulary. Check it out here. )

I am writing after two, or more like two and a half, of the most inspirational days of my working career. The MassCUE/M.A.S.S. Annual Fall conference was just held at Gillette Stadium, and amazing would be an understatement.ย  I have attended and presented at this conference for the last five years and, like a fine cheese, it continues to get better with age.ย  Now as a Board Member, I get the added benefit of assisting in the behind-the-scenes work that makes this HUGE event such a success.ย  The MassCUE staff and conference committee that organizes and runs the conference is an incredible group of people. Fall conference can be overwhelming, but the team does such a good job providing resources and people to help wherever they can. With over 400 vendors, hundreds of workshops, many different learning areas, and just under 3,000 attendants – it is the largest event Gillette hosts aside from games and concerts.

As I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve learned different ways to manage and maneuver this conference. I am sure to book multiple sessions in my schedule, in close proximity, to really maximize my learning; I know to go see some truly INSPIRING educators, including our own in EB, who present year after year; and I’ve learned not to be shy and to TALK to people ( I know, me shy? yeah right…but sometimes I am).ย  I’ve made some very close friends through MassCUE who continue to lift me up and encourage me, and I try my best to do the same for them.

One of the principles that I stand behind is that we are truly better together.ย  When we form relationships with those who inspire us, we can work together and share ideas for a common goal: successful kids!ย  MassCUE stands behind this belief as well. This year MassCUE provided an Awesome Table for ANYONE to access many of the amazing sessions. I’ve included it here (click here), so take a look, it is “insPIERational”! The table can be a bit overwhelming! A few of the presenters (among many) I try to see and find ALWAYS inspire me. If you want to search them by name, they are: Jenn Judkins, Joli Boucher, Brandon Hall, Neal Sonnenberg, Ann Coates, Jonathan Schmidt, Jed Stefanowicz, Julie Spang and of course our EB presenters: Tori Cameron, Beth Barra, Meg McGovern, Stacy Linnehan, Amy Ronayne, and Sheri Craven. You can also search in the title for specific topics like SeeSaw, EdPuzzle, Flipgrid, Math, Literacy and many more!

I think Amy Ronayne said it best when she said something along the lines of:ย  “This conference gives me confidence, allows me to see how cool it is with what I’m doing and how it helps others. It makes me a better teacher.”

This year, more than ever, I felt like a proud mom watching our own EB staff thrive as they present to packed sessions and even get approached by administrators from other districts asking them to come and show their staff.ย  I always try to exude that I work in an amazing place, with amazing staff and kids, who have no idea just how incredible a place our school is. When we attend MassCUE Fall Conference, we truly get the sense of how fortunate we are. If you haven’t attended in the past, I really encourage you to give this conference a try. You will NOT regret it!

If I didn’t get to see you at the conference, and you read this blog, please reach out! I’d love to meet you in person next time – I’m sure you will be an insPIERation to me!

Take Care, Everyone!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ

Get your Vocab up to Scale! ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐ŸŸ

One day I was sitting at the kitchen table, and my son Chace, spouted out this word that was so beyond his years.ย  The word was incredulous, and it’s a word that I do not even use in my daily vocabulary, nevermind my son who was in first grade at the time.ย  I asked him, “where did you learn that?!”ย  He proceeded to tell me all about his teacher and how she just put words up around the room. He would see the word every day, and at some point, it must have been discussed.ย  Words have such power! Students just seeing new words can have an impact on daily usage. I can’t say enough about this teacher my son had, and all of her words around the room.ย  She certainly left an impact on my son.ย  We all learn differently, and for my son, seeing the word daily worked for him. For others, however, interacting with words may work and technology can enhance this interaction.ย  What are some tech tools that can assist with WORDS? Well, let’s take a look below!ย  ๐Ÿ‘€

Educandy ๐Ÿฌ

Educandy was just featured on both Richard Byrne and Eric Curts’ blogs earlier this month.ย  It appears to be the hot, new, FREE platform to engage students in vocabulary activities! Check out the video below, from Richard Byrne, on how to use this new tool! Looks like FUN!

Flippity ๐Ÿคธโ€โ™€๏ธ

Flippity.com is an amazing resource for FREE, customizable templates that work with Google Sheets.ย  The flashcard template is a favorite of mine because it is so versatile. You can embed images and YouTube videos on to the flashcards if you wish. It also has various ways students can interact with the flashcards.

Quizlet ๐Ÿ™‹

Quizlet on its own is an AWESOME vocabulary site with many premade lists teachers have created.ย  No need to add your own lists, if you search Quizlet by a story name, chapter, or title of a topic you will probably find a list of words. You can then modify them as you wish.ย  This tool is wonderful because it has speech-to-text built-in, as well as a picture dictionary and translator.

Once you have a list, kids can play Quizlet LIVE!ย  This is unlike Kahoot and Quizizz, it puts the kids into teams and they have to work together. They LOVE it! Check out both Quizlet and Quizlet Live!

Pear Deck – Flashcard Factory ๐Ÿ

Pear Deck has a great partnership with Quizlet when you use Flashcard Factory! Itโ€™s quite easy to copy and list from Quizlet into Flash Card Factory (100% free) and practice vocabulary in an ACTIVE format.ย  Once completed you can then push student examples back OUT to Quizlet.ย  I have NEVER seen so much enjoyment from practicing vocabulary than when students play Flashcard factory. Iโ€™ve seen it in grade 12 all the way down to grade 2! I use it with adults in my trainings as well and it is always a favorite! Talk about ENGAGEMENT! To read more about this integration,ย click here, and also be sure to watch my video below!

Great ways to use Flash Card Factory

Click here to sign-in to Flash Card Factory

Tech or Treat ๐ŸŽƒ ๐Ÿญ

Of course, we need to share some Halloween activities!ย  Do you have a good one? Send it my way!

PRO Tips of the Week! ๐Ÿ’ก

I learned so much cool stuff this week I had to include both!

Amazing Gradient Slides Backgrounds ๐Ÿ”™

Shown to me by a student, this one is quick and I love it! Check out the 50 second video below

Customize your Bitmoji!!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! It’s coming to a Chrome Extension near you, if it hasn’t hit already! Check it out below!

 

Did you learn something new that you can do with words? I hope so!

Take care, everyone!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ ๐ŸŸ ๐ŸŸ

The Lid on the Tuna Can ๐Ÿฅซ๐ŸŸ

You're the best Be a Champion for ALL of our kids You're the best

 

This week I had the amazing opportunity to teach 3 blocks of Intro To Computers.ย  It was my first time having High School students solely to myself in longer, 77-minute, blocks.ย  The VERY first thing I did was attempt to connect with students. I spent time with the students…saying hello, asking about their schedules and lives, simply talking to them. Each and EVERY one.ย  If you know me, you know I can be loud, boisterous, and sunshiney (to the point where I can annoyย some people). I engaged with the students and invested that time early, to get them working – which they did! We are a community and these are all of our kids. I went into teaching because I LOVE kids – all of them. I have a soft spot in my heart for the students who are the most work.ย  The most difficult kids are those who need the sense of community the most. It’s not screen time,ย  it’s not parenting, its community and we need to provide that for many of our students who only find it here, at school. Taking the time to connect with the students first, and show that I do care, pays me dividends in the end in terms of students working towards my objective.

Recently I attended a workshop by Jimmy Casas author of Culturize. He challenged me to think differently, stop blaming external factors, and ask myself what can I be doing? What are my fears that cause me to blame?

What we model is what we get.

The investment of time means a lot to people. Are you accessible to people? Do you have an open-door policy – and DO they walk through your door? If someone walks by and you don’t say anything it’s a missed opportunity, a missed opportunity to connect or model the behavior we want others to have. Model the behaviors that you want to see repeated. If appropriate and positive interaction is what you desire, model this yourself with others in the room and the greater classroom community. We have a responsibility to build our culture. Lead Learning and build culture – this is our job. See yourself as a community builder – first thing, think: What am I doing to build a community? Everything we do is based on the connection we make with students, and as much as I love technology – this does not replace the connection we can make face-to-face. The investment of time isn’t happening in many classrooms across the country….are we modeling the poor behavior we see in our students? Subtle things we do impact our culture in negative ways. When we complain about a student – that negative behavior is the same behavior we see in him/her. Invest the time, face to face, first thingย  – the time you take now will reduce the time you could spend later trying to get your objectives accomplished.

Tech Tools to Assist:

Your Why

Remember what you said when you were in that interview chair – what is your WHY? Come back to that. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Teaching is hard, but when you’re tired – go find the child. Don’t wait for someone to come around and change your attitude…go engage with people. Go sit with a student and engage. Fill your own cup up, don’t wait for others to come and fill it.

When you know your why your what has more impact because you are walking in or towards your purpose. – Michael Jr, Comedian

The Blame Game

Clarity proceeds confidence. When students do not follow instructions we need to resist blaming the students and say to ourselves “clarity proceeds confidence” and try to be more clear. ย Show students what excellence looks like, then coach them through it. Stay in there with feedback until they get to the level you want them to be at. We’re delegating too quickly when students are not yet at the level we want them to be at. If we delegate the task too early, we exhaust ourselves with trying to get there. We look for external things to blame for behavior – and we spend more time on that than trying to understand the behavior itself. Ask yourself – I wonder what happened to the student that they act that way? I had a student this week who simply sat and let me know they were going to just sit, and not do anything. The child wasn’t disruptive.ย  A friend told me, “That student is working harder than anyone in the class. For that student, it is harder to simply come to school and just be present than it probably is for the student next to him/her doing the work.” I had to really ask myself, why?ย  I didn’t ask the student to engage and I didn’t kick the student out, I just went and sat with the student. I stated that I cared, that I was worried and that I hope the student is okay. I didn’t ask the student anything – I did not pry.ย  By the end of class, I received a smile from the student and he/she stated, “It’s not you.” If I continued in the class, I would’ve continued this routine with the student and am confident, eventually, I would get this student to engage in the work of the class. However, I would need to invest the time. Every student is worth that time.

Tech Tools to Assist:

In Closing

Don’t be the lid on the Tuna can…Don’t give ALL the reasons you can’t do something.ย  Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Ask yourself – DO YOU WANT TO BE GREAT?ย  The world WANTS to be average and tries to pull us back…Just accept that you can never be average.ย  Everybody wants to be a part of something great!ย 

Take care, everyone,

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ

 

Let’s take a Dive into Writing โœ ๐ŸŸ

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Let’s talk writing!ย  I absolutely love to write (hence the blog), however, sometimes it can seem like a chore when Iย have to do it.ย ย Personally, I prefer to type in Docs and I find the act of typing engaging in itself.ย  I feel the only way to really improve as a writer, is simply to write.ย  However, with students, it can be challenging at times to motivate students to write. So, what can we do as educators to assist students with writing? And how can we make it easier for ourselves to look at writing? Well, let’s “dive in” and look below and see what we can find!

Docs as a Blog

I really like using the Titles and Headings options in Docs. It allows you to create a pretty neat product if you set it up just right.ย  You can even make your Doc look just like a blog with monthly, themed, posts.ย  I put an example video below! If you wish to use my template and modify it for your needs, please click here.

Google Blogger

Google Blogger is a pretty cool app! You can find Google blogger by clicking here. Sometimes, we just need a cool tool to get students writing! Why not a blog? Google has a great help center, found here, that will walk you through how to create a blog!

Writing in LIVE time

As educators, it helps to have tools so see a student’s writing over time.ย  There are some great tools that allow both teacher and student to see the progression!

Revision History

See the progression of a student’s writing, or the collaborative efforts of a group write, by using the revision history found in the File Menu of Google Docs.ย  This can be a powerful tool, and also a lifesaver especially if you accidentally have your own writing wiped out!

Draftback

Draftback is a valuable Chrome Extension that allows you to see writing play out as a video from start to finish!ย  You can install this extension by clicking here.ย  To see how it works, check out the video below.

Word Count

A live word count can help a student see the visual of his or her own writing. Analyze character count and length by turning on this great feature of Docs. You can find Word Count under the Tools menu.

Tip of the week

I love this post from Catlin Tucker which includes a “writing playlist!” It’s not a new post, but it’s new to me and a great resource! Click here to check it out!

What helps you as a writer?ย  I left out many of my favorite tools I use since I could go ON and ON…Can you guess what they are?!

Take care, everyone!
oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ

Tired of watching your students flounder?

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I think, possibly, one of the most frustrating challenges we face as educators is when we plan for this GREAT lesson and the tech WON’T work.ย  Oh my goodness, I feel the heat prickle right up my neck and the panic sets in. It’s when I want to throw something!ย  Sometimes, the problem is beyond our control. However, other times, we may be able to have a quick fix! Let’s take a look below and see if these tricks can “tide” you over!

Update your Chrome OS

There is NOTHING more frustrating than when you have your plans in place andย something just won’t run and you can’t figure out why! Sometimes, the version of Chrome is what is to blame!ย  Did you know even our state test, MCAS, needs atย least Chrome OS 74 in order to run?ย  Before you run to check your Chrome version, watch the video below of how to quickly update your Chrome! Why doesn’t it update on its own, you ask? Well, it will when it’s looking for the latest version, but when Chromebooks are not used for a longer period of time (say the summer), they may not pull the latest OS version.ย  Thus, we need to do a manual update. Have no fear, this is a QUICK fix!

Resolve Flash Issues

Ahhh the blessed Flash. So many sites use this application, that this quick fix may help so many. Ever see the “install flash” message? This one is for you!

WiFi Issues

Sometimes multiple networks can confuse a Chromebook. It doesn’t know which one to connect to. Here’s another easy fix from Principal of the Gordon Mitchell School, Andrew Gentile.ย  He shows you in the video how to “prefer” a network so your Chromebook always knows what network to choose. This will result in a faster connection that will not be interrupted!

Accessibility

If we TRULY do not want our student to flounder, then accessibility tools are where it’s at!ย  Chromebooks have accessibility BUILT-IN!ย  Students may flounder with spelling when trying to access a resource, have them try this! Personally, dictation has helped so many students – including my own sons.

If these quick, troubleshooting tips don’t help you at the moment, REACH out!

What are your quick tips to help in a hurry? Let me know!

Take care!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ ๐ŸŸ ๐ŸŸ

Fishing off the right “pear” ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽฃ

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Cod a minute to learn something new…๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are so many amazing tools to enhance instruction in the EdTech world. Eventually (hint) I’ll do a post on my top 100, because honestly there are THAT many. However, a number one tool that stands out EVERY time is Pear Deck.ย  I have to devote a post “sole”ly to them because honestly, they just keep getting better and better!ย  Recently, I co-hosted a podcast with the amazing Tori Cameron of Steam up the Classroom. Together, we talked to Risa Bennet of Pear Deck about this amazing tool! Give it a listen here!

You can take a look at my previous posts about the Pear where I go over how to create a deck or the (newer) amazing Flashcard factory by clicking here, here and here (see so awesome – they have multiple posts). This week I’m going to talk about Pear Deck’s newest features and even better, their MASHย  up with NEWSELA (also a top tool!), let’s take a look below!

Pear Deck + NEWSELAย  newsela-daily-gif_full.gif

Could there BE a better mash-up (totally channeling Chandler Bing there)?ย  Seriously, both of these tools are amazing and now they are together like PB&J!ย  Peardeck will provide you with a deck and article DAILY to use with your class! Pick and choose, or use this great “pair” each day! You can present the Deck whole class or assign it in student-paced mode (premium) and hear from every student!ย  To read more about this great “pair” and/or to sign up for the daily deck, click here. Also, check out my video below on how this collaboration works!

Pear Deck + Quizlet ๐Ÿ

Pear Deck has a great partnership with Quizlet when you use Flashcard Factory! It’s quite easy to copy and list from Quizlet into Flash Card Factory (100% free) and practice vocabulary in an ACTIVE format.ย  Once completed you can then push student examples back OUT to Quizlet.ย  I have NEVER seen so much enjoyment from practicing vocabulary than when students play Flashcard factory. I’ve seen it in grade 12 all the way down to grade 2! I use it with adults in my trainings as well and it is always a favorite! Talk about ENGAGEMENT! To read more about this integration, click here, and also be sure to watch my video below!

Great ways to use Flash Card Factory

Click here to sign-in to Flash Card Factory

NEW Pear Deck Menu ๐Ÿ

A common mistake when presenting an interactive Deck is not using the Pear Deck Add-on. Well, it’s now easier than ever! Recently, Pear Deck pushed out its own Menu that appears within the Google Slides Menu, right next to Tools. If you don’t see this menu appear, try adding the Google Add-on Pear Deck and the extension Pear Deck Power Up.ย  This is a great feature, see below to learn more!

Active Learning ๐Ÿ’ƒ ๐Ÿ•บ

Pear Deck is such a great tool because it really promotes active learning. All students are engaged in either the interactive slide presentation or in the vocabulary instruction.ย  There isn’t an option for a student to tune out because they are ALL being asked to engage in a task. If you’re “urchin” for something new in the classroom, give it a try!

Save yourself the haddock, and don’t let students flounder! Pear Deck is the best thing since sliced bread ๐Ÿž, no squidding ๐Ÿฆ‘! Try Pear Deck this week – Reach out for help and I’ll gladly assist!

Special thanks to my fellow Pear Deck Coach Monsieur Fritz for giving me so many great puns!

If you have something more engaging than Pear Deck, Let minnow! Post below!

Take care, everyone!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ ๐ŸŸ ๐ŸŸ

Google Classroom: “Catch of the Day” ๐ŸŽ’๐ŸŽฃ

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Hello hello!ย  How is your week?! BUSY?! Well, that’s an understatement! Many of us in education find ourselves running around, putting outย some fires, while we try our very best to have a successful September.ย  I’ve always been a HUGE fan of the Green Day song “When September Ends.” Actually, it’s been my mantra in the classroom for probably the last fifteen years. I look forward to when the month is over, routines are established, and the days are going just a bit more smoothly.

Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

With that being said, one tool we can always rely on during this crazy time to assist in a smoother day is Google Classroom.ย  I just can’t ever say enough about this amazing tool.ย  It always allows for one to easily push out anything to students.ย  Posting on Google Classroom is so easy – and there are so many great tricks to make it even easier! From setting up Google Classroom to differentiating with groups, this app is just the “catch of the day” for me!ย  You may think you know ALL there is about this tool, but I encourage you to read below – I’m sure you’ll find a good tip or trick!

Reset the Code

If you ever give out a code to students, and you write it on the board, you will be sure to have errors if there are characters o, 0, 1, l, and I. Notice the lowercase l (as in love) and the uppercase I (as in Ice) look the same! You can reset your code to avoid this problem! You can also reset the code if you by chance get an inappropriate string of characters – believe me, I’ve seen it (think of the words you used to spell on the calculator). Take a look below for this easy fix!

Student Comments (TURN THEM OFF!)

I wish that Google would turn student commenting off by default, but alas, they keep them on.ย  I may need to send them some feedback (scroll down to read more on that!). Any time you set up your classrooms, students can post until you turn this off.ย  AHHHH!!! So, watch the video below and go turn that off! The “Ask a Question” feature works well if you care to engage with students on Google Classroom.

Use the Classwork Page (not the Stream)

The Classwork page is amazing! I’ve seen many tend to use the Stream because it appears first. However, anything in the stream doesn’t sort into a topic.ย  Also, the Stream does not copy over in your Classroom for future years, although you can reuse the Stream from past years. If you post on the Classwork page, it appears in the Stream! Additionally, the more detailed you are in your Classwork Page with topics, material, and assignments, the easier it will be for your students. Not to mention, by posting daily you are making curriculum so much more accessible for your students! Take a look at my highlights of the Classwork page below.

GET THE PHONE APP of Classroom

Student Name Selector

Did you know in the Mobile Application of Google Classroom there is a student name picker?! Well, there is! So, RUN and download Google Classroom to your phone!!

Easily Post Pictures or Video

Remove a step for yourself, and EASILY post content from your classroom with the app! Do you ever download to upload? Well, with this quick trick – you can post anything to Classroom with a quick click. Take pictures of your notes each day and/or provide the exemplar using the camera option in Google Classroom. See below for this gamechanger!

Have Suggestions or Complaints? Tell Google!

Google for Education is really great at making improvements based on educator feedback.ย  Most of their updates are based on the feedback they receive actually. Take a look at how to do this below!

Google Classroom Overview

There is so much more I could cover and suggest! Below I included a presentation I ran at GooglePalooza on Classroom in case you need more! Enjoy!

Pro Tip (extra): Word Count!

There is now a live word count you can enable on Docs! SO VERY COOL! Check it out below!

Do you have a favorite Google Classroom feature?ย  Shout it out and let me know!

Take care, everyone!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ

FINtastic Google Updates, Tips and Tricks ๐Ÿฆˆ๐Ÿฆˆ

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Helloooooooooo Everyone! Wow, what a week! Were you back for four full days this week? With students? I certainly am and when I tell you I’m RUNNING between buildings, it is NO JOKE! My brain is on overload and I’m exhausted, but in the best possible way! I love being busy! However, I do find it challenging when I go to my favorite tools and JUST LIKE THAT, they look different! Do you feel me?!ย  Change is good, and discomfort means we are learning; but – when I rely on that familiarity of my favorite tools and I can’t figure it out…I just feel like this:

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Luckily, I have a super supportive network of techie pals I can go to, and of course, I use Twitter!ย  However…you have ME! So, let me help you! Let’s take a look at some updates below for some of our favorite tools.

Google Form Updates

please recycle Reuse questions from other forms

No longer will we need to use an add-on to reuse other form questions! Check out this new release from Google!ย  Want to make a mixed review from a variety of other forms you’ve made? Well, it’s easy with the new feature! Open up the form you want to use, and simply click the “import questions” symbol on the taskbar. See the image below!

Bitmoji Imageย Google Form PERMANENT Exit Ticket

This one isn’t an update, but rather a tip from me.ย  Having a standard form, posted always in your Classwork section, can give you quick data ANYTIME you want it. Call it “Exit Ticket” and give it its own topic. Students will always know where to find it.ย  Be sure to have your settings like the ones below (see image). If you’d like a copy of this exit ticket form, click here!

Google Classroom Updates

Bitmoji ImageRubrics Beta

Do you want to easily post a rubric for an assignment? Now you can through Google Classroom! This is going to be a great feature to use on so many assignments.ย  To read more about creating and using Google Classroom rubrics, click here. A great video showing how to use this feature is also posted below!

Bitmoji ImageOriginality Reports Beta

This one is HUGE!ย  This feature is in Beta, which is important to remember.ย  Beta means it’s not perfect yet.ย  However, being able to check students’ work for plagiarism is going to benefit so many!ย  A great video is posted below which shows how this works from both the Teacher end and how it appears on the student end.

 

Drive Updates

Bitmoji ImageShared Drives

This one isn’t too new, but the former “Team Drives” has been renamed “Shared Drives” not to be confused with “Shared with Me.” Personally, I find it all a bit confusing. You can read more about the differences in your Drive by clicking here.

Bitmoji ImagePriority in Drive

Did you notice a new page show up in your Google Drive this summer?ย  Well, to get an idea of the benefits of the Priority Page, check out the video below.

Pro Tips:

Bitmoji ImagePull Text from ANYTHING

Do you write notes on your board, and you want to save them? Simply take a picture!ย  With Drive and Google Docs, you can pull the text and convert into a digital format!ย  Translate, enlarge, have notes read aloud…the accessibility options are endless with this GREAT trick!

OR just take a picture and put the picture in Google Classroom for students!ย  Providing resources and making them as accessible as possible is best for all!

Bitmoji ImageKeep that Cart organized!

Take a look at the amazing color-coded, Chromebook cart in Kim Hardiman’s first-grade classroom! I love it! She has a sticker on the Chromebook, on the cord, and on the shelf as well. The stickers go in rainbow order so students know their number AND color!

 

What next…

A pal of mine had a great idea of a beginning-of-year checklist! What’s on yours? I think I feel a post coming…

Take care, everyone!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ

Fishin for Success: The FIRST Two Weeks ๐ŸŽฃ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ†

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And so we begin…another year! I cannot believe it! How many is it for you? For me, I am starting my 17th year in education. I feel blessed to have been in my career this long. I still love it! Every. Single. Day. These first few weeks, especially these first two, are BUSY!

It feels as though I’m running a race. I lay down at night and my mind takes a bit to slow down. My brain is busy, my body is busy, and my heart is full. I love the back-to-school rush; the smells, the smiles, the wonder…but I miss my children. I miss my pool. I miss my bed. I wonder about the year ahead: How will I manage school, home, kids, and work? How will I stay current? How will I help people? How will I make a difference? Do people like me? I am 38 years young, and this is how I feel.ย  Imagine how our students feel!

One of the most valuable goals we can have, right at the beginning, is to get to know our students and families. Relationships are at the heart of what we do. With positive, trusting relationships we have laid a foundation for success. Iย  really love this article here that highlights that concept! What tech tools can help with this? Well, let’s take a look!

FlipGrid ๐ŸŽฅ

Flipgrid is an INCREDIBLE tool to use anytime! It can be especially helpful to get to know our students and families.ย  You could post a prompt before school begins, or in those first few weeks, for students to take video at home to share about themselves.ย  Have them interview a parent, sibling, or guardian even! Ask a student to show off a pet! Imagine how fun it will be to share those videos?

Even better, Flipgrid had some AMAZING new updates with their camera!ย  We will talk about that more in upcoming posts, but check out the blog post below from Matt Miller that highlights many new features!

20 activities to “Bloom” with the new Flipgrid camera

Pear Deck ๐Ÿ

And as we all know, Pear Deck is aย personal favorite tool of mine! You can get to know students SO WELL with this amazing (free) tool! Here’s a great deck I plan to use in classrooms this year to assist teachers in getting to know their students. Feel free to use it yourself!

Google Forms ๐Ÿ“‹

Google Forms are a GREAT way to get to know students and families! What’s even better is Forms will give you an amazing spreadsheet of data to use ALL YEAR! I loved sending home a Form to families and asking about their children. They would tell me all sorts of great information I could refer back to all year. This is great to have set up during open house as well, on Chromebooks around the room.ย  You can check out the video below for a detailed look at how to create a form.

Goose Chase ๐Ÿฆ†

Have you played Goose Chase??? Oh my goodness, if you haven’t…you need to try it!! This is such a FUN tool that can really do so much. It is an app and needs a mobile device like a phone, iPad, or Chromebook that supports Google Play. Basically, students have to post items in a scavenger hunt format. You create the questions or the “hunt”, so you could essentially use it to get to know your classroom.ย  In East Bridgewater, we do have a premium account. If you’d like to use it, please reach out!

In closing…Bitmoji Image

There is so much out there you can use with students to get to know them. The most important task is that we DO take a moment and do just that, regardless of the tool we use. How will you connect with your students and families this year? Let me know!

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Take it easy and take a moment for yourself too! <3

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ