Get “Hooked” on Screencastify! 🎥🎞

Bitmoji Image

Hello there!  I’m back!  Did you notice I took a nice summer break? As educators, we all need to take some time and step back to relax. During that time, I made some changes! Did you notice?  I’m excited to show off my new themed, ready-for-the-school-year-ahead, blog!

How about trying a new tool for the new school year? Imagine, sending a video of yourself, or just your voice showing something off, to parents and students before school starts. How about offering students options in how content is represented? Well, I have the answer for you!

For a GREAT tool this week, I’d like to showcase a favorite of mine: Screencastify!  I’ve mentioned this tool in my blog many times before. However, like all tech tools, Screencastify has UPDATED! I’ve been with this awesome tool since the beginning. I’m an original subscriber – an OG! Through the years, I’ve watched popular EdTech bloggers showcase other screencasting tools, only eventually to move to the best: Screencastify! I’ve known this has been the #1 Screencasting tool since the beginning. It’s FREE and it’s AWESOME! I recently spoke about this tool on the MassCUE Get a CUE Podcast, hosted by Brandon Hall! I spoke about all of my favorite features I listed below.


Screencastify is an extension that you can install using the Chrome Web Store.  One installed, it will appear where your extensions appear next to the Google Search Web Omnibox (Yes, that’s a search box – but that’s another post).

Simply click the icon once installed, and you have the option to start recording what’s on your computer screen and record your voice along with it, if you choose.  If you computer is connected to an interactive board, you can write on the board and it will record that as well. Screencasts can be used in a variety of ways such as:

  • FLIP your classroomHave students view the material prior to coming in the classroom or while working in small groups
  • TutorialsExplain how to do a skill or process or have students provide a video explaining a process!
  • Station RotationWhile in small groups, have a short video students can refer to for direction
  • Explanations for Parents: Send a video home to parents explaining something in the classroom or on the computer (like how to access your website or homework).
  • Sub Plans: The best sub plan – Screencastify + Google Classroom!  Don’t worry about the students and/or Sub missing something, explain it with Screencastify!

Record Video

Not only can you record your screen, but you can also choose the camera option and video yourself or something else! Maybe you want students making a commercial or maybe students need an opportunity to pause as they record. How about having students record how they solve a math problem?! Once recorded –  you can also upload this video to other platforms like Flipgrid, post it to Google Classroom, or embed it into Slides!  Click here for more information on Screencastify + Flipgrid (seriously, this resource is one of my best workshops ever!).

Powerful Student Ideas

I was fortunate enough to assist teachers and students this past school year on a few amazing projects that used Screencastify. Two that stood out were a an app smash of Screencastify and Slides with Stop Motion Animation (inspired here by Eric Curts), and also a project on Foley Artistry.

In 6th grade science. we had students create stop motion animation of the digestive tract. Once finished with their slides, they layered Screencastify over their project and narrated the video to explain each phase of digestion.  It was pretty cool!

Another AWESOME project we worked on this year was in Music class.  Students were studying Foley Artists. Foley artists are responsible for the sound effects in film. Students watching a video of a Doritos Commercial and then had to go in and be Foley Artists.  This is perhaps one of the MOST FUN ways I’ve used this tool. I’ve included the original commercial and the studente example below. Pay special attention to the sound effects (crunching, falling, etc)


Student Example:

Screencastify has a great resource area with many ideas on how both students and teachers can use this great too. You can access that resource area by clicking here. 


Perhaps one of the most a alLURing (get it, Lure, fish pun – haha) aspects about Screencastify is its ease to push out to Google Classroom and other areas.  This great tool integrates, easily, with many popular platforms! Record your screencast or video, and BOOM – in less than thirty seconds you can push it out to whomever you’d like to see it.

  • Google Classroom: Once your recording is done, you will be brought to a finishing screen to preview. Click the Share icon and you have a few options. Choose the one below and quickly send video to Classroom.

  • Youtube: Similar to above, rather than choosing Classroom, choose YouTube!

  • Quickly Email: Upon finished the recording, you can also copy the Google Drive link or YouTube Link.  Simply paste it in an email and send it off (Or schedule it – see here)!
  • Google Drive: Screencastify AUTOMATICALLY sends the video to your Google Drive in a folder called Screencastify.  You can link an entire folder somewhere if you’d like! Be sure to title your videos once they’re created.
  • Wakelet: If you don’t want videos taking up space in your Drive, you can also send them to Wakelet! You could create Wakes for various concepts and push videos to categorized areas quite easily!
  • Google Slides: It’s very easy to embed your Screencasts into a Google Slide deck. Choose insert video and rather than YouTube, choose from Drive!
    • Pull audio now from your screencasts and use the clips on slides! Check it out here!

Pro Tip

A pro tip I suggest, when using Screencastify, is to change the shared settings on the folder in your Drive.  Often I will quickly grab the Google Drive link to my video and put it in an email to send off. Only to have the recipient let me know they don’t have permission to view.  By setting the shared permissions on the folder to “Anyone on the web can view” you avoid this issue.  Sometimes, you may post a link in Google Classroom to a video for future students, this shared setting will avoid any delays in those viewing the video. Be sure to only share links of the videos, and not the link to the WHOLE folder!


If you’re concerned about privacy, fret no more! Screencastify is both FERPA and COPPA Compliant.  For more information, you can read about their privacy policy here! 


If it’s free, it’s for me….

Screencastify is perhaps one of the most generous free tools out there on the EdTech scene.  Once installed, you get 50 recordings with a cap of ten minutes each PER MONTH!  Also, if you make an error, just hit the re-record button (see below) rather than start again and it will not count against your monthly quota!


If you decide to go that route, and upgrade to premium, it’s only $24 a year.  For that $24 you get an unbelievable amount of features! You can create GIFs out of your Screencasts, pull the MP3 Audio from your file, export the file as a video file, unlimited videos and time limit, AND there are a few editing tools that you have access too as well. You can take a look at the plans here.  Reach out if you want any tips and tricks on the premium plan, I’ve had mine for four years!

As always, reach out for more help with this AWESOME tool! Feel free also to search my blog with the term Screencastify to see other posts!

Take care everyone! I look forward to getting you hooked on EdTech!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Stay “Cod”nected this Summer 🐟 ☀️

Bitmoji Image


I wish you all a wonderful, happy, relaxing summer!! Many of us will go OFF THE GRID, at least for a while! However, let’s face it, once August rolls around we’ll start thinking about school!  At least I know I do! Well, when that time comes whether it’s next month or next week, you can visit FishinOnAMission for some ideas.  Where do I go to get my ideas?  I visit all of my favorite Tech bloggers and Educators! I find them all on Twitter! If Twitter isn’t your thing you can also visit their websites/blogs.  I will list a BUNCH of my favorites below for your viewing pleasure!

Control Alt Achieve (MY FAVORITE)

STEAM Up the Classroom

Practical Ed Tech

Shake Up Learning

Cult Of Pedagogy (really GOOD)

Ditch That TextBook

Jake Miller Tech (GIF Guy)

I ❤️️Edu

Cool Cat Teacher

GAFE for Littles

Alice Keeler

Learning In Hand

Teachers GIVE teachers


Bonus ☀️

What’s really nice is that most of these blogs/sites not only offer FREE resources, but they also have a podcast as well if you’d rather listen! If Twitter is your thing, all of the sites listed above also have a Twitter handle.

Keep “cod”nected this summer – I’d really love to hear from you!  If you have a great idea, send it my way! Together we are TRULY better. 💜

Be well everyone!  You’ll hear back from me in August…with a million new ideas! Until then….

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

SUNfish ☀️ 🐟

Bitmoji Image

Hello there!  The SUN is shining, both outside and inside for me these days – I love what I do! Do you? How are your days lately? It’s always great to have that reminder once in a while when a raincloud has entered.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed and bogged down at this time of year. School is coming to a close and there is just SO MUCH going on. The kids can be wild, the adults can even be wild, and we need to remember what’s at the CORE of why we’re here: the kids.  It’s ALWAYS about the kids and as long as I keep my head in the game, focused on the kids, my days stay SUNNY! So, while we talk about SUN and what we plan to do in the SUN this summer – let me give you a few ideas that may even help make your fall a little sunnier!


Vocaroo is a tool that’s been around for a while, but I felt inspired by the recent MassCUE Podcast to showcase it again! This tool could REALLY make you look like a rockstar! I know many of us who prepare our first communication home while enjoying the SUN! I sit by my pool with my Chromebook, drafting my first “tech” post of the year to all of you! If/when you send home your first parent communication, use Vocaroo to record an audio clip introducing yourself. Simply copy and paste the QR code to the email, letter, postcard etc. Give a little “hear me introduce myself here” and scan the code (and provide the URL too). What a nice personal effect for new students and parents to hear your voice before they meet you! You could also put the recording on your teacher website as well!  Parents LOVE this type of stuff (or at least I do as a parent). Take a look at the video below to see how to do this:

Parent Communication

Are you already thinking about your communication with parents for next year? What will you use? There are so many options: Twitter, Instagram, Remind, Dojo, SeeSaw, Classroom Website, Newsletter, Email, Phone calls, and probably more I haven’t thought of!  As a parent of three children myself, I can honestly say I LOVE TEACHER COMMUNICATION with me.  I have three boys and each of their teachers uses a different app to communicate with me AND THAT’S OKAY. The goal is communication and I’m happy they’re doing it!  Honestly, their quick texts within the apps have saved me so many times this year and I really appreciate their efforts.  What’s so NICE about Gmail now, however, is you can schedule email. What was once only available in Remind, can now also be done in Gmail.

I’m a big fan of transparency.   As a teacher, I feel like if I tweet you, email you, text you with a communication app, write a newsletter, and post on my website (which can mostly be done simultaneously believe it or not if you link accounts), then you can’t tell me you don’t know what’s going on.  As a parent, I try my best to be involved and it’s MY RESPONSIBILITY to know what’s going on with my children. If the teachers are sending it in a timely manner, then I can’t ever accuse them of not doing their part. I’ve been lucky to have good teachers, in this regard, with my sons. If you plan to sit in the SUN and prepare communication for next year, check out the options below.


MassCUE PodCast

MassCUE (Massachusetts Computer Using Educators) just released a Podcast! You can find it where all podcasts are found. It’s called Get a Cue and it’s hosted by Brandon Hall, local tech integrator from Pembroke.  Each episode will feature a local educator and how they use a tech tool in the classroom. The episodes are NOT about the tool, but about actual, practical USE of the tool! The first episode is AWESOME and already inspired me to try out the very cool tool as you can see in my post above! Check out the Podcast here or on your mobile device where you find your podcasts. If you need assistance locating FREE Podcasts (great to listen to in the car), reach out! This is a great listen while in the SUN this summer!

Tip of the week: Confidential Mode

Confidential mode has finally arrived.  You can now set your emails so that no one can forward them. You can also set them to expire. Take a look below at this NEW Gmail feature!

I hope your weekend, end of year, and daily like stays sunny everyone! ☀

Take care!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Photo “FIN” ish 📷🦈🐟🏃‍♀️

 Bitmoji Image

Are you running the race this week? Feeling like no matter how hard you push, you cannot get ahead? Well, hang in there…grab a cup of water and keep going. You’re in the final lap, and no matter how hard it is, you’ll look back this summer and miss it.  This is when you realize, and your students realize, that they are not going to see you for a while. For some of us, that is a very sad loss that we may need to mourn. For some of our kids, we are the constant. We are the love. When it gets tough in these last few weeks, remember it is that loss, anxiety, and sadness that may be showing itself as difficult behaviors. So, what can we do? We can give our kids, and ourselves, something to hold onto.  What is that? How about a photo slideshow/video.

In my years of teaching, I made a photo slideshow to music every year.  I showed pictures from our entire time together. And you know what? My former students still go onto YouTube and watch them, and I do too. I miss my kiddos sometimes, just as much as they miss me. I loved them like my own children, and they knew it.  When your students are feeling sad this summer or lonely, which many will, they can easily pull out their phone/tablet/device and watch the happiest memories from the year. For some, this could be their happiest moments ever. I know that’s hard to swallow, but it’s true. We all like to reminisce and these types of tech items allow us to do just that! So, let’s take a look below at some tools and tips that can make creating these shows quite easy!

Complete it all on your phone

Most likely, the photos you are taking are on your phone anyway, right? So, use the tech built right into your phone. This makes it pretty easy!  With a Google Phone, Google Photos will create a nice slideshow for you.  With an iPhone, you can use the “memories” function and it is SO VERY EASY!  Take a look below.


Here’s how to make the videos:

And here’s how to send them to YouTube:

Use Google Slides

There’s a GREAT add-on in Google Slides that will dump ALL of your photos into Google Slides. You could simply play music and launch the slide show! First, you will need to upload your photos to your Drive from your phone.  TIP – if you have LIVE photos (iPhone users) they will need to have the “live” option turned off.

Upload the photos:

Use the photoSlideshow Add-on

This will allow you to dump all your photos at once into slides!

Add in self-playing music with Screencastify

First, you will need to enable Screencastify with Slides.  Take a look below at the video and how to do this:

Publish the video to share

Next, you will need to find the music you would like and also publish your Slides. Take a look below at how to do this:

Adobe Spark Video

Of course, Adobe Spark Video is also a great option. This will be a bit more time consuming as you have to enter the photos one by one, but it’s much easier when intertwining video + audio.

Copyright Free Music

If you’re looking for music that is copyright free, which I highly recommend, you can check out the resources below:

Free Music To use in Google Slides (Richard Byrne Post)

How to download YouTube’s royalty free music

Lastly, don’t forget to give everyone a way to access your creation over the summer. It will mean the world to many of our students!

Please reach out if you would like any help with this awesome project. Enjoy these last few weeks with your students!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Here are my past students – LOVE them 💜

Don’t jump out of the fishbowl…you’re almost there! 🐟 👏

Bitmoji Image

Hi Friends! Can you believe we’re coming upon Memorial Day weekend? We are in that home stretch! Now is the time when we can reflect on our year. What went well? What could change?  What were the best parts of learning for our students? Well, let’s find out by asking THEM! The end of the year is a great time for some projects that truly demonstrate student learning throughout the year.  Let’s take a look below at some end of year student activities that encourage students to think about the year and offer you some valuable feedback.

End of Year Reflection

Slide Shows

Google Slides are a great go-to for end of year presentations. Students are pretty comfortable with this tool.  What’s even better, is that there are many pre-made templates out there you can use.  Feel free to take a look at any below. Use Google Classroom to push out to students and let them create! You’ll love seeing what they come up with and it’s great feedback to see what went well throughout the year. You can even take it a step further and show them off to parents, or to next year’s students.

Blank Template with subject areas 

This is a SUPER cute template from another blogger, Meredith Akers, that you can find on her site and use. I love her use of the tool RemoveBG which takes the background off any picture! Students could really have fun with that!

Slides Carnival has beautiful templates as well with very pretty, free, backgrounds.


An infographic is a fancy name for a digital poster.  I made a template below that you can feel free to use by clicking here.  Adobe Spark and Canva also have beautiful, free, templates that students can use to make some awesome infographics about their year!


Videos are always my favorite!  There are so many options for video projects the students can create. Personally, I LOVE Flipgrid, Screencastify, and Adobe Spark Video.  All three tools are SUPER user-friendly and extremely engaging. The best part…you end up with a really beautiful product that you can show again and again. Click here if you would like an overview of Flipgrid and Screencastify.  Take a look at an AWESOME use of Adobe Spark Video below created by Meg McGovern!

Click here for an overview of Adobe Spark Video. 

Looking for even more ideas?  Take a look at my “End of Year” category of my blog! You will find previous years’ posts with plenty of activities! Let me know if you want any help putting these ideas into action! The students will have a blast, and as a result, you will learn what really stuck with them!

Have a great, long weekend!

Bitmoji Image

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Lift-you-up Fish

Bitmoji Image

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 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!):


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.


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


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 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.


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 🐬 🚂 🗃

Bitmoji ImageBitmoji ImageBitmoji Image

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.

Image result for cone of learning

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?


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.

🚂 🚂 🚂

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 🚣‍♀️ 🐟

Bitmoji Image

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

Bitmoji Image

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 🐟 🐟 🐟