Fish Bits 🐟 🍣

I always like doing a post every so often on the little things! Some of them are reminders of things we knew but no longer use, thins we sometimes forget and others that are brand new! This week, a few small tips and tricks that make tech a little easier! Sometimes, it’s these small tasks that make us more productive, and even happier!


Shout out to Brian Duffey who sent this to me! It was also featured on Alice Keeler’s blog…it’s PRETTY cool! It will save you some time. This works for all Google Applications, simply type the name of the application with a .new after and BOOM – a new item opens. See the example video below:

Customize the Text 

Do you print articles or worksheets?  The extension Print Friendly certainly isn’t new to the scene, but how often we forget these little tools and their power! Check out my video below of how one can customize an item online to suit student needs!

ONE Google Form 

This one is HUGE and comes from Jen Judkins.  How many times have you duplicated your Google Form so you could give it to a different class? Well, no more!  Actually, this was always an option…I just didn’t think of it! Jen is so smart! Check out her video below, and her blog post here.  You can give your SINGLE Google Form to multiple groups, year after year, and still see all of the data! BRILLIANT!

Text the Parents! 

Ok, ok…don’t really text them (unless you are friends of course), but this week my life was made so much easier because of my sons’ teachers use of parent communication applications. I cannot tell you how much easier this makes my life, and as a result, how much more involved I am with my sons’ educations. I know it’s one more layer to add to our ever-increasing job as teachers, but if the result is parent involvement and student achievement, then isn’t it worth it? I love this Sheet created by Jessica Meacham. She has included so much detail and does a nice overview of all of the different parent communication apps. I add this to my own Drive and check it every so often (Click “File – Add to My Drive”).  Whether it’s Dojo, Remind, SeeSaw or one of the many others – this type of communication tool goes a long way!   If you would like assistance using any of these awesome tools, reach out! I know as a parent myself, I really appreciate the time and effort my sons’ teachers put into using these tools!

Always share the little things! It’s these little things that can help us all so very much!

Hope you enjoyed those little Fish Bits!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟



This week, more than any of the week of the year is when I learn the most in EdTech and have the most self-reflection.  As we all know, I LOVE technology. More importantly, however, I love when technology is used in purposeful ways. I think Michael Fullan said it best: Pedagogy is the driver; Technology is the accelerator. One of the greatest benefits of technology is it can be very engaging for many when used the right way. On the flip side, it can be the greatest bore for our kids when it is used as just a file system to complete digital worksheets.  So, how is technology accelerating your teaching? How are you using it to ENGAGE and MOTIVATE? If you’re thinking, well I just have kids complete worksheets and write Docs, let’s try something NEW!  Take a look at a few of the AWESOME presentations from MASSCUE below and maybe you can pick up a new engaging tool!


HUGE SHOUT OUT to Ginny McCarthy, Tori Cameron, and Stacy Linnehan for all presenting at MassCue! Ginny presented on Hyperdocs and engaging today’s learner, Tori presented on Podcasting since she has her own Podcast, and Stacy presented on Assistive Tech and how it’s used in her classroom. You ROCKED it!! I’m so honored to be your colleague!

If you haven’t presented at this state-wide conference, but may want to, reach out to these amazing teachers! They can let you know about their experience.

Presentations that Engage

I won’t share all of the great presentations, but I’ll give you a few that our staff attended and RAVED about! There are many engaging tips, tricks, and tools in these presentations. Sometimes trying just one new thing makes a big difference with engagement. What will you try? Let me know!

 MassCue18 Pics

Part of the fun of the MassCue conference are the pictures we take around the stadium! One lucky teacher (not from EB) even got to meet Tom Brady as he was leaving the stadium. Lucky!!! Take a look at some of our fun below!

Tips of the week:


This one comes from my very good friend, and super awesome techie, Neal Sonenberg Technology Integration Specialist in Medfield! Do you use Sheets? Well, Neal is the GURU with Sheets and taught me SO MUCH at his session at MassCue this week.  Here’s a very small snippet of what he showed that was an GREAT trick! Simply double click that little blue dot in the corner and it will send the copy and paste data all the way down!

OMG – ScreenCastify Add-On for Slides 

Didn’t even get the chance to try this yet, it’s THAT new! The add-on Screencastify for Slides JUST came out. I LOVE Screencastify and use it for all of my videos! Check it out and let me know how it goes!


I hope, in some way, I’ve given you something to try out! Engaging our students makes all the difference. Thank you to all of you, who continue to inspire me!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟


SpookToberFish 🤡 🐟 🎃 💀

 🔮 ☠️👻 SpookToberFish 👻 ☠️ 🔮

Are we feeling a little spookiefish this time of year? I know I am!! My weekends are filled with Pumpkins, harvest festivals, and haunted gatherings! What a fun time for a student, especially our younger ones! Remember how exciting Halloween was as a child?! It’s even more fun now as adults! We can bring this month’s themes into the classroom as well, and I’m sure it will make your students smile! After all, who doesn’t like a brain break with the Bones dance below?! Enjoy some spooky-themed tech below!

Halloween Magnetic Poetry 

This is a great post by Shake-Up Learning that gives you a FREE template for Magnetic Poetry in Google Drawings.  Check out the link below, this would be a great ELA activity!

Halloween Emoji Writing 

This is a great post by Eric Curts who has a FREE template for you to use or shows you how to use your own. It talks about Rebus stories which are stories that contain pictures and words. For instance, instead of the word apple, you would put a picture within the sentence of an apple. These are common at the younger levels in storybooks. Check out Eric Curts post below, it’s GREAT!    (this post also contains his Jack-O-Lantern activity – where students can create their own digital Jack-O-Lantern and write about it!)

See a video of how to do this below:

FREE Halloween Slides Templates by Slides Carnival 

Slides Carnival is a great site that provides hundreds of beautiful Slides templates and images that are free from copyright and safe to use. They even have themed templates including Halloween!  In fact, Eric Curts used one in his famous Jack-o-Lantern Activity! Simply click this link here to see the three Halloween options for Slides Templates. Create your activity using these templates and the kids will smile!

Two Halloween HyperDocs 

Here are two, similar yet different, Halloween HyperDocs. Be sure to review all links prior to pushing out to students to ensure they are appropriate for your age level.

Example 1

Example 2


Believe it or not, I love this idea so much more than the techie activities listed above. What I love about this resource, even more, is that it’s using technology to encourage non-technology activities! Together We Are Better! Take a look here at this awesome crowd-sourced Pumpkin spreadsheet of ideas!


Who doesn’t like a little rainbow in their life 🌈?! If you’re familiar with the add-on for Docs, this is the add-on for SLIDES! WOohoo!!! No more copying and pasting!


What spooky tech will you be using this month? Something fun I hope, feel free to share! 🎃 🎃 🎃

oFISHally spoookily yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟


PearFish – The Game Changer 🐟 🍐

PearFish – the GAME Changer

Happy Fall Everyone! 🍂

This time of year I find myself at the farm quite a bit. We apple pick 🍎, we pumpkin pick 🎃, we go get mums 🌻, and who doesn’t like some fresh fall produce 🌶️! Fall in New England gives us so many gifts from the Earth! Naturally, it got me thinking about fruit! You know what is a favorite fruit of mine…Pears 🍐! Coincidentally, these are also in season right now in New England for picking! The focus this week is on my favorite fruit 🍐, and my favorite EdTech tool which has undergone some MAJOR upgrades! Take a look at the “Pearfect” tool to use in the classroom, for all ages, below!


Pear Deck Vocabulary 

Are you a fan of QUIZLET? I hope so, because it’s a GREAT program! It’s even better when “peared” with Pear Deck Vocabulary, a FREE resource! Pear Deck vocabulary allows students to APPLY the vocabulary words, rather than just learn them in a rote manner (word, definition, memorize). The best part, it takes no extra effort if you’re already using Quizlet AND, even better, students LOVE it.  Take a look at the video below and consider trying this AWESOME tool! I promise you’ll love this new way to review vocabulary!

If you don’t use Quizlet, you can also use Pear Deck Vocabulary by itself. Simply type your words and definitions in, or import from a spreadsheet! The ways to use this tool are endless – check out the article for ideas below!

Great ways to use Pear Deck Vocabulary

Click here to sign-in to Pear Deck Vocabulary

Pear Deck – The Orginal 

What can I say?! No EdTech tool has my heart more than Pear Deck.  I discovered this tool, through an Edtech friend, about five years ago when they were just a baby company, well before their integration with Google Slides.  This tool truly was a game changer in my classroom and my students LOVED it. They asked to use it EVERY DAY! It is so engaging and can do SO MUCH! Last year, I even wrote a blog post for Pear Deck about my love for their product. You can read that here. There is not a tool out there that acts quite like this tool! Self-paced, or whole group – see the engagement!

The Orchard  

Did you know Pear Deck has an orchard with premade decks? Check it out below! Also, if you’re an avid user of Pear Deck consider submitting a deck, because as I always say…Together, We are Better!

The NEW Pear Deck Extension 

If you’re already a Pear Deck user, you know that animated Gifs and Video can be tricky. Gifs lose their animation when presenting, and videos can present in poor quality and only on the main screen not student devices. Well, this is NO MORE with the new Pear Deck extension.  Click here to download the extension.  Leave it to Pear Deck to make themselves even MORE “pearfect!”


I cannot say enough about this tool! Please reach out today and I would LOVE to walk you through creating and presenting a Deck or trying out Vocabulary so you can see the magical pearfection!  If you’re attending the MassCue Fall Conference, check out my session on PearDeck as well for more!

Tip of the week – GRAMMARLY in DOCS! 

So, unrelated to my theme this week, but certainly needs a mention, Grammarly is now in BETA FOR EVERYONE in Google Docs! Check out the article here, and give it a try! Beta means its still being worked out so it may not run perfectly. However, try it and tell them. The only way they will improve is through feedback…because TOGETHER WE ARE BETTER!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟


PS – Stay tuned for next week’s post where I include some SPOOKTACTULAR Fishy Tech Tools for Halloween! 🎃 🐟

Reading “On(the)line” 📖 🎣

Happy End of September Everyone!!

We made it! First month (almost) in the books! I always hum Green Day’s “When September Ends” this time of year. Honestly, I find it so much easier once this month has passed.  Having our new routines established, and our groove back, makes me feel so much more comfortable. And this Weather! A little cooler is a bit easier to be in school!

This week I’ve had quite a few teachers reach out about ways to read online.  Hoopla, OverDrive, Libby, Epic and Bookshare are all GREAT options. The best part….they’re FREE!!!  Let’s take a look at what’s on the line, and how to read online, below!

Let’s Read: Free eCard from Boston Public Library!

Hopefully, you have a library card from your local library network! If so, you have so many titles and media available to you FOR FREE from the comfort of your home! However, if you don’t have a library card – or you’re avoiding that overdue charge from your local library 😜 – you can sign up for an Ecard from Boston Public Library and you don’t have to leave your computer! Even if you do have a library card, consider also signing up for a Boston Public Library card as well. The advantage of having multiple library cards is a greater variety of content!   Click here to access BPL and sign up!

Now, let’s take a look at the best ways to access FREE digital media!  Check out how to read online, and what I have for you “on the line” below:

Read in your Browser – OverDrive

You can read directly on your Chromebook or PC! Simply go to the library of your choosing and access the Sails Digital Resources site! This will require a library card. Take a look at the video below to see how to read on your screen!


Hoopla is another AMAZING service offered by some public libraries.  East Bridgewater and Boston Public Libraries both offer the Hoopla service. Although you may have a Sails Library card, it will matter what library is your “home base” to access the Hoopla service.  Hoopla is both a website and app, but the difference between this and the other library apps like OverDrive and Libby is that it also has a TV component as well. Hoopla has a lot of FREE digital media, in addition to great ebooks! Hoopla is available on all of the devices and app stores below:


Libby (click here) is an app created by OverDrive. Like OverDrive you can access digital books and media free through your local library. However, Libby has a sleeker design and is a bit quicker in terms of downloading ebooks. See the comparison between Libby and OverDrive in this article here. Personally, for my needs, I like Libby since I like to access books quickly. However, for mixed media, it appears OverDrive may be a better fit! Either way, both OverDrive and Libby are a GREAT way to access FREE online ebooks and digital media (audio, video and print).  Both Libby and OverDrive are available on the Lenovo Chromebooks by going to the Google Play Store and are also available in the Apple Store as well as Android.   You will need a library card to access the content within these applications.

OverDrive is the original when it comes to online reading! What’s nice about OverDrive is it will recommend books based on your reading preferences! This site/app also requires a library card and provides you access to so many free items!  No late fees because the items are automatically removed from your device!


Epic is another GREAT free site that I’ve mentioned before! It’s awesome for grades preK-5 maybe 6. As a teacher, you create a class (syncs with Google Classroom of course) and from there, students can choose books to read or have read to them.  You can also create book sets and send them out to students.  This site is a HUGE favorite among many of our younger grades here in East Bridgewater, and it’s FREE!!! Click here to check out Epic!


Bookshare is another great, free, program that has any book, online! However, this program is limited and for those with a documented print disability.  It’s a great resource to find any book, even textbooks, online! Take a look at Bookshare here. 

Personally, I love to read! I hope some of these tools listed above give you some opportunities to read something new!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟



Get Caught in the Net! 🌏 🐟 🗑️

Get Caught in the Net: Google Sites!

Seriously, I’ve been so “caught like a fish” in the Net this week! Keeping up with all of the latest and greatest updates and changes, as well as keeping up with life (and three kids) can be a tad overwhelming 🤯 . September is just an overwhelming month for all of us in Education I think, in a good way. Worry not though because I am here for YOU to help you untangle the line!

Like many other apps, Google Sites had some MAJOR updates over the summer.  You may think, “My site is done and looks good, I don’t need this.” HOWEVER, these new updates could make your site look, and run, even better! Updates are always worth a  look because, usually, they are an improvement on the way it was originally done. We should always consider improvements because really, are we the BEST the first time? No, there is always room for growth 🌻!  So, let’s take a look at what’s caught up in my net this week and maybe it can help make your site that 1% better!

Google Sites 

Google Sites are a great tool for teachers and students. It can be used for a Teacher Website, but also can be utilized for so much more! I’ve seen it used for portfolios, projects and professional development! Google came out with the new version of Sites in 2016, and this means that eventually, the former version will go away. You can read about there here.   Always feel free to reach out if you want to make a new site or use Sites in a new way!

NEW Header Type – COVER MODE 

You can now have your Header Image be the entire home page for your Google Site. This may give your initial page a cleaner look! It also provides a nice arrow if you have content below. You have to see this to know what I mean…check out my example below!


“My buttons, my buttons, my GOOGLE groovy buttons!”  Like my Pete the Cat reference there? Seriously, Google Sites has added a Button Feature.  This feature allows websites to be placed on the page as a cute little button! When paired with the new layouts, this can give your site a nice, clean look!


There are now quite a few options for layouts for your Google Site! Again, this is another update that can give your site a nice, clean look. Take a look at my short video below to see an example!


New Link 

Have a website you like visitors of your site to access?  Consider using the “link” feature under pages.  Check out the brief video below to see what I mean!


Would you like to embed items on your websites like a Twitter feed, booking calendar or another widget? Now you can!!!  As long as you have the embed code, you should be able to put the item on your site! Take a look below.


Don’t you just love gettin’ Googly with Sites? I know I sure do!  What new feature will you try?! Let me know!

Have a great day everyone!  

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher  🐟 🐟 🐟





“WAVE” to the Camera 🌊 👋 📸 🐟

Another great week was had here in East Bridgewater 😀! I have had the pleasure of being between many classrooms and buildings this week, as I get in a record number of steps 👣! A big hit this week was VIDEO! For our PreK-6 classrooms, it was setting up and using the new document cameras 📸, and for 7-12 it was looking at video programs for the Chromebooks!  Having the ability to create and share video is huge right now in our school system, as I’m sure it is in many.  Creating video allows the teacher to remove him/herself from the front of the room. Students can work in small groups, get more one-on-one time with the teacher, and have the skill to go back to if the video is present! The best part – there are so many FREE tools to make these videos 📹! Let’s look at the WAVE 🌊 of options below!

Teacher Created Videos 

Did you know that you could use your document camera to create teacher-made videos?  Imagine a student being out, and all he or she needs to do is go to Classroom and watch your video. Imagine a class where you can take a small group to work with, while others watch the teacher-created video and you can later assist them. If you’re at Central School or Middle School this is an option for you! Reach out and we can talk!  Click here to access directions for your document camera

When not using a document camera, ScreenCastify is my personal favorite to use to make video tutorials, or just plain old video clips. This is a GREAT extension. It’s free and easy to use! Bonus – they just came out with some new editing tools as well!

Video Editing Tools for Student Projects 

I had done a previous post, click here, on some great options for student video projects.  However, this week I got to show a few newer tools to the students in 8th grade Enrichment with Mr. Shea and Mrs. Ronayne.  We took a look at WeVideo, Animoto, Openshot Editor, and just using the camera app on the Chromebook itself.  You can find the camera app on a Chromebook by hitting the magnifying glass key and displaying all the apps, or simply going into Apps on the toolbar. Once the video clips are made, it’s pretty easy to import them into any one of these programs, add music, pictures, and push it out to YouTube or Drive. What a great project idea!

The NEW Youtube Editor 

Coming soon….YouTube has just released the Beta version of YouTube Studio.  According to YouTube, soon they will release a new editor where you can cut, combine and add cards to your uploads! As this comes out, look for video from me highlighting the new features! For those that like video and video projects, check out the new YouTube Studio by clicking here.

Easily send video to Google Classroom 

One of the nicest things I’ve ever seen in Google Classroom, is when an administrator posted a video of students and teacher doing something well. All of the staff who saw it commented and it was a big love fest. It’s so great to celebrate the good that is happening all around us and it’s VERY EASY when using Google Classroom to do this!  First, install the Google Classroom App on your phone and/or ipad. Go into your settings and allow the Classroom app to access your photos/videos. Take a video as your normally would. Go find your video, and as if you would text it, choose the send button. When sending, choose the Classroom App and BOOM! It will put your video RIGHT into the Google Classroom of your choice. You can also add a description as well. What’s nice about this, is that the video is private between you and your class and/or staff! 

So much fun!!! What are you using in terms of video in your classroom? Let me know!

Have a great day, and thanks for catching the “wave!”

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher  🐟 🐟 🐟



Game Fish 🎣 🐟 🐠

KaHoot, Quizizz, Quizlet….Oh My! 🦁 🐯 🐻 

Do I have a great “catch” for you this week! It’s a large “game fish” 😉

As the dust settles, and the heat subsides, you may start thinking about how to first use the technology in your classroom.  A great first, easy, activity to try that can get the students really excited are three popular learning “game-like” sites: KaHoot, Quizizz, and Quizlet Live.  These sites may appear as games at first, but the learning, data, and collaboration that is built-in are well worth the time spent fishing! Take a look below at these great sites – even if you’re familiar with each you may learn a new tip as all three have updated!


This was the FIRST activity I ever tried when I received Chromebooks in my own classroom. It is just so much fun, and now, with recent updates, it’s even better! KaHoot needs student devices and a teacher projector.  Students answer questions in a fun, quiz-style format.  The data is displayed after each question and available for the teacher to download following the session (that’s new!).  There are plenty of premade KaHoots or you can create your own.  You can add music, images, video and more! There is team mode, or classic as well as the standard game or jumble!  This is a GREAT activity to “pull-in” on your line!


If you like KaHoot!, then you’ll LOVE Quizizz. This one is my personal favorite.  The data it generates (without having to download) is spectacular and students can go at their own pace. It has some fun features like memes after each question answered.  Bonus: It integrates with Google Classroom! Even better, there are thousands of premade Quizizzes! Check it out below!

Quizlet Live

Quizlet on its own is an AWESOME vocabulary site with many premade lists teachers have created.  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.  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!  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 below!

Tip of the Week: ANOTHER awesome Google Classroom Feature

Eric Curts had a great post this week that you can read here. It includes MORE Google Classroom updates! As of August 2018, any Google Classroom that is created can be COPIED, including all of its content!  This means you can easily copy your course, and then archive the previous year. You can then edit the title of the copied course. The best part is the copy will hold all of your upcoming announcements and assignments as DRAFTS! You can choose to reuse and edit old posts that are sitting there from the previous year or delete! SCORE! So, for those of you who use your old classrooms each year and just clear out kids, you may want to consider making a new class for this reason! This feature only exists in NEW Google Classrooms! AWESOME!!!!

Reach out if you plan to use these tools, I would love to see them in action!! Have a great time!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟


Fish Dish 🐟 🍽️

Hey hey!

You did it!!! First one in the books and what a GREAT first week! I’m so grateful to get to be a part of it in some small way, so thank you for taking the time to read my blog this week. As we progress through the year, we want to keep that positivity going and communication can be a key piece! So, let’s dish about how we can communicate and be proactive with students, parents, and each other! Check out my post below for some tools, tips and tricks that focus on communication! 😀 ✏️📬💻 📱 📞 ☎️

FUN Tip of the week – EMOJIS in Google Classroom! 😀🍉🐶🐸🐟  

This is FUN! Google Classroom, as many of us already use, is a great communication tool. So, let’s make it that 1% better by adding some emojis to our topics and/or assignments! Thank you, Suzana Somers, Easton Ed. Tech Director, for this great idea! Check the video below to see the AWESOMENESS! Sometimes it’s the little things that make our kids smile.

Email – use the NEW Contacts App  📧

Email is a GREAT way to communicate as long as we practice our prudence (thinking before we write/act). You may have noticed that your contacts are no longer within your GMAIL application. They are now a separate application.  Check out the video below for tips and tricks regarding contacts. Also, reach out EB teachers if you want a quick way to get parents into a contact group by using your School Brains parent information. The same goes for students groups too!

Newsletters 🗞️ 

Newsletters are a great way to communicate with parents and students. I know as a parent myself, I love receiving regular updates about classroom happenings or good questions to ask my kids or content that they’re learning about.  Even at the young age of 7, my sons tend to not want to always tell me about school. Google Docs has some nice premade template for Newsletters or you are welcome to use ones I’ve made which you can locate under templates in the Template Gallery! Take a look at the video below to learn more! For EB teachers, I can show you an EASY way you can send regular newsletters using Docs and SchoolBrains. Reach out for more information!

Google Classroom: The NEW ABOUT tab 🆕 

So, you may have noticed but the About Tab in Google Classroom is a thing of the past.  This is actually a good thing believe it or not! Why you ask? Well, in the past you would put all of your AWESOME content on the About Tab that kids needed all year long. However, you would have to repeat this process for all sections you teach since the About Tab was not reusable.  You would also need to recreate it each year. Well, now you can reuse your ABOUT information for all sections as well as from year to year.  Check out my video below inspired by Alice Keeler’s blog post which you can read here.  To learn all there is to know about the NEW Google Classroom, click here for a listing of 32 how-to videos.

Google Sites: Classroom Website 🖥️ 

A Classroom Website can be a great communication tool for parents and/or students to obtain useful information. Much like Google Classroom, Google Sites also had a major upgrade this summer! You can now do so much more the new version of sites, including image galleries (moving images like the district site), Embed your Twitter feed, have new site layouts, and add buttons! Check out this update from Google about the button feature and this one about layouts, so cool! Reach out if you want assistance with your classroom website!

Parent/Student Surveys: Google Forms 📝  

I talk so much about Google Forms – but it’s a GREAT way to communicate as well as assess. Answers can be anonymous or tracked.  The best part – all information is put in a handy-dandy spreadsheet that you can sort, and never lose! The video below shows one idea of a behavior log you could use to communicate with a parent regarding his or her child. Forms could also be used for surveys, check-ins, or collection of important information.

Phone Tech: Communication Apps 📝 

Some prefer email, while some prefer a quick phone app (similar to texting). Whether it’s Remind, SeeSaw, Bloomz, Dojo or one of the many other communication apps, there is an easy way to reach parents, students and/or colleagues with a phone app! Bonus: many of the phone apps all have an in-class component such as Dojo or SeeSaw! Take a look at this post which describes four of these popular apps or this chart which compares MANY of these tools, showing the pros and cons of each! Always talk to your administrator first about what app is appropriate/approved to use with parents and/or students.

In class: PearDeck 🍐 

Lastly, how do I not mention one of my FAVORITE pieces of tech that we purchase as a district: PearDeck.  This is simply an amazing tool that can be used from K to Adult Ed. Check out this deck below from Beth Barra that she used on the first day to communicate with ALL of her students. PearDeck gives every student a voice! If you want to see how to use this great resource, reach out!

In what ways do you communicate? Reach out and “let’s dish!”

Have a great weekend Everyone!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Fishin’ for Ideas that first week back? Take a “pike” below! 🎣 🐟

I am so PUMPED to share all of this GREAT stuff with you to start your best year yet!!! It’s almost here, and that first-day-of-school smell and feeling is so indescribable.  If you’re in education, you know what I’m talking about! Endless possibilities are ahead! This year is a blank slate, so how are YOU going to make it AWESOME?! Below, I’ve provided a few ideas to get your tech started, whether it be with organization or some activities! Remember, I’m here FOR YOU, so reach out anytime! 

It all begins with Google Classroom….

The best way to start with students, using technology, is to first set up your Google Classroom.This will allow you a place to push out the tech activities you wish to use.  The slides below, from Susan Herder fellow Google Certified Trainer, are a great resource to see how to use Google Classroom.  Even veterans of Google Classroom may want to check it out since Classroom had a MAJOR overhaul!  The Google Classroom FAQ page answers some great questions such as: “Where is my About Page?” Click here for that resource. 

Remember – it’s best practice, and suggested by Google, to set up a new classroom each new year.  All new features will not be available in older Classrooms, including notification settings. 

This post from Google for Education is also a great resource with videos showing how to set up and utilize the NEW Google Classroom: Click here.

Let’s set up those Chromebooks/Chrome Browser to optimize use!

These tips are helpful for both staff and students! Take a look below and try these for yourself, and with your students to streamline Chromebook use.

Set your Homepage and Opening tabs 

Great for littles, but great for me! I love when I start up Chrome and my opening page is exactly where I left off, or a few tabs open that I’ve specifically set! Spend a minute or two setting this up, and it will save you time in the long run! You could use Google Classroom to assist with this for littles, simply put the links in you want them to copy and paste into their settings.

Bookmark Bar 

This is the first video I ever made in my current position, and you can tell, but the content still holds true! Be sure to be LOGGED IN to Chrome so your bookmarks stick! If you’re on a Chromebook, you are automatically logged in.  If you need help with logging into Chrome, watch this video (by me) here.

Rearrange the Waffle 

I love this one….getting my Apps in order just makes me happy.

First-week student activities: Getting to know YOU

Many of us use some of those first moments to get to know our students or to find out useful information from parents.  Take a look below for a few great ideas of first week “getting to know you” activities:

Google Form Surveys 

I LOVE Google Forms! As a teacher, I used it to survey students and parents.  It’s easy to create and to push out to anyone! Super Score – it puts the answers in a handy-dandy spreadsheet that you can access at any time! I liked to use it to have kids rate themselves at the beginning of the year, mid-year, and end of the year. It was great to see how their own opinions of themselves as students change over time. Google Forms recently updated as well, giving it more options for colors, fonts, and themes! FUN! Click here to see the example.

Back to School Pear Deck (fun! and made for you) Image result for peardeck

Click here for a back-to-school Google Slide Deck that I modified from Pear Deck.  You will need the Pear Deck Add-on installed in Slides to use this. From there, open the Add-on and click the GREEN “Present with Pear Deck” button.  Feel free to modify this Slide Deck to suit your needs. Students will enjoy this activity, and you will enjoy getting to know each and every one of them! Pear Deck gives every student a voice, even those who may be shy to share on that first day. It allows students to share in an anonymous format, however, you as the teacher can see the student’s voice.

Have Students make YOU a Quizizz (or KaHoot)! 

This is a GREAT idea that came from Alice Keeler! In her first week back, she had students create short Quizizz games that showcased their interests. Then she had her class play the games. It was an opportunity for students to get to know each other in a FUN and interactive way! Click here for an overview of Quizizz.

Setting Goals 

As educators, we all set goals for ourselves so why not do this with our students? It’s important to have goals, hopes and dreams! See below for some techy ideas to set your goals!

Vision Boards 

This post comes from Kasey Bell of Shake Up Learning! She suggests using Google Slides for Vision Boards! It’s pretty cool! Have the students visualize what they hope to achieve during the school year and make it into a presentation. Read more about this idea and others here! Also, see the example below:

Hopes and Dreams HyperDoc  

This HyperDoc, click here, has some great activities connected to one’s Hopes and Dreams for the upcoming school year! If you’re a practicing teacher of Responsive Classroom, this could be a great pick for you!

For Fun

Lastly, how bout a little fun?! Google does it again with the Emoji Scavenger Hunt! Could be a fun first-week activity! Click Here!

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU!!! What are your first week of school ideas? I’d love to hear them!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟