Stay Afloat this Summer…. ⛵ 🐟 😂

Wooohoooo!

Happy Summer Everyone! We made it! 😎 It was a pleasure working with you and THANK YOU to all of those who had me in or who reached out in some way! I’m already thinking of ways to make technology integration bigger and better for next year, so stay tuned! In fact, I was so busy in this endeavor last week, I neglected my weekly blog post for the first time! Can you believe it?! I know you must have missed me 😉!

Although I plan to FULLY enjoy my summer, I find that if I don’t keep up at least a little with technology integration over the summer that I come back to a lot of catch-up work. It helps me to “stay afloat” in the summer with tech, so my post this week outlines a few great ways one can do that. You can check in as little or as much as you want! You could also just reference this post in the fall 🙂

Twitter 🐦

I find the BEST, most up-to-date tech lessons, ideas, and strategies on Twitter!  I have a few FAVORITE bloggers that I follow who post regularly and I keep them in my cheat sheet here.  I also follow @Masscue which will often retweet great posts from other Massachusetts Educators.  You can also follow me, I also retweet great things I see @MrsErinFisher.  I absolutely LOVE Twitter chats and have made so many new friends by being a part of a few.  Twitter is a great way to see the latest and greatest tech updates!

Read and Write! 📝

I LOVE to read, but I LOVE to write even more.  This year I wrote my weekly blog and also a few tech articles for various publications on Tech PD Days and EdTech Coaching.  Reading educational books and also writing about education, even just to be reflective (like my blog), help me to keep my skills “afloat.”  I plan to read Lead like a Pirate this summer as well as a whole lot of fiction! I also hope to write a few posts over the summer and keep a summer journal with my own children as we write about our favorite days.

MASSCUE 💻

Check out the MASSCUE site, as they are hosting not one, but 2 GooglePaloozas this summer for a VERY cheap rate! MASSCUE offers so much PD, most of which is free for members.  This is a fantastic organization! Consider joining – one incentive are the grants they award to members who write an application…up to $3000!

FishinOnAMission 🐟

Lastly, check back here! You may see me post a little over the summer 🙂 🐟

Other stuff 🏆

As we finish up the year, I also wanted to include a few wrap-up items…

End of Year Video/Slide Shows 📹

I’ve seen so many GREAT picture slide shows at the different schools.  iMovie seems to be a favorite, but our new District-wide Technology Coordinator told me about OpenShot! It looks like a great alternative, and it appears it would work really well with Google Drive on a Chromebook. BONUS – it’s free. Check it out below and consider it for next year’s project!

I used iMovie for this GEM below which we made for Kathy Raulinaitis’s retirement. She is my former partner when I taught 6th grade.

Pear Deck AWESOMENESS 🍐

Pear Deck just came out with 30 PREMADE AWESOME DECKS! They all focus on internet skills and involve some GREAT lessons, including how to determine “fake news.” The best part – ALREADY MADE FOR YOU! Check it out!

https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en/slides

 

I wish you all a FINTASTIC summer! 🦈

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Cast the line….into next year! 🎣 🐟

Can you feel it? Can you sense it….because it’s coming! I’m talking about SUMMER of course! Our time as teachers to rest and rejuvenate and take in some “transformative technology.” However, before this glorious time begins, let’s talk about some tasks we can do to finish out our year strong and make it just a little easier to come back!

Clean up: 

Much like our own classrooms, our own Google accounts could use some cleanup and packup as well! Check out the recommended tasks below! I assure you, you will thank yourself when you come back next year if you tend to these items now!

Google Drive 🚙

Cleaning up your Drive and sorting and organizing items will allow you to feel a sense of relief when returning next year. You can clean both your Drive and your Shared with me Drive with a few easy steps.  See the video below. This would even be a great activity to complete with your students as well!

Email ✉️

No one wants to leave with a full inbox.  View this quick video to see how to Archive all of your emails in one easy step. This clears it from your inbox but saves it in an Archive folder in case you ever need to locate that one particular email.  I never delete an email, only Archive, because I never know if I need to dig up something important!

Google Classroom 🏫

NEVER TOUCH THE GOOGLE CLASSROOM FOLDER IN YOUR DRIVE! However, you will need to clean up your Google Classrooms themselves.  Be sure to pass back all student work that was turned in. This will return ownership of items to the student.  See the link here for more information on that.

Like Email, you may want to Archive your current classes.  This is highly recommended by Google as well. This way new students and/or staff cannot see previous announcements and assignments that may not apply to them. You can always “reuse” posts from year to year which is the beauty of Google Classroom.  Be sure to go in and make sure all of your announcements and/or assignments have a topic assigned. This will help you when looking for particular items next year.

Prepare some Items to start your Year 

How nice is it to come back and be like “Oh yeah, I have this whole first-day thing ready to go!” ?  Well, read below for some quick and easy ideas of how you can prepare some items ahead. Please reach out if you need any assistance!

Parent Surveys 📋

Google Forms are such a POWERFUL tool!  If you already send home a “tell me about your child” type of survey, consider sending it home via Google Forms.  The benefit of this is it will put the information in a beautiful, organized spreadsheet for you.  Here is an example I’ve used in my own classroom. You could also have a few devices available at Open House for parents to fill this out as well, in the event you don’t get responses. You can use your SchoolBrains parent emails to easily email out the survey (see video below)! Book me today if you would like any assistance preparing this for next year!

Student Surveys 📝

Again, Google Forms are a great tool and surveying students will give you some very useful data for future use!  Bill Silva, Biology Teacher at the East Bridgewater JRSRHS, sends a form to his students. It provides him useful contact information so he can contact his AP students over the summer!

You can also survey your own students at the beginning of the year to see how they feel about certain subject areas. I’ve used this in an anonymous format to get more honest answers.  I gave out the form a few times throughout the year to reassess how students are feeling about themselves in the specific subject area. Consider preparing a survey now to give students at the beginning of school, it may help you get to know your students better! Click here to see the example.

First Day Activities 🥇

Aside from a Google Form, an interactive Pear Deck on the first day is a whole lot of fun and can provide you GREAT data in a nice organized spreadsheet! I’ve made this particular Deck for you to use (click here), with questions provided by Pear Deck. Feel free to modify it to suit your own needs if you would like to use it. Just remember to add the Pear Deck add-on for Slides. You may need the add-on installed before making the copy, this way the questions appear. When presenting to click the GREEN present with Pear Deck button. See the video below for assistance.

Please reach out for any assistance in making your last few days, or your first few days, a little easier. I am here for you!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Activities for the End of your Line 🎣

Hello hello fishy friends! It is June, and you know what that means?! We are at the “end of the line” and ready to “reel it in.”  It feels good to be at that finish line, doesn’t it? We’ve worked hard all year, with our students and with each other!  This is the time of year where we can reflect on our practice, and also have students reflect on the year.  There are some great activities integrating technology that you can use with your students in the reflection process.  I posted these activities last year as well as below, and added a few new ones!

Google Sites – Digital Portfolios! 

  • How about a digital portfolio?  Students can use the new Google Sites to easily create a portfolio of their best work from the school year! I’ve been in with second grade, sixth grade, and a select group of seventh and eighth graders to create digital portfolios. They are coming out beautifully and the kids really enjoy creating them. This would be a great activity for the end of year reflection and also a great tool to follow students as they move through our schools.  Book me today, and I can come in and assist you with Digital Portfolios!

Infographics 

Using Google Draw (here’s an example I made here)

  • You could create an infographic based on the grade level – “5th-grade memories” or “year in review
    • You are more than welcome to use this template I created (it will force the copy) to have the students create a “year in review” infographic – it’s blackboard themed.
  • You could have students create a memory board similar to those blackboard charts parents use – but use school memories (see here)
  • You could create an infographic based on content – “Science in a snapshot
  • You could create an “inspirational” infographic and hang them up around your room for students to see next year! 
  • You could create a sequential infographic that goes with a process writing
  • You could create an infographic that shows a cycle (water cycle, life cycle etc)
  • You could create an interactive (with hyperlinks) infographic

Memory book 

  • Using Google Slides
    • You can create a template – or use mine here (very simple) – to have students create a memory book of the year.  Push it out through Google Classroom in order to make a copy for each student. You can then show these to students on the first day of school. Let students alter backgrounds, fonts, colors, and pictures to really get creative.
  • Using Google Form
    • Create a Google Form asking students about the year. Here you can frame the questions in a way to get answers you would want to use.
    • You can use Autocrat to turn the responses into an actual Google Doc and you can make it all sorts of pretty. You can download the Doc as a PDF or publish the doc as a site. Here is an example of one I made from a form.  This type of assignment would take booking me for the conversion or you can watch the video here of how to use Autocrat.
  • Using Screencastify and Slides
    • Google Slides now allows videos (NOT on Youtube) to be embedded into slides. You could provide questions for your students and have them video the answers. From there, you can have them insert the videos into their own Slides presentation or a master copy you created that would show the whole class.  This would be fun to share with parents as well, and it would be in a safe space (Drive) which can be shared with specific people and not the whole world. You could ask questions such as, “What was your favorite lesson this year? What was your favorite activity/memory? etc”

Create a Commercial (from Edutopia) 

    • Host a class competition where students cast a vote and give an award to the team that produces the most clever, creative 30-second advertisement for your grade level/classroom/content area. Decide first as a class on the product to be pitched (plan, design, critique). Animoto is a GREAT FREE site that could assist with this commercial making or POWTOON. Animaker and iMovie (iphones/ipads) also work well! PowToon is great for comics too!

Hyperdocs 

    • Have students really help you out and have them create a Hyperdoc based on a lesson or concept you taught this year.  Once the student shares it with you, you can “File – Make a Copy” and use it next year. Here is an example I created using one of the templates on the Hyperdocs site.  There are great templates here that students can use.  There are also hyperdocs already created for you to use, and students could look at for ideas.

Flipgrid or Let’s Recap 

    • If you haven’t tried Flipgrid or Let’s Recap yet, this may be the time to do it.  Both sites are free and allow you to present a question or topic. The student then answers the question or topic with a picture or video response. Once they answer and submit the response, they lose the rights to it (unlike Screencasting). Only you, as the teacher, have the rights to the video within the platform. You cannot download or repost the videos, but you can share with students and parents via a code if you choose.  You approve the videos for viewing after you watch them. Let’s recap will put them into a montage for you, which is the only benefit that site has right now on Flipgrid. Students really enjoy using these sites! Warning – you will need a quiet space if recording video with a full class of kiddos.

Have fun with Bitmoji (grades 7-12) 

    • Have students create a collage of the year in review – or any topic for that matter, using Bitmojis.  They can edit the bitmojis and create something a bit more personal. See my video here for a tutorial.  Here is an example of Bitmoji art that I created to show off my year.

Google Sheet WordSearch! – Alice Keeler  

    • This is pretty cool! Let me know if you want/need help getting going with this. Take a custom list and make a word search in Google Sheets to push out to the kids via Classroom. Better yet, have the kids make one! Click here for this resource.

Comics! 

http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/eBooks/

    • These downloadable, interactive comic templates are pretty cool. Kids can make 9 different reflective e-books simply by entering text into the boxes. There is also a comic site where they can create short comics click here
Please let me know if you have any ideas for a cool end-of-year technology integration activity! Be sure to check in next week when I post my ideas on End-of-Year teacher activities like slideshows and surveys to make your start of next year even easier!

Have a great weekend everyone!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher  🐟 🐟 🐟