Distance Learning

I love the internet

Whether you’re just thinking about distance learning now, or you’ve used a flipped model for years, there are so many (free) tools out there to assist you.  The benefit is anything you make to use for distance learning can be used in the future for classroom learning. For instance, let’s say you start creating videos solely for the reason of school closure – those videos can be used again in the future as a practice resource or small group activity.  Flipped instruction takes time upfront, but putting the time in now will allow for less time spent later! Let’s take a look at some great resources for distance or flipped instruction.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is an incredibly powerful option to engage students outside of our classroom walls.  Post materials including videos and links, questions, assignments, and announcements to keep your learners current with the curriculum. I know in my own district of East Bridgewater, teachers use this tool frequently. When students come back from a trip or illness, a teacher will simply state, “Check Google Classroom for your missed work.”  This is a wonderful way to make learning accessible.  Below, I’ve included my tip of “Chrome at Home” which shows how students can sign in to their own Chrome account at home and access Google Classroom as well as a Google Classroom Tutorial that has many tips and tricks.

Screencastify

Screencastify integrates with Google Classroom as well and is a GREAT tool to provide students with video instruction.  In 30 seconds or less, you can create the video, click a button and send it to Classroom.  It’s quick, it’s easy, and it allows students access to your lesson via video.  You could go one step further and use your video in Google Slides with PearDeck or pull it into EdPuzzle and add questions! This has been a favorite tool of mine for YEARS!

PearDeck Student Paced Mode

Do you already teach your class using Google Slides? If your answer is yes, consider putting your slides in student-paced mode.  Students can then access your slides via Google Classroom and work on them at their own pace.  You, as the teacher, can them return to the Slide Deck and see student responses. Click here to learn more.

If you do not have Pear Deck Premium and find that you will need it due to school closings, you can request access here. 

I have included how to use Pear Deck for remote access below as well as a Pear Deck Slides Tutorial.

EdPuzzle

If you teach with video, including video you create, EdPuzzle is a great option that syncs with Google Classroom and will allow you to see REAL time data.  You can see how many students, and which students, viewed the video.  Even better, EdPuzzle prevents skipping so students HAVE to watch it.  You can add questions and checkpoints and EdPuzzle will grade it for you! This is a VERY userfriendly tool to use.  Check out this video below by Richard Byrne of how to use this great tool and access more information about EdPuzzle here.

Kami

Recently, Kami offered all users free premium access for distance learning in light of recent school closings in part of the country.  Kami Premium integrates with Google Classroom quite easily.  Check out Kami and how to use it by clicking here.

For more:

If you are interested in this topic, check out the interview here that was recently conducted with an American teacher in China going through school closure, and distance learning, right now. It’s quite interesting.

Do you have a favorite tool for flipped instruction? Share it!

TRULY take care everyone,

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Google Classroom: “Catch of the Day” 🎒🎣

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Hello hello!  How is your week?! BUSY?! Well, that’s an understatement! Many of us in education find ourselves running around, putting out some fires, while we try our very best to have a successful September.  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.  I just can’t ever say enough about this amazing tool.  It always allows for one to easily push out anything to students.  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!  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.  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.  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.  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.  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?  Shout it out and let me know!

Take care, everyone!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟🐟🐟

FINtastic Google Updates, Tips and Tricks 🦈🦈

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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?!  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!  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!  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 Image Google Form PERMANENT Exit Ticket

This one isn’t an update, but rather a tip from me.  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.  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.  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!  This feature is in Beta, which is important to remember.  Beta means it’s not perfect yet.  However, being able to check students’ work for plagiarism is going to benefit so many!  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?  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!  With Drive and Google Docs, you can pull the text and convert into a digital format!  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!  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 🐟🐟🐟

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

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

Google Preview – WHAT?!  Bitmoji Image

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

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

Schedule that Gmail! Bitmoji Image

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

Audio Clips in Slides – FINALLY! Bitmoji Image

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

Images in Sheets – within Cells! Bitmoji Image

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

Chromebook Simulator Bitmoji Image

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

Click Here to check it out!

Google Classroom – Topics are BACK Bitmoji Image

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

Tip of the week – AWESOME Jeopardy PPT Bitmoji Image

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

Click Here

 

PHEW THAT’S A LOT! Bitmoji Image

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

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

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

 

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 🐟 🐟 🐟

Hook ’em in: Using tech to build relationships ↩🎣️ 💙

Is there anything better than working with students? When you see the light go on? How full is your “bucket” after teacher appreciation week, last week? ☺ I certainly hope it is very full, and that your students sent you some love. We can take a look at education and talk about the variables that are beyond our control: kids are different today, families are different, standards are different, testing is different, technology is different, the administration is different, etc. However, what is not different is what is at the heart of education and that is relationships 👥 .  In relationships with students we as teachers make the choice and have complete control. We can choose to take on the difficult task of getting to know our students. I say difficult because often times we have to peel back the many layers of a youngster before getting to know him or her, and this takes time. Time is what we feel we don’t have, however, if you take the time it pays off during learning. It’s not always an easy world we live in, the demands of academia combined with social pressures and the internet fueling the fires 🔥, make it a difficult world for children to grow up in.  Many families are struggling and some of our kiddos are coming to school just holding it together. They need you, and not just as a teacher 💓. So, my focus this week is how technology can help build relationships with students.  What role can technology play in building warmth and trust with students? Well, read below to hear from a few of our very own on how they are doing just that! 

“Know ‘em so we can grow ‘em” 🌱

Google Classroom and Slides 

Tori Cameron, Grade 6 Teacher, says: During homeroom on google classroom I always have a question of the day. It can be about anything but usually has to do with timing during the school year. When I taught younger grades I used to have morning meeting and we always had a question of the day, so I wanted to keep up that kind of atmosphere in middle school. Throughout the year I have also given the students opportunities to create their own slides/videos on various topic to share with their class/friends.

Ginny McCarthy, Grade 6 Teacher, says: would turn the traditional sheets that ask them getting to know you questions to google slides where I could also use a program to show the students the results so they could tell who answered what. What is your favorite color etc… I also do big getting to know you poster. I was just thinking wouldn’t it be cool to scan them and create a digital presentation highlighting each child in the class! It could also run during Open House!

Laura McPhee, Grade 6 Teacher, says: I have them do an “all about me” Google Presentation at the beginning of the year.  They share them with the class so we can all get to know each other better.   I also do one myself.

These are GREAT Tori, Ginny, and Laura! I especially love how you combine the technology with a hands-on poster. Great blended learning!

💡 Idea: Start the year off with a Google Slides template you create about “getting to know you” and have students fill it in and personalize it. Sometimes having a template for them to fill in can be a bit easier for littles than a blank canvas
💡 Idea: The “Ask a question” feature is a great tool in Google Classroom that creates a blog-like atmosphere in a safe space. Consider using it, like Tori said, for a question of the day to get to know your class and they can get to know each other.  It also allows for practicing of typing skills!

Pear Deck 

Amy Ronayne, Gr. 8 ELA teacher, states: Although I don’t use technology explicitly to get to know students, it does allow me to understand them better. The biggest impact that technology has in my classroom is giving all students, especially the quiet students, a voice. Instead of me asking a question and hearing from the same 10 volunteers who always put their hands up, technology such as Pear Deck 🍐 and Google applications allow me to hear from all students. By using technology in brain breaks, I get to know students’ personalities much better (ex: use Pear Deck to draw your favorite food). 

I love this Amy! I agree Pear Deck is an awesome tool to hear from every student thus allowing us to know each learner a little better!

💡 Idea: Consider using a Pear Deck on the first day to get to know students, then you can share their answers with the class anonymously. This is a great activity that every student enjoys! I even have one made if you’d like to use it! Just reach out 🙂

Google Forms  

Bill Silva, HS Science Teacher, says: For my AP kids I do a google form to ask students questions about themselves and their interests.  I use this form to also collect book #, Email and other contact info.  This is always done in June of the previous year and allows me to communicate with them over the summer and assist them with their summer work. 

Awesome Bill! Google Forms is a GREAT tool to get to know our students, and also our families with the younger level.

💡 Idea: Consider sending out your “getting to know you survey” digitally via Google Form to parents if students are younger, or your students if they are old enough.  You can refer to it all year and it puts the data in a very nice, clean, spreadsheet!
💡Idea: Consider sending a “how do you feel about ______” Google Form at the beginning of the year. Ask students their strengths and weaknesses and have them reassess themselves throughout the year. Have it be anonymous and show them the data, and have them reflect on how they’ve grown. See my example here. 

Student Choice 

Joanne Cross, Gr. 3-6 Computer Teacher, states: When I do something like coding or computer animation with kids, it’s awesome to see some kids just excel at it. It may be a student who doesn’t necessarily have success academically but I can see some real coding/programming/animation talent in some kids. They just get it and make the connections necessary to work in these fields with computers. I talk about becoming animators or programmers later in life in my class all the time, especially with students who may not have found something that they shine at yet. I like that I am able to open new avenues for students to feel success and potentially build a career path as an adult.

Dan Parks, Gr. 7 Social Studies Teacher, says:  Kids have made videos for projects that show more of their personality than a written response can demonstrate. If I provide student choice in assignments/projects I see their strengths/likes based on the choices they make.

YES! I couldn’t agree more Joanne and Dan, and this is one of the key concepts in Universal Design for Learning! Simply giving students choice over their learning allows us to know them better and foster those relationships.

💡 Idea: Consider allowing students choose how to show mastery of a concept. Narrow down those choices with tools like Google Slides, iMovie, Animaker, Powtoon, Flipgrid, PAPER and PENCIL, hands-on projects, photos…etc!

SeeSaw/FlipGrid  

Maureen Holbrook, Spanish Teacher, states: When I use SeeSaw I usually ask students questions about themselves in connection with the material that we are learning.  Their responses are personal and unique.  I will always make a comment back to them based on what they say in the video/recording.  I respond to each recording – giving advice for improvement or simply commenting – letting them know I am reading/listening to what they have to say.  It is a personal response/interaction even though it’s through technology.  It is a way to connect with students using technology – their mode of communication 😊

Tori Cameron, Grade 6 Teacher, says:  Seesaw is great because the kids can comment and encourage each other. When I give the students opportunities to make videos, their personalities really flourish. 

Sarah Beberman, Grade 2 Teacher, states: Using an application such as FlipGrid not only takes some student barriers out of the equation but lets you hear the student “voice” that you hear in writing magnified. Their personalities shine and they think they’re mini-Youtubers.

💡 Idea: Consider trying out SeeSaw and/or FlipGrid. These are great tools to post prompts and see personalities shine! You can even share it with families. SeeSaw has a parent app as well to allow for a bit more privacy than FlipGrid, where a parent may see the entire Grid.

I’m here and ready to help you get some of these tech tools in place for next year! Let’s make a Google Form for the first week to send to parents and/or students. How about a “getting to know you” Google Slide activity or Pear Deck activity?! Let me know, I’m here and ready to “hook” you up!

Closing Thoughts 

As a parent, I care MOST about teachers loving my sons. My sons spend more time with their teachers during the week than me, so it’s important to me that they’re loved first. I can assist with academics at home (luckily), but I can’t replicate the relationship they form with their teachers, I can’t replicate that inspiration they provide or the curiosity they spark. There are so many great ways we can use technology to assist in getting to know our students! However, nothing compares to you sitting with them and taking the time to talk and truly get to know and love them. “The best teachers in the world connect on some personal level with their students.  They do not only know their students, but their students know them” (Couros, 2015).

💙

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

 

Fish on your Plate 🍽️ 🐟

One of the best features of Google Products is the ability to share items we’ve made.  #TogetherWeAreBetter and many teachers feel this way.  You can comb the web and find so many teacher-created, FREE, materials to use in your room.  I am a firm believer in “sharing is caring” and I love it when I see others that feel this way too. TeachersPayTeachers does have many good resources, but let’s face it, we’re not on an unlimited budget as classroom teachers.  Below you will find many AMAZING, FREE, items you can use in the classroom that are made for you and ready to use with students! Check out some great templates below, and see the “Fish” on my Plate this week!

Google Doc (free) Newspaper Templates 📰

Have you ever wanted to send out a newsletter in a newspaper format? How about making a classroom newspaper as a class, or individual student project? Check out these SUPER cool templates to create a newspaper in Google Docs. Simply click the one you like and it opens to an editable version! These templates are very easy (and fun) to work with!

Click here to access this great resource!

Google Doc (free) Graphic Organizers 📂

If you click this site here, you will be brought to a site that offers MANY, free, graphic organizers and templates made in Google Docs and Draw.  Simply File>Make a Copy to use these great resources! Push it out via Google Classroom to have access to all students’ work! Enjoy!

Google Draw (free) AMAZING Templates ✏️

Eric Curts, of Control Alt Achieve, is perhaps my FAVORITE tech blogger.  He is constantly posting amazing resources and providing video explanations on how to use them. He even gives out PDP credits if you watch his webinars and take a quiz following it.  If you click this link here, you will be brought to his MANY templates that he’s created using Google Tools.  These are free to use, edit, modify and push out to students, he only asks that you do not charge when using his resources (meaning you don’t alter something and put it up on Teachers Pay Teachers for $$).

Here is a screenshot of one example of a template he has created called “compose a Tweet” template. This would be really cute to have students create a fake Tweet:

Google Classroom Tips and Tricks 💡

This isn’t so much about Templates but with Google Classroom being the leader in applications used in our district, I thought I would share a great post by Tony Vincent.  He has some great tips and tricks when using Google Classroom like using Emojis in your announcements or assignments. He also shows how you can use the Google Classroom App on say an iPad with a stylus and draw on assignments to offer feedback. What a great idea! Check out his post by clicking here.

 

If you end up using these great items, invite me in to see! I love visiting and seeing the great things you do! 

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

You’re Amazing – it’s for SHORE 🐠 😅 🏖

This week I was honored to present at the SEAM BSU chapter meeting at Bridgewater State University. SEAM is the Student Education Association of Massachusetts and falls under the MTA and NEA.  I talked about each and every one of you to the group, and showed off tools you’re using in the classroom to educate students.  The SEAM group was mesmerized, eager, and astonished at all that you do. When we step away from our own roles for a minute and take a look at what we’re doing and what we’ve accomplished, it’s truly amazing.   It’s easy, especially at this time of year, to feel tired and heavy. Teaching in the classroom can be isolating. The weather is changing, we’re go go going with our own lives at home, juggling families and school, managing our own adult responsibilities, we’re also trying new standards, curriculums, tech tools, and getting new students (STILL)…but keep doing what you’re doing. YOU ARE AMAZING and it shows!  I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a record number of BSU student teachers in the spring, they were so impressed at all that you do!

Let’s take a look at some tools below to assist you in your amazingness:

Catch of the Day: Printing ALL student’s assignments from Google Classroom 😱

Thank you, Melissa Leonard, 3rd-grade teacher, for asking me this question.  I went on a hunt to find the answer! There is actually a few ways you could do this, but I found the option below to be the most user-friendly. It uses the app PDF Mergy. Take a look, if you need to combine multiple files, not just from Classroom, to print.

Screenshot Tools  🛠   

There are so many great ways to take partial area screenshots.  Take a look at this short video tutorial of my three favorite ways. This is great tech that will help teachers and staff of all grade levels! Please just remember copyright law and fair use law when screenshotting.

Google Form Add-ons  Image result for google forms   

So many of us use Google Forms! It is such a versatile tool, and the best part is that it is always improving!  Check out the article below from Richard Byrne for some cool add-ons to use with Forms that will make it even better for you!

Add-ons for Forms Click Here

Are you Certifiable?      

Have you ever been interested in becoming a Google Certified Educator? Wondering what that even means?  Once you become a Google Certified Educator, you have access to the Google Forum as well as many other resources available only to trainers. You get the updates on anything new before the general public. The best part of being a GCE is being part of the forum and being able to ask questions of other Google Educators.  You are listed in a database for those seeking trainers which can provide for other opportunities outside of the classroom.  Plus you get the nifty little badge to put on your email. If you would like to see what certification entails, to be endorsed by Google, see the link below from my fav. blogger Eric Curts.

Google Educator Checklist

Typito     

FREE video service.  Do you like making videos of your class using pictures and music? Do you find MovieMaker or the YouTube editor a bit difficult? Then you may want to try Typito.  Richard Byrne did a great video how-to on this resource. It’s free and allows for many options when editing including putting text across pictures.

First Grade Tech Image result for child    

First grade is now on iPads and Chromebooks – how exciting! They really enjoyed their first experience with KaHooT!

 

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

 

OktoberFISH 🐟 🎃 🍂

Happy October Everyone!

Wow! Is it a busy time at school or what?! We are officially in the full swing of things.  The transition month has passed, and with it, the crazy that is “going back to school.”  The days are cooling off and the routines are set.  A teacher asked me a great question last week: “With so much tech out there to choose from, how do we know we’re using the right tool?” For instance, with math alone, you could use Prodigy, Moby Max, Front Row, IXL, XtraMath, Kahn Academy and the list goes ON AND ON! There are so many great ed-tech tools out there, but I think Alice Keeler said it best, last week, on Twitter: “There isn’t enough tech training in the world for whatever the tool is. The right tool is the one you’re excited to invest time in.” 

So, I’m here – to hopefully help EXCITE you! I LOVE THIS STUFF! So….here we go:

Catch of the day: Class Dojo Toolkit App  Image result for class dojo 

This catch of the day is a shout out to 3rd-grade teacher Kim Wolohojian, and her 3rd-grade team, for using Dojo App that contains the new, updated, amazing Toolkit!  If you open the toolkit on a phone it will project to your computer for display. Toolkit is only an option on the phone app and can’t be opened by the computer itself (but they are working on it). There’s a new feature in the toolkit called “group maker” that lets you pair and group students at random similar to Flippity. However, unlike Flippity, Dojo has a do not pair together option! That means if you have two students or groups of students that don’t work well together, it will not pair them together when you randomize! How AWESOME is that??!!

If you are not familiar with Class Dojo, click here for a preview. It is similar to the app Remind which I’ve seen widely used throughout the district.  With DOJO, in addition to a family communication piece, where you can send text-updates and photos in a safe environment, you can also have a classroom management piece.  Students have avatars and you, as the teacher, can award points. You can also take away points. The parents can see the management piece if you choose or it can be turned off to parents and only the texting option can be seen.  I have this as a parent for my own sons, and I LOVE it.

If you would like to see a great comparison of parent-communication apps, including Remind, Dojo and much more click here.

 

Halloween Google Slide Activity 🎃 👻 🕸 🎃 👻 🕸 🎃 👻 🕸

OMG, this is so cute (click here)! From Eric Curts (one of my favorite techies) – make a jack o lantern in Google Slides! The template is already created for you and students can use all of the images to create a digital Jack-O-Lantern. There’s even a writing component to the activity. You can alter the master anyway you would like, and then use Google Classroom to push it out to students.
You could go one step further and have each student make a Jack-O-Lantern that reflects his or her personality, submit it to you and you could put them all in a master slide deck and have kids try to guess who’s is who’s.

Halloween Hyper Doc 📎 💻 🌏 📰 🎃 📎 💻 🌏 📰

This is an AWESOME(click here) Hyperdoc full of all sorts of (free) Halloween activities. It is geared towards middle school, but check it out and you may find some activities you can use in your classroom. It has many interactive, appropriate, Halloween tech games, videos on the history of jack-o-lanterns and other traditions, an option to “Trollify” yourself (from Trolls the movie), a Halloween light show, and much much more!  Please preview any items on the Hyperdoc before showing students.

Book Creator  📚 📚 📚 📚 

Shout out to School Committee member Aimee McAlpine who created this great resource (click here) on online book creators.  A few 6th-grade teams plan to use these resources to create books to then read to their third-grade friends.

For those of you who do not know Aimee, she is an Instructional Technology Specialist for the Marshfield Public Schools as well as a parent and school committee member. Thank you, Aimee!

Math Resources 🔢

Another favorite techie of mine, Richard Byrne, put out free math resources that he enjoys.  We’ve seen many of these before but I feel like I should always include posts on math tech.  These resources span all maths, so take a look! The Geoboard is one of my favorite tools!

New Add-On: Magic Rainbow Unicorn! 🌈 🦄 🌈 🦄  🌈 🦄 🌈 🦄

This add-on is as silly as it sounds, but it’s still pretty cute! Take a gander and see how to “Lisa Frank” your Google Doc! Sometimes, it’s the little things that get kids excited to learn! This could be that “little” thing!

Who to Follow 📝

If you’re wondering the best tech bloggers to follow (aside from me of course – lol) click here for the top tech bloggers according to Ed Tech Magazine. This is a great run-down and I follow many of these ed-tech leaders myself! What’s great is that many of these bloggers provide FREE RESOURCES that they create and allow all to use. They are firm believers in the Teachers-Give-Teachers movement! I suggest finding just one to follow that is similar to your own field or interests, and check in on their blog or subscribe. You won’t regret it, I promise!

 

Enjoy the Tech!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟

Gettin’ Fishy with it! 🎶 🐟 🎶

Hello EB!

COULD THERE BE A BIGGER WEEK IN ED TECH???!!!!!  In my role, I have never been so busy! It’s AWESOME!  A quick recap: second grade has now joined the Google party, Pear Deck had a huge announcement this week, Google made a HUGE announcement also and released “Add-ons” in Google Slides, and Front Row is really taking off with grades k-6, but wait…theres more!  Let’s take a look below:

Catch of the Day: Google Slides Add-Ons  

On Thursday, 9/27 at 11am, Google announced that it is launching add-ons for Google Slides. This is going to really transform Slides and allow much more versatility to an already amazing, FREE, product!  You can read more about this release here.  The rollout will start  on 9/27, and continue over the next month, so you may not see the add-ons menu yet, but it’s coming. Guess who is going to be one of the FIRST add-ons….PEAR DECK!

The BIGGEST fish in the small pond – Shout out Grade 2!  Image result for east bridgewater vikings

A really big shout out to grade 2 teachers and students! You all did such an amazing job getting on your Chromebooks this week and accessing many amazing programs and sites! I am so proud to say that ALL OF GRADE 2 PLANS TO USE GOOGLE CLASSROOM! This is simply amazing to watch our oldest, little Vikings using Google Classroom. My heart swells with excitement! I’ve enjoyed coming into each and every one one of your classrooms this week (and a few next week).  You’re doing GREAT!

Pear Deck add-on for Slides – WHAT?!!!! I KNOW IT!!!! OMG!!!! 

Gone are the days of importing a Slide presentation into Pear Deck and not having the ability to edit! Now, with the Pear Deck add-on for Slides, you can work directly in Slides to create your Pear Deck interactive presentation. Anyone using and/or creating Pear Decks knows how tedious it can be to import images and change backgrounds….No more!!  This is great news! Please click the link below to really see the fine details with this add-on! It is AWESOME!

Read more about it here.Image result for Pear Deck

Front Row Image result for front row

Thank you to the fourth grade for showing me this amazing program! If you haven’t checked out Front Row, it is a great FREE program for grades k-6 (although it does go up to 8, and they’re adding High School math soon).  Central school is using it this year and the children love it!  This is a great program that can run in the background for skill development, and as the teacher, you really can have as little or as much to do with it as you’d like. It’s not too game-based, and it still has a motivator with “coins” and shopping in the Piggy Shop!  It differentiates and levels children as well. See the video below to see it as a child….

Google Docs Newsletter Template 

You can do some pretty amazing things with Google Docs!  By manipulating tables, and inserting drawings, you can create some pretty cool looking templates!  Check out the video example below of Jen Rosher’s Newsletter which she created in Publisher and I was able to replicate in Docs. This now allows her to work on it anywhere since it’s in the Drive! If you would like a template to use for your own classroom please click here.

Quick Tip: The “redo” function saves so much time! ⏲⏲⏲

Thank you Amy Schleinkofer for this one!  She booked me for an appointment, and asked if there was a function within Google Apps that performed the F4 function in MS Word, Excel etc.  On the hunt we went, and she discovered Control Y!  Take a look at the video below! So simple, yet saves so much time!

 

You are doing AMAZING things Vikings and I’m so honored to be a part of it!  Please reach out anytime with your tech needs! Find my calendar in the Contact tab of the blog! Until next week…

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher  🐟