Brrrr….baby it’s cold outside! It’s that time of year again, December!! When the snow starts falling and the kids get restless and excited for the holidays ahead! Are you “fishing” for some holiday fun? There is SO much anticipation this month that it can be a tough 15 days of learning in December. However, fear not! Below are some holiday activities I’ve collected through the years that can help! I have printable activities as well as digital. There are word puzzles, math games, art activities, writing activities, read alouds, and more! I’ll be updating this doc(click to open or view below) regularly this month with new finds. If you find something good, let me know and I’ll add it!
I hope you are all doing well at this time of year.
It’s been another amazing week here in East Bridgewater! I feel so lucky each and every day to do the work I do, and work with the people I work with, and connect with amazing educators outside of EB! This week, I’ve included my updated holiday tech document as well as a few pretty COOL Google updates! Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy!
Tip of the Week: YouTube Live!
Want a nice, QUICK, way to get video out to specific people? Try YouTube Live! You can set the video as unlisted, use your doc cam to record what’s happening in class, and grab a link when it’s done to email out!! You can invite students to watch you live as well and project to student screens easily!
If you wanted to show a really quick, cool, lesson to families then this tool is for you!
Check out my how-to video below!
First and foremost, click here for my running Doc of Holiday Technology Activities. I update this document when I find new items. Let me know if you have an activity to add! If you find that something no longer runs that is linked to this doc, please reach out and let me know.
An idea I have not linked, how about some stop-motion animation with slides with a winter scene?! That would be fun!! Check out my previous blog post on stop-motion animation…the possibilities are endless!
Google Classroom Expands to Personal Accounts
WOW! Google Classroom now appears in the Waffle of your personal Gmail account. Why is this great?! Well, think about if you ever want to run a training with those outside the district…you can’t do that via your school account because it’s domain only. If the app does not appear right away in your Waffle, scroll down and click “more apps.” I was so excited when I saw it appear on my personal account below! Read here for more information!
Forms can be locked down – Coming soon
Coming very soon will be the ability to lock down the Chrome Browser when students are on a Google Form. I have signed up (our district) for the Beta of Google Forms Lockdown mode. This mode will always be optional and will need to be an option selected. Being in the Beta will simply give us the option to do this. I’m waiting to hear back from Google when our Beta is launched! Read here for more information on this AMAZING option.
New Activity Dashboard – See who’s looking
This activity dashboard is pretty cool! It gives you some NICE data. Check it out below:
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!
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!
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.
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!
Tip of the Week: MAGIC RAINBOW UNICORNS!!!
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! 🎃 🎃 🎃
The Chromebooks are back at the JRSRHS! What a great week to be a Viking! There was a lot of excitement this week (and a lot of unboxing and configuring too, lol)! What an awesome, crazy time of year! Speaking of crazy, it’s important we remember to take care of ourselves at this time too. We’re so busy taking care of everyone around us, we often neglect ourselves. George Couros had a great blog post this week, which you can read here, titled 3 Ideas For Taking Care of Yourself Before the Break. He reminds us: It’s okay to need a break. Learn to say no. Take care of yourself. So, I hope you’re finding time for you…remember, I’m here to help if you want it. 💻 💻 💻
The POWER of Video 📽️
Video is a powerful tool for learning. Take FlipGrid for instance, it has hit the Twittersphere by storm! Why….because video is powerful! As a teacher, creating video is so easy, and your students will LOVE it! Picture having small groups, and rather than students needing to ask you or each other what to do, they can just refer to video inside Google Classroom. You can create videos privately and share them privately – and students love listening to you much more than say Kahn Academy. Video is a great tool for online teaching or a flipped classroom! Videos are also great for parents to refer to as well to help their children with certain skills. VIDEO does NOT replace the personal interaction or connection of a teacher and student, but can work really well for reinforcement, practice, an introduction of a topic, or when a student may be absent. Check out the tutorial below about creating video – it’s easy and FUN and best of all – students LOVE IT…because they love you!
View YouTube Videos – Clean and Safe 🎞️
Once you have videos you enjoy using in the classroom, it’s great to have a way to watch them safely. Viewpure does just that. Take a look at the GIF below for a brief showing of Viewpure.
Ideas for Video Creation with Students 🎥
Who doesn’t love to see a video of their own child learning? Screencastify is a great Chrome extension for students to use on their own Chromebooks to create video. The video will go right into a student’s drive and then he or she can share it with the teacher or embed it on a Google Slide. Imagine doing book reviews with video and hearing a child or young adult describe a great read?! Take all of those videos and embed them on a slide deck to share with the class or parents? What a great project! Read this article here for even more ideas of how we can have students create videos for the classroom!
Creative Alternatives to Movies before Break 🍿
This is a GREAT article by John Spencer that features some creative activities to use with students before the break. Many of them are upper level, like Genius Hour, History Mystery, or Wonder Weeks. If you’re looking for something to do with students before the break, that will engage, this is a great read.
Holiday Tech (updated) 🎄 🕎
To make sure we get the latest HOLIDAY activities ….
My favorite Blogger – Eric Curts – put out another post this week on winter activities in general which had a great link for MORE PIXEL ART as well as EMOJI WRITING IN DOCS! Click here for his awesome post!
You can also click here for my Google Doc of Holiday Tech that spans PreK-12. I’ve added a few items to it this week, like Rainbow Maker in Docs! (see GIF below)
“When children create for the world they make it good. When children create only for their teacher they make it good enough.” – Rushton Hurley @rushtonh
Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy the Chromebooks JRSRHS!
I hope you are all having a great week! Shout Out to Kim Parsloe this week, who got me thinking about all sorts of tools to assist students with language translation. Imagine coming to our school, from another country, and not understanding any English – what a challenge for both student and teacher! Technology, luckily, can help! Check out some tips and tricks below (I also updated my Holiday Tech Doc found at the end of the post):
Translating Tech Tools
Google Translate has both a website and extension that make it easy to copy and paste language into a platform and have it translated into a variety of languages.
If you have a website you like to use, that is able to be translated, Google Website Translator is a great tool. Simply paste the URL into the translator and it will turn the site into the language chosen (if possible). Unfortunately, not all sites can be translated.
Another reason to work in Docs! Any Google Doc can be translated into a variety of languages. Take a look at the GIF below. Simply go to Tools and choose Translate Document. It will not be a perfect translation, but it should help!
The extension Select and Speak will translate any text into another language and read it aloud. Take a look at the video below. Like Docs, this translation will not be perfect, but it will assist in understanding. Not all languages are available, but there are over 30 to choose from.
To make sure we get the latest HOLIDAY activities ….
My favorite Blogger – Eric Curts – put out the 12 days of Techmas (click here)…Guess what is Day #1….PEAR DECK and the new add-on for Slides. This is AMAZING. I’m sure the rest of his days will be great too, check out his holiday tech by clicking each day available on the image I linked above.
You can also click here for my Google Doc of Holiday Tech that spans PreK-12. I’ve added a few items to it this week, like Magnetic Poetry!