SLIDE…Boogie woogie woogie 🎃 👻

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I think only those pushing 40 (and older) will get my reference above. For all you youngins out there….It’s a throwback to the Electric Slide which must have been played at every wedding, prom, event etc in America that got everyone dancing back in the 90s. A line dance of sorts, not unlike all of those Tik Tok dances I’m seeing.

Slides these days, those of the Google sort, are getting everyone dancing. So much more than a presentation tool, teachers are relying on this amazing Google Product for learning right now, more than ever before . As we try to orchestrate a line dance where everyone is going in different directions, it is certainly a challenge, and takes some sophisticated choreography.  So, the question comes up – how can we make creating our lessons in slides EASIER/BETTER/QUICKER – let’s take a look at some tips…


This one is a game changer.  So many times, and I even have a most-watched video of this, I’ve suggested to download something to upload it and lock it. Well, NO MORE!  This summer when I was using Slidesmania, I discovered how to “Edit the Master.”  Yes, this has always been there, but I just didn’t know how to use it! This video, shared to me by the amazing Christine Curry a co-worker of mine, REALLY shows how to maximize this feature.  It’s a bit long (worth it, watch it), so I also included the screenshot below. Basically, editing the master let’s you lock EVERYTHING on the slide – text, images, backgrounds, etc so the kids can’t remove it.  Bonus – you DON’T need to upload ANYTHING.


Do you want to write on your slides and have those at home see it too? Try the extension Web Paint:


I see so many teachers buying these cute templates from TPT, but did you know there are SO MANY slide templates out there FOR FREE? Check out Slides Mania, Slides Carnival, or Slides GO.  Each site has so many FREE Slides templates, many of which are interactive – including planners, digital notebooks, themes etc! See the example – this Halloween Template!


Create the audio using Vocaroo or other voice recording sites.  Download the clip, upload it to your Drive, use the insert menu of Slides and choose audio.  Viola!  You can then set the clip in the properties of the sound to automatically play! This really helps if you need some audio directions for students to listen too.


I’ve seen SO MANY interactive activities created in Slides.  Did you know you can find them already made, out there for FREE?!  Check out this Wakelet(click here) with over 60 already-made Slides Activities.  Make a copy of any of the ones you see and make it your own.


Do you want to move about your room, but present your slides? You can add an extension that will allow your phone to be a FREE remote to advance your slides. This is a GREAT, FREE, resource!


If you’re making slide decks for students to complete work, but find they are deleting slides (to avoid work), you could use the Pear Deck Add-on for Slides. Add the questions needing to be answered and simply put the Slides into student paced mode. Students cannot delete any slides and can still complete work. Check it out here (this is a premium feature):


Hopefully these tips can make your digital dance just a little bit smoother. There will still be bumps and times where we crash into each other, but as things improve we can all be SLIDEing in the same direction!

Be well everyone 💙

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

QR CODes 🐟 ✅

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Happy New Year Everyone! Welcome back!!! We are now into January and it is a BRAND NEW DECADE – 2020 my friends. Some of us are looking to be more efficient, more innovative, and just more BETTER in the New Year.  A fresh start – so what do you plan for 2020? More of the same, or something different? Want to try something pretty easy in the New Year – how about a QR code? They’re pretty nifty and you can do quite a bit. Want to know more? Check out more about CODes below….(get it COD, like fish? I know…that was a stretch, even for me)

What is a QR Code? 🤔

According to Kemble Flynn from Rockingham School, QR codes are much like bar codes in that they contain information and can be scanned.  Bar codes only contain information from left to right but a QR code can contain information from left to right or up and down. A QR code works like a bar code in that it can be scanned and linked to a set of data.  Unlike bar codes, a QR code can pack much more information into a smaller space – up to 4, 000 characters.   QR stands for Quick Response which refers to the instant information access hidden in the Code. They are customizable, both in function and design, and are the best channel for connecting traditional print media with any interactive online content. 

You can find QR codes everywhere if you take a look around! They are even on my Amazon packages when they arrive!

How do I scan QR Codes? 📷

According to Android, the best way to figure out if your mobile device can read QR Codes is to open your Camera app and point it steadily for 2-3 seconds towards the QR Code you want to scan. Whenever scanning is enabled, a notification will appear. If nothing happens, you may have to go to your Settings app and enable QR Code scanning. If QR Codes aren’t an option in your settings, your device, unfortunately, can’t scan QR Codes natively. Don’t worry, this only means you’ll have to download a third-party QR Code reader app. If you are using a Chromebook, you may need to go to the Chrome Web Store and install a QR Code Reader Extension.

The Chrome Web Browser App for any mobile device can scan a QR code. Simply long hold, or right-click, the Chrome App and you will have the option to scan a QR code. The benefit to this over the camera app is that the information will now open up in Chrome rather than in Safari.  If you’re a regular Google for EDU user this has many benefits in terms of login time and bookmarking the items.

How do I GET a QR code? 💡

If you Google “QR Code Generator” you will find many available websites that will generate a QR code for you. However, my favorite site to generate codes is Take a look at the video below to see why!

Why would I use QR Codes? 🤷

A resource for Parents 🤳

Want parents to take a look at something when they’re waiting for parent-teacher conferences? How about posting a QR code in the room! They could take a look at your website, or even sign up for something!

Quick HW Check ✅

A teacher reached out and asked for a quick way to enter student homework so she can easily track it! She wants to walk around the room and easily do this.  Well, a QR code would be great EXCEPT we don’t want the students to be able to access the Google Form.  SO, we embedded it on a Google Site!

Scavenger Hunt 😲

How about sending students, or teachers, on a scavenger hunt? Link forms to QR codes and send them on their way!

Connect an audio clip to a QR code and send it home 🏠

A great way to say “Welcome” to both parents and students when staring the school year is in the form of a letter or postcard arriving before school.  What if YOU could be heard reading it to them?!  Record your voice with Vocaroo and turn the recording into a QR code for your letter.  Suggest parents scan it to hear you reading the letter! What a nice personal touch! You could also have students do this! Imagine hearing your child giving you a special message every time you scan his or her picture? Put the QR code on the back of a project! Take a look below to see how!

Google Form to QR Codes for behavior tracking 📋

How about a quick way for students to tell you how they’re feeling? Check it out below! Even if it’s not in a QR code, this Google Form is a great option to have posted in your classroom. The Google Sheet can be set to alert you when a student fills it out.


If you’re using QR Codes, let minnow!  I love new ideas!

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 🐟🐟🐟

What keeps you swimming? 🏊‍♀️ ❓🐟

I appreciate you

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  Truly, is there anything better than this job? We are so very lucky. Think about it…we get to touch the future!

Recently, we opened our pool and I cannot wait until its warm enough to actually go in it! Just seeing it open every day reminds me that warmer days are coming. It gives me the motivation to spruce up my yard, stay fit since I’ll be in a bathing suit often, and stay healthy so I can fully enjoy it. It keeps me swimming, both literally and figuratively.  This analogy applies to my work as well.  I’m motivated to get up and go to work every day – I love my job and it keeps me swimming. What keeps you swimming? WHY do you do this job? What is your why? East Bridgewater Public Schools made a “why” video earlier this week titled “What is your WHY?”. Check it out below. It was a labor of love between myself, journalism students, and those willing to be filmed. Adobe Spark was used to create the awesome video which was uploaded to YouTube by EBCAM, our local media studio.

My why, of course, has to do with tech tools! I just love blending tech tools and learning!  Technology does not fit in all lessons or in all areas of education. However, when it does…I’m your girl and WOW do I love it! One of my FAVORITE tools to use, lately, is Google Sheets.  In my opinion, this is one of the more overlooked Google Apps.  Many times, teachers think “Data” but Sheets can do SO MUCH MORE (of course, like any Google App, right?). The best part…Cloud-Based…so work on it anywhere, anytime!  Check out the features of one of the many tools that leads to my WHY, below:

Google Sheets


Recently, I was introduced to this really cool resource called Glide.  Brandon Hall, tech integrator at Pembroke Public Schools, shared it with me after he saw it on Richard Byrne’s blog. He created this product (click here) from a simple Spreadsheet.  You could have students create a project using this neat resource. Set your parameters, for instance Boston Landmarks like Brandon, and have them find pictures and information. Use Glide over your sheet and BOOM – interactive app! Check out the how-to video from Glide below!


Flippity is an amazing site (click here) which has many different, free, templates that work with Sheets to make a really neat product. In the video below, with no sound, I show one of the newer templates that use Sheets and turns text into Word Art.


If/then and other formulas

Sheets, like Excel, can run formulas in the cells.  This can be great for data, budgeting and tracking data but it can also be a FUN activity! Take a look at one way to use an if/then formula below and read here to see more ideas for this Sheets feature! For even MORE formulas that work in Sheets, check out this article!

Ditchbook Chat

There are so many great resources out there, FREE, on Google Sheets. Just this week there was a #Ditchbook chat that focused on Sheets. Here is the Wake of this chat, scroll down a bit to get past introductions. It highlights so many GREAT ideas! For instance, how about pixel art, a student name picker, flashcards, bathroom signout, or timelines? You can do all of that with Sheets! Most of those who posted provided the link to make a copy as well!

Recent Sheets Updates

Checkboxes, delete duplicates, insert images are only some of the most recent updates for Sheets.  Delete duplicates just came out this week and it’s GREAT (see below)! Read more about all Sheets updates here.


MUTE reply-all emails!

This is a great post by Alice Keeler I saw this week.  Do you get tired of “reply-all” emails (like group texts) where you have to see ALL of the needless responses? Well, there’s a fix. Simply open the email, press M, and that’s it! Conversation MUTED!

Maybe try Sheets this week. You know what I always say…if you can try just one new thing a week, that’s 40 NEW THINGS in a school year you tried!

Which one doesn’t belong?

Talk about ENGAGEMENT! This is a really fun way to start a class and it gets kids talking. It basically shows 4 pictures that are math related and one doesn’t belong, BUT there is no right answer! Give it a try – so fun!  Click here

snorkeling under water with fish

YOU keep me swimming! Maybe I’ll even be swimming in my pool next week! Come on ova if it’s warm! What keeps you swimming? Reach out and let me know!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

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 🐟 🐟 🐟


FishKiss 🐟 ❤️

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Happy February Everyone!  I am so happy to be entering this lovely month and FINALLY be out of long, cold, January!  Since I just LOVE tech so much, I figured I would fill the blog this week with some techy stuff  I love.

Google ANYTHING I love the internet


The first thing I love – with Tech – is Google and all of their innovation! This week, on Tuesday, Google released a pretty hot extension: Password CheckUp.  This amazing little extension, made by Google, will let you know if your password has been breached. Pretty innovative right?  Read more about this amazing little nugget here, and install the extension from the Chrome Web Store here.


More than anything, I enjoy playing with all of the little things that you can do with Google Apps.  Fonts, tables, colors, add-ons, etc. its just so much fun! Recently, I was playing around with transparency and auto shapes. Check it out below, it’s a BLAST.

Sharing is Caring Bitmoji Image

Are you looking for another option for student expression? This past week I was worked with Sarah Trainor and Kerri Trumbull, respectively. Sarah showed me a tool that I hadn’t seen before, Kidzoa!  Kerri and I through our work discovered Flipsnack together. Check out both of these great tools below – you may find them to be a great option for student expression!


Kizoa is a really cool, free, easy video making service! It was brought to my attention on Sarah Trainor’s Zombie Choice Board this week. Check out this neat activity, I’m sure the kids will be engaged! Her students LOVED it!


Flipsnack is a REALLY neat, free, site that allows you to make brochures, flyers, and books that are 3d, meaning you have virtually turning pages.  This would be really cool for a brochure of some sort or flipbook. You get 3 free products before the pay structure kicks in, BUT, you can delete a project and make another.

Valentines and FUN Bitmoji Image

Eric Curts is my NUMBER ONE all-time favorite Tech Blogger.  He always puts out the most awesome ideas AND he encourages you to use them, share them, manipulate them and tweet them. He’s so very collaborative and really believes in the “together we are better” mentality, which is huge for me.  This week, in his own blog, he shared some Valentine’s day tech and also sent the link to ETCH-A-SKETCH! YES!!! Virtual Etch a Sketch – HOW FUN!

Check out his great Valentines Google Activities Here


Tip of the Week: USE THAT OMNIBOX Bitmoji Image

Want an even quicker way to search your Drive? check it out below!


What kind of tech do you just LOVE? Let me know!

Have a LOVELY weekend! ♥️

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

GoogleBells GoogleBells, Google all the Way! In a One Fish open sleigh… 🎄 🔔 🐟

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!


Holiday Activities 

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:

Google Gradebook – Coming Soon 

Google is in the process of releasing another AWESOME feature. Check out Google Gradebook, coming soon to a Google Classroom near you!


I hope you are all giving yourself a moment to take a breath at this hectic time of year. I’m here for you if you need me! 

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟


August – the SUNday of summer for teachers ☀️ 📅 🐟

Hello! I miss you! 🐟 🐟 🐟

I hope everyone is doing well this summer! We still have a good amount of time left, but as my title says, August feels like the Sunday of summer for us teachers!  We start to feel school looming and it’s both exciting, and a little sad, at the same time.  Spending my summer away from Twitter, away (some) from the computer, and WITH my children is amazing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! However, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for my own children this year, as well as the children of East Bridgewater as they continue to learn and grow. As my own children change, so does the world around us, including educational tech! Check out my post below for a few of the bigger changes!  Also, a gift for you – this great video by John Spencer, made for teachers like you!


This is a great presentation, by Meagan Kelly (see her blog here), of ALL of the major Google Updates – including LOCKED QUIZZES!!!! Coming soon you can LOCK a Google Form and students cannot access the internet! Pretty awesome stuff! See these updates and more in the slides below.

Flipgrid is now FREE! 

Well, it’s free now for teachers!  We get ALL ACCESS, longer videos that you can download, unlimited grids, and much more! Flipgrid is a great way to collect video from anyone, in a safe, fun format! Check out the article here:

Here are some great ideas from Matt Miller of how you could use FlipGrid in the classroom! Read about it here!

Stop Teaching like Technology Doesn’t Exist  

This article is a great post about how a teacher was trying to fit technology into already existing lessons. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. It’s a pretty good read. Click here to check it out!

Stay Tuned! I’ll be doing another post on GREAT first-week-of-school Tech Activities to get to know your students!

Enjoy these last few weeks, no one deserves it more than you! 😘 

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!


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 🐟 🐟 🐟


No Need to Flounder…Try these Google Tips and Tricks 🐡 🐟 🐠 🙋

Hello hello hello! How can we make life easier at this busy time of year as we begin our end of year wrap-up? Well, let’s talk a little this week about some Google Tips and Tricks!  For instance, did you know you can turn any piece of a YouTube video into a GIF simply by putting the word GIF in front of the address?! How about moving the icons in your Google Waffle for ease of use? Sometimes it’s the little things! I learn these tips and tricks through friends, Twitter, and conferences. With so much tech out there, I feel like I am ALWAYS learning something new! Take a look at a few new tricks I’ve learned below!


A great workshop I recently attended was a workshop called #GoogleAddict. This workshop was presented by a Technology Integration Specialist from Groton-Dunstable named Julie Spang Click here for Julie Spang’s Slides titled #GoogleAddict. I’ve included a few of my favorite tips I learned from her below:

Move Your Waffle 

This is something so easy, yet so useful! You can move the icons in your Google Waffle to any order you would like.  DOn’t use Hangouts? Move it to the bottom and move Classroom or YouTube to the top! See the video below for help!

Organizing Made Easy 📹

This little tip is also so easy, yet so useful.  You can “move” or organize your Docs/Slides/Sheets right at the top of the item. Take a look at the video below – this may assist you with organization.

Easy Gifs from YouTube 📹

Do you want a little-animated GIF from YouTube? Well, simply put the word GIF in front of the address and let the GIF menu open! From there, you can have your own custom GIF! This is a bit easier than the GifIt! extension I’ve shared previously! See the video for assistance:

Remote for Slides 📱

There’s a GREAT extension that can turn your phone into a remote for your Google Slides! It’s called Remote for Slides and you can see how it works here! A handy little tool!

Some Google Fun 

Here are a few great extras from Google that I really liked playing with this week. I read about them here on Matt Miller’s blog. 

Earth Engine 🌏

Really neat for Science, take a look at the timelapse of an area on Earth. It’s really neat!

Quick Draw ✏️

This is REALLY fun! Give it a try! Google gives you something to draw, and you have a limited time to draw it. Great for a brain break!

AWESOME Google/Grammarly Update 

Grammarly is coming to Google Docs (FINALLY)!  It’s in BETA right now and hopefully will release soon!

I hope these tips and tricks find you well! Reach out anytime you need a quick tip or easy workaround, I’m here ☺️!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟