When my daughter Madison was really little, I used to print on paper lunch bags and put treats, games, and activities inside for when we went on long trips. This way, she had something new to open and do every 30 minutes on our trips instead of being bored and asking again and again, “Are we there yet?”
There are lots of resources out there for creating digital breakouts or escape rooms, but I have to admit, I thought I just wasn’t creative enough (and didn’t have enough time) to create one myself. I challenge my staff all the time to take risks and try new things, so I decided I better practice what I preach! A couple of weeks back, we had a staff meeting scheduled on a week that turned out to be very bust – with lots of other events, schedule changes, and meetings that popped up after the initial staff meeting was planned, so I knew I wanted to do a flipped meeting or virtual meeting instead of having everyone come in at the same time before school. This was the perfect opportunity to try out a Digital Breakout/Escape room with my staff! Continue reading
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about more ways to take full advantage of the touch screen devices we have on our campuses. One way is to have students drag and drop words and objects to show their understanding. I wanted to see if I could do this using Google Slides. Since I planned with my 3rd grade team last week, I created a template with the content they were working on (multiplication) and a silly theme I thought would appeal to their kids (rainbow unicorns, of course!). Continue reading
When I was a classroom teacher, I used to love to create games, incentives and interactive lessons using the Smart Notebook software because it gave me options to have students “Tap to Reveal” answers in different fun ways. Did you know this can be easily replicated in Google Slides??? Check it out – click on the balloon to reveal the answer: Continue reading
I truly cannot believe the school year is almost over! I personally love to take time to reflect at the end of each school year (here is the template I use to help me reflect on my year) and I believe we should provide opportunities for our students to reflect at the close of each year, as well. Continue reading
You probably know about Chrome Extensions – those little apps that you can add to Google Chrome. You may not know that you can also customize Google Slides (and Docs, Sheets, and Forms for that matter) with similar little “apps” called Add-ons. Continue reading
Last year, my good friend and fellow principal Jennifer Vest ( @PrincipalVest ) told me about a kindness challenge she created for her staff to encourage them to share kindness with students, family, and each other. As a member of the #momsasprincipals PLN, I often listen and read through the amazing ideas shared by this group of leaders in our Voxer group. This week as I was scrolling through, the topic of conversation was motivating staff through the month of February – which is widely known as a morale slump. One colleague posted a calendar of fun treats and celebrations to help staff have a Fabulous February. Continue reading
As educators, we’ve got important information that we want to convey to students, parents, staff, and often our community members. While verbally sharing our stories or writing them down for others to reference still have their place (ahem… like writing a blog, for example…), more and more, people prefer to receive their information by watching quick little videos.
Want to keep kids engaged in your learning and not dreaming of Santa and presents? Need some motivation for the weeks leading up to the Winter Break?
Take the #MakeDecemberMagic Challenge! Not only will it fuel you with ideas of what to tweet (if you’re new to twitter), but it will challenge you to keep things fresh, positive, and fun for your students so that you’re not just trudging through until the break, but you are *hopefully* motivated to #MakeDecemberMagic for students! Continue reading
I can’t believe it’s here already, but here we are: that span of time that can sometimes feel like one of the longest stretches of the school year – the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ve had a taste of break. Those days off felt great! We’re refreshed and rejuvenated (well, I am anyway 😉)! The first week back feels great! But then, the closer we get to Christmas break, the more excited about Christmas the students get and the more stressed we tend to get. Why? I say the culprit is… presents! Kids are excited about them and we’re stressed because we’ve got to get them all (and clean our houses for guests, and prepare meals… so much to do before the big day)! Continue reading