Tap to Reveal Google Slides Hack

Tap to Reveal

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

3 Googley Ideas for Quick and Easy Formative Assessment

3 Googley Ideas

Something I believe every good lesson includes is purposefully planned formative assessments. Whether looking over student work, having students turn and talk, taking a classroom poll, giving an exit ticket, or using another formative assessment strategy, the effectiveness really comes when the teacher takes what he or she learns from collecting that data and uses it to adjust instruction – helping to reteach and mitigate student misunderstandings. Here are three of my favorite Google Tools you can use to quickly and easily gather student data to drive your instruction during a lesson: Continue reading

Choice Learning Interactive Hyperslides

Choice Learning (1)

I was working on preparing for a day-long professional development coming up on my campus. Throughout the year staff members have shared different professional development needs that they would like me to cover when possible. As I began to plan how to cover all of the different topics requested, I realized that not everyone is on the same level or has the same learning needs for each topic. While some teachers need the basics of how to set up a twitter account, others want to know how to effectively use hashtags, and still others are twitter experts. And that’s only the topic of twitter! How could I possibly meet everyone’s needs without having them sit through information they already know or don’t care about? Continue reading

From Thanksgiving to Christmas: Positive Incentives and Templates that WORK!

From Christmas - graphic

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

Book Study in a Box

Book Study in a Box

I am currently participating in a book study on The New Pillars of Modern Teaching by Gayle Allen facilitated by Kathryn Laster @kklaster of Region 10. The book challenges educators to provide learners with choice in the time, place, medium, and socialness of their learning. Kathryn and her team have done an outstanding job of giving book study participants like me power over their learning in each of these areas throughout the book study. Continue reading

Cooperative Critical Writing

Cooperative Critical Writing Graphic

As we plan for improvement, writing is at the forefront of everyone’s mind on my campus, in my district, and across our state. We have been brainstorming practical and meaningful ways to incorporate more writing across academic areas in order to bolster and strengthen students’ skills. As I began brainstorming today, I realized that just writing more won’t entirely solve the problem because students who are struggling with how to write a complete sentence, for example, aren’t going to get any better at this skill by just being required to write more. And we’ve already got quality first instruction in place as well as small group interventions. Continue reading

Google Sheets Poster Printing HACK!

Google Sheets Poster Printing Hack

Years and years ago (like first year teaching years ago) I used to use Microsoft Excel to create multi-page posters that I could piece together to have great professional-looking typed posters without having to pay for poster printing. You should know, I am also a font snob and I am not in love with the font choices provided in the Microsoft suite (we can’t add fonts onto district computers). Ahhhh but the font choices in Google Apps… FANTASTIC!!! I haven’t had a use for this old poster-making hack again until recently, but thought it was worth a share in case you ever need to print a poster or large multi-page title in a pinch and/or on a budget! Continue reading