Saturday, February 10, 2018

Quick Access in Google Drive

You may have noticed a new feature in your Google Drive allowing the user to maintain quick access to frequently accessed Google Drive documents.  For some students this is an awesome feature, providing less searching and quicker access. However, some teachers have found this to be a distraction.  If your students are finding this distracting, please let me know.  We would prefer students do NOT make setting adjustments.

If you would like to remove Quick Access from your drive follow these 3 steps:
  1. Click on the gear in the top right corner of your Google Drive 
  2. Select Settings
  3. Uncheck the "Suggestions" box: "Make relevant documents handy when you need them in Quick Access"

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Raz Kids

Raz Kids is more than just an online reading program.  Raz Kids can provide valuable information as you prepare for report cards or create reading partnerships and groups.  These colorful, "just right" books can also support other content areas including non-fiction research and science.  You can even use these books to support math!

Erin Michel and Erin Mann recently pushed out the book, "It's About Time" to all their students.  This informational book supports their lessons on telling time and provides background information on various clocks including sundials, shadow clocks, and more!

Books can be assigned to individual students, small groups or the whole class.

Check out the many great features of Raz Kids!

Step by step 90 second video on how to push out a book to individual or groups of students.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Working Offline in Google Suites

Trying to squeeze in some work as you wait at practice, music lessons, or doctor's appointments?  You can access your recently accessed Google documents, sheets, and slides while offline.  You can also start a new document, slide, sheet and then copy and paste it into your original when you are back online. (Caveat:  Some functionality may not be available.)  Emails you send while offline will send once you sync wifi again.

To activate offline access:  
  1. Go to (or or
  2. Click the gear on the right 
  3. Select Settings
  4. Look for "Offline" and click "Sync Google Docs......."  
  5. Select Done

 (give this time to sync)

Monday, January 15, 2018

100th Day Fun

It’s hard to believe but the 100th day of school is coming up!  Only 20 more days!  As a followup to last week’s tip on Padlet, here is a fun 100th Day activity which can be completed with your class, grade, school-wide, across the district or across the country.  Sara Malchow has created a padlet to share our 100 wishes!  She would love for students across the country to contribute their responses. Or we can create a Padlet just for our school!  Students can access either Padlet with a link or a QR Code.

Monday, January 8, 2018


Padlet is a free, quick and easy tool used to gather information from your students or colleagues.  Padlet is an online bulletin board to share information, images, ideas, links or videos.

  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Exit tickets
  • Share experiences or feedback
  • Book discussions and character analysis
  • Share privately with your students or publicly
  • Share with the greater community to survey students across the country


Choose a premade template or a blank slate at Padlet

Share your Padlet on Google Classroom OR with a link:           

Share publicly or give individual students certain privileges:

Your students/colleagues just double click on the Padlet to share their ideas, responses, images or links!

Or keep it private and use Padlet as your To-Do List!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Emojis in Drive Folders, Google Docs Titles

Is there a folder or document you use regularly?  Would you like it to appear at the top of your list in Google Drive or be instantly identifiable to you and those you share it with?  Or do you just love emojis and want to use them whenever you can?  😃

You can use emojis to creatively distinguish the title of Drive Folders, Google Docs, Slides, Sheets and more. Notice in the image below, titles with an asterisk will appear first (in alphabetical order), emojis next and folder titles which begin with numbers appear next.  

First, you need to find and copy the emoji you want to add to the file or folder title.  The easiest way to do this is to open a Google Doc, select “Insert/Special Characters”.  From the “Symbol” menu in the top left, choose “Emoji” and any subcategories.  For example, you may want a cloud emoji on your Weather Unit Folder.

  • Copy the emoji (choose the emoji, highlight, select Command + C)
  • In your drive, right-click on the folder or document you want to add the emoji to
  • or click on the folder then select the 3 vertical dots
  • Select “Rename”
  • Paste (Command + V) the emoji into the title box
  • Click “OK”  

The more you use Google Drive, the more unorganized your Drive may become.  Be sure to use features such as color coding, creating folders and sub-folders and naming conventions to keep your Google Drive organized and user-friendly!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Fabulous Fonts

I often hear teachers say they still use Microsoft Word because they believe the Google Fonts are limited.  But did you know there are hundreds more Google Fonts?

Play around with these Google Fonts and add those you think you will use!  This site allows you to preview the font in a sentence, paragraph, numbers, the alphabet or your custom wording.

The styles are endless!  Just tap the plus sign and these fonts will be available in your Google Documents, Slides, etc.

 Great for beginning writers!

Add some flair to your documents....use text that highlights the theme....