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....

Monday, November 20, 2017

Inserting Images

Recently Google made an update to how we insert images in Docs, Slides and Google Drawing.  When you select 'Insert/Image', you will see a small pop-out menu allowing for uploading from your computer, Drive, Google Photos, by the URL or by searching the web.

Unfortunately, if your students search the web from this menu, the photos are not filtered down to public domain images.  When looking for images to support your students' writing and presentations, students should search through the Copyright Free Image Sites provided on the Tech Tools Page.  The Tech Tools is accessible from the WPSS Home Page.  Students should always cite their image sources.

There are some cool bonus features when inserting images in Google Drawing.  Students can add captions, crop, rotate, change the color palette, add reflection, drop shadow or transparency.  Be creative and explore the capabilities of Google!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Classroom Screen

Classroom Screen provides teacher tools at your fingertips.  You will have instant access to a timer, red light, noise level reminders and volume meters.  Or just enjoy the serenity of the wide selection of backdrops.  There is a full screen and an in screen drawing tool.  Use your trackpad to quickly model a shape or equation!  The drawing tool includes a selection of backgrounds including a grid.  Small drawings can be uploaded and shared with your students.  You can move the tools around the screen, use one at a time or display multiple tools if necessary.  

You will want to bookmark this tool today!  Check out this 2-minute video highlighting some of's features.  


How to Bookmark

1.  Click the star in the Omnibox to save the current page as a bookmark. You can also press Ctrl+D on your keyboard

2.  A dialog box will appear. If you delete the name, an icon will appear on your Bookmarks Bar.  You can also shorten the name if you want to, just type the new name in the "Name" box.  

3.  Choose where you want the bookmark to appear (on the Bookmarks Bar, in a folder, etc) from the Folder dropdown menu.

4.  Click Done.