Sunday, January 22, 2017


Emojis..... or , can evoke many feelings.   One emoji can carry multiple meanings depending on the context. Most students use context clues to determine which emoji meaning is intended by the writer.  To develop critical thinking skills, ask students to analyze examples of the same emoji being used in different ways.  Just as with non-fiction reading, students will need to consider photos and text to determine the author's intention when choosing the emoji.

For a writing activity, use this Emoji generator spreadsheet (created by Eric Curts) to randomly generate various emojis.  Students can then write a story based on the randomly selected emojis.  Students can press "Control" and "R" simultaneously to reload with new random emojis.

Eric Curts also created a random word selector.  You can get a new set of 20 random prompts by refreshing the page in your browser.  Try them out with your class or share out to individual students on Google Classroom (new feature) as an extension activity for students ready for the challenge!  

Or create challenging puzzles or stories by combining emojis and words or syllables.  (See Inserting Special Characters/Emojis Post)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Individualized Student Assignments in Google Classroom

Google Classroom has a new feature allowing the teacher to select individual students, groups of students or all students to receive an assignment.  This new feature is great for differentiating assignments or for distributing specific group work to groups of students. For students needing a little extra practice or an extension, teachers can push out specific assignments. Only the students you choose will see the assignment.  

Click here for a brief video overview of the steps.

Or follow these steps!
1.  Select the + sign (lower right corner)/select "Create Assignment"
2.  Fill in Title and instructions
3.  Attach file (document; slide; video or link)
4.  Select "All Students" drop down menu 
5.  Select "All Students" or specific students
6.  Select "Assign"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

17 in 2017

January is a great time to reflect on the year ahead and the goals you hope to achieve.  "17 in 2017" is a list of curriculum ideas and resources available at your fingertips.  Choose one to try this month!  I am happy to provide support to you or your students or to plan a project together.  

 1.  Make your own screencast - make your slides come alive with voice (student projects; directions for a math station, homework instructions)
 2.  Create an eBook with Google slides - example here - great idea for persuasive writing!
 3.  Pear Deck - Interactive opportunities for Peer Instruction 
 4.  Ted Talks - students' share their new found knowledge or passion on any topic; OR watch a Ted Talk of your preference  
 5.  Ted Ed -  use these 3-5 minute videos to share content; lessons include: Watch, Think, Dig Deeper, and Discuss (How Clouds Get Their Names)
 6.  There's an App for that....math, geography, creativity, writing - Tech Room iPad Pack (includes 5 iPads) can be signed out anytime!
 7.  Blogging - you or your students (Kidblog)- Great way to communicate and to get your students writing!
 8.  Kahoot - a fun and informative check in
 9.  Seesaw - the fastest way to create a portfolio of student work; invaluable when preparing report cards or at a parent conference.  You can take pictures or videos of a students work and have them annotate or record their voice explaining their thinking.  
10.  Explore the Tech Tools Page for curriculum resources and links for your students
11.  Plickers - scan the room for a quick check in (no student device needed)
12.  Google Drawing - be creative!  Create images with captions, images with arrows, interactive activities, the possibilities are endless!
13.  Today's Meet -  give everyone a voice with a mix of traditional book groups and virtual discussion
14.  Twitter - expand your PLN (Teach Thought Article: 50 Educator Twitter Accounts Worth Following)
15.  Flippity - randomly select groups; Jeopardy template; or create flashcards; open a Google Spreadsheet and select Addons/Flippity
16.  Google Keep - organize notes, assignments, ideas with virtual stickies
17.  Google Forms as assessments, surveys, or feedback regarding a field trip or guest speaker.

Take small steps....try something new each month by adding these engaging resources to your tool kit!  Let me know how I can help.

Google Keep: