Sunday, February 24, 2019

Dr. Seuss You Can Do

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
~ Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel will be honored in early March all around the world. His books are timeless and enjoyable. Who doesn't remember reading "The Cat in the Hat" or "Green Eggs and Ham"? How many teachers have added to "Oh, the Places You'll Go" for a student to receive at their high school graduation?

I have a tech-infused way you and your students can honor him, too! I created this for a 1st grade teacher and her students, so don't underestimate "who" can do this - everyone can! Google Slides is the perfect tool to allow students to create their own magazine. It allows your students to celebrate Dr. Seuss while also practicing many tech skills. Searching and replacing images, typing, researching, backing up opinions, and dragging and dropping. My "piรจce de rรฉsistance" is to have the parent/guardian emails on hand and help your students share it with them! [As a mom, my heart would just melt if I opened my email to find the work one of my daughters' created at school!]

"And will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed." 
~ Dr. Seuss

Interested? Feel free to grab your own here ↬ Seuss-tastic Newz. You'll find a cover and 2 inside pages ... one, ready to go for your littlest ones; the other, is fully editable for you to adjust/add/subtract as you would like. Decide which one you want and delete the other. 

If this type of activity is something you'd like to do more of, please check out the site I've created with a colleague, Beth Kingsley, called Templates for Teachers. We have this template, as well as over 50 templates you can preview and make your own copy of. From there, you can modify them to fit you and your students perfectly. We also have a Google Form you can submit a request a template. I truly love creating these templates!

"You'll never be bored when you try something new. There's really no limit to what you can do."
~ Dr. Seuss

Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below or on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at

Monday, February 18, 2019

Division Your Students Can Do

A little more than a week ago, a student came to me with her chromebook. I assumed she was having issues with it, but the screen looked fine. She puts her chromebook down on the desk. I see she has the multiplication facts activity I created awhile back pulled up on her screen. In a quiet voice, she points to it and asks, "Do you have anything like this for division?" 

I was a bit shocked and had to ask her to repeat herself. She repeats her question and looks at me. I cannot lie ... I was speechless. Finding words, I asked her, "Are you asking if I have something for division facts like this?"

She nodded. Finally understanding, I asked her one more question, "Are you saying you'd like to practice your division facts using something like what you have for multiplication?" 

She again smiles, and explains, "See, I'm almost done with my 10's facts for multiplication, and I know I'll move on to division. So I was wondering if you had something like this for division ..."

I smiled and responded, "Not yet, but I will work on it & let your teacher know when it's ready!" 

You see, I had gone into this 3rd grade classroom several weeks ago. Since then, she has been using my digital multiplication facts flashcards and has been able to practice and master up through her 10's!! 

Ahhhh! What an awesome compliment! I cannot express in words how this makes me feel. What a rewarding feeling it is to know that you've made a difference in the life of a student ... I created something she found useful AND she was asking for more! Now, I can also tell you this student is one who has to put forth effort at school work.

I happily got to work on it last week and I'm excited to share it out today! You can find them at There is an individual set for each number 1 - 12, as well as sets students can use to challenge themselves. 

A few things I want to point out:
  • I only used division facts that result in whole numbers. 
  • There are several options for your students to practice ... encourage them to try out different ones to see if they prefer one over another
  • There is the ability for the computer to read the facts ... look for the little speaker (this is GREAT for students who like to hear it).
  • Share this with your parents so students can practice at home.

If you are interested in the multiplication facts flashcards, the link and blog post can be found here ↬ Multiplication Your Students Can Do . Please use!

Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below or on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at  ( ).

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Valentine's Activities You Can Do

My job has many different components - which I thoroughly enjoy - and the top two pieces to my job is when I get to work directly with teachers and when I get to work directly with students. I have been fortunate enough to be working with one group students regularly for 2 years now. 

Most of the time, I've got a targeted lesson to tie into something they are working on in class or something their teacher has asked we work on ... but I surprised them Friday with a Valentine's Day themed selection of activities.

These students know Google Slides. They have been working with Slides since 2nd grade, so that's nothing new. However, I published this slidedeck to the web, so they got to see it in a different light. (At first they didn't even recognize it as Slides.) I used the Jourdain presentation template from Slides Carnival and they "oohed & aahed" over it. Since it's "choice activities", I explained they had 6 different activities to choose from and they were free to switch at any time. Then I stepped back and let them explore. link for Valentine's Choice Activities

Looking for a link to make a copy of the choice board? Here you go: Valentine Choice Activities template

๐Ÿ’– Valentine's themed hangman game using's template

๐Ÿ’– Chrome Music Lab to create music

๐Ÿ’– Make your own Valentine's Magnetic poetry in Google Drawing (thanks, Eric Curts!)

๐Ÿ’– Valentine's Day Breakout using's template

๐Ÿ’– Valentine's word search - 2 levels - in Google Slides

๐Ÿ’– create your own Word Cloud with

These kinds of activities are fun, holiday themed tech activities and I try to provide a variety of activities to allow students to explore things they may not otherwise get to see. To my surprise, this group focused on 2 activities - the Music Lab and the Breakout! There was some good music happening and a group of students worked together to "breakout". When the classroom teacher saw how many were drawn to the Music Lab, she went across the hall and grabbed the music teacher to join us for a few minutes and I learned who Kandinsky was!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Reading Around the World You Can Do

For the second year in a row, I've collaborated with a 3rd grade teacher, Anne McEldowney, to bring a little fun to her reading class. Last year, it was an Olympic themed reading game where students earned badges upon completion of various reading activities. Her goal was focused on their written responses. Her students would happily read, as long as she'd let them. However, the responses about their reading were coming up short. We focused on improving this skill through a variety of activities - some Anne already had in place; others were brand new - and the students earned badges. Ultimately, these badges earned them bronze, silver, and gold medals.

THIS year, Anne has a different group of students who need a different focus. Anne came to me saying these students need encouragement TO read and to increase the length of time they read. She also wanted to incorporate an "around the world" theme. [Geography + reading = ๐Ÿ’–!] 

We had a few conversations, threw some ideas around, back-and-forth, up-and-down, and from this was born "Mrs. McEldowney's Reading Around the World"! The ultimate goal is to read around the world in 9 weeks.

To do this, we are bringing together several pieces, and housing it in a Google site. The basic idea is a time goal for each continent, starting in Antarctica and ending in North America. To track their progress, a Progress Tracker was created for each continent with a custom goal. Various reading activities have also been added for each continent and a passport is used to record the students' responses.

the "homepage"
The home page of the site has an embedded Google Map of the world. Each student added a pin to represent themself and then customized their "pin" by choosing their color and an icon of their choice. This allows them to see themself along their reading journey. As they progress, Mrs. Mac will move them from continent to continent. [I added a pin to each continent so they knew the order of their journey from one continent to the next.] It is very exciting to watch as the students move from one continent to the next!

The 1st Continent on the Journey

Each continent has its own page, displaying the Progress Tracker for that continent. Each day, Mrs. McEldowney checks the students' reading logs and credits them with their time. The Progress Tracker is a Google Sheet, published to the web, that is coded to show a progress bar for the corresponding continent. The best part of this tracker is Flippity has this all set up with a template you can, too, can grab and use! 

Once a student reaches the goal for that particular continent, their pin is moved and tomorrow's reading time is credited to the next "stop".