Sunday, November 22, 2020
Sunday, November 15, 2020
This week I am taking a pause from Google Classroom because November is quite possibly one of my favorite months! I'll be 100% honest - it IS my birthday month, BUT honest and truly, I love the leaves changing ... I love the fall smell in the air ... I love how some days are warm, but some have a chill ... and most of all, I love Thanksgiving. My mom does an AMAZING Thanksgiving dinner. The entire nine yards. Yum!!!
This year has been a tough year. Yes, all around T O U G H. But here we are. It's mid-November. I can smell the turkey. I can taste my mom's dinner rolls and the pumpkin pie. (I load mine with Cool whip!) Yum yum yum.
While it's been a tough year, I still know I have a lot to be grateful for. I write 6 items I am grateful for each day in my journal. My family is always number one. Our health is number two. Sometimes it's the weather, sometimes it's a co-worker who has been incredibly helpful; it has been that my husband didn't lose his job, my daughter didn't need stitches, we all got to go back to school, and so on.
The activity I'm sharing today is "Gratitude A-Z You Can Do" and has all the slides A-Z in the add a slide area, so it won't overwhelm any student. Instruct students to complete 1 slide each day, or multiple. It's a total of 26 slides. Not sure you can devote that much time to it? Have students spell out their name or "thankful" or another Thanksgiving-related word.
Interested in making your own copy? Click on this link for "Gratitude A-Z You Can Do." Now you can use your own copy to create an Assignment in Google Classroom (or your chosen LMS). I highly recommend using the "Make a copy" for each student.
In case you are looking for more, or even something additional, last year I shared the activity I created for 4th graders in my district. I called it "Thankful Thoughts You Can Do". (Feel free to click the link and explore that activity.) I've also been collecting Thanksgiving-related activities in, you guessed it, a Thanksgiving collection. I hope you and your students enjoy!
Do you know of other good activities? I'd love to add them. You can leave them in the comments below ⤵. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tweet at me: @kiefersj. Or even connect on Facebook: sarah.w.kiefer .
Sunday, November 8, 2020
It's November. Pause and take a deep breath. We've made it this far. Whatever your situation - you've made it. You've done it. Yay! Let's celebrate! 🙌
Whew! Our 1st quarter has ended and 2nd quarter starts Monday. A new quarter means new opportunities. Adjustments. Keep what is working and adjust what needs tweaking or updating or overhauling. This is the perfect time to make improvements to your digital classrooms, too.
I've shared suggestions with my teachers and today I've formalized it a bit and I'm sharing today. I've outlined 7 easy steps to starting this quarter - and each future quarter - on a 'better' foot.
The first Slide is a comprehensive overview of all the steps. (I've included a link to a PDF for quick & easy printing below, if interested.) Slides 2-7 provide a bit of detail and further explanation for each step. The final Slide shares links to specific Google Classroom resources that might be helpful.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Last week I shared one of the presentations I did at TCCA. This week, I'm sharing the other one. Google Sheets in the Classroom is focused on using Google Sheets with students in your classroom. Sheets - at first glance - is a spreadsheet tool. And you're not wrong ... but as with so many of the Google tools, don't just use it for its initial use. Look beyond.
Google Sheets has the ability to break any activity or task into multiple parts ... use the tabs at the bottom in a similar manner to new slides in Google Slides or a new page in Google Docs. You can insert images two different ways; merge cells to make larger spots; change the font, the font size and color; fill cells with color; and so much more! I also built my entire presentation IN Sheets so that you can see quickly how versatile Sheets truly can be.
In my presentation, I share 5 activities I've created for use in classrooms. I also share one of my favorite tools - Flippity.net - where Steve shares numerous pre-made activities you can also do. ALL use Sheets as its creation tool. My favorites are the Flashcards, Spelling Words, Matching Game, and Timeline. Sooooo many more - I encourage you to check them and use them. But don't stop there ... encourage your STUDENTS to also use them and build their own.
The most common comment I hear when I bring up using Sheets with teacher and students is that Sheets is very intimidating and teachers are uncomfortable using it. I want to change that. I'm hoping that by sharing this presentation and activities, teachers will see Sheets as a valuable tool.