Monday, December 20, 2021
Sunday, December 12, 2021
Flippity is created from a Google Sheet. The template for each type of Flippity you want is included on the website (along with instructions and a demo). Flippity.net provides at least 25 activities you can customize for your students. Everything from a digital breakout, to a name spinner, to mad libs, a leaderboard, and even printable bingo cards! I could share about all of these - and I encourage you to check them out - but, let me get back to spelling.
- Create 1 Flippity for your entire class - this would be if all students learned all the same words at the same speed; each week
- Create 1 Flippity for each student - this is a perfect way to differentiate and give each student the "right" words at the right speed for that child
- Have students create their own - definitely a step up, but again allows students to have a very differentiated learning experience.
- it's FREE!
- easily duplicate the template
- sharing is super easy - make sure you share it with parents!
- sentences can be included for context, but not required
- will speak the words (& sentences)
- 3 ways to study - List ... Practice ... Quiz
- possibility of getting very basic results via email
- Google Sheets in the Classroom You Can Do
- Study Habits Your Students Can Do
- 5 Tech Infused St. Patrick's Day Activities You Can Do
- Division Your Students Can Do
- Valentine's Activities You Can Do
- Reading Around the World You Can Do
- Multiplication Your Students Can Do
- Digital Flashcards You Can Do
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
- "locked" ➣ GREAT - retain the shape shared in; TROUBLE - students can't manipulate/interact with
- easy to open ➣ GREAT - PDFs really can be opened regardless of program, software, or device; TROUBLE - depending on the type of PDF, may not retain accessibility for screen readers
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
I am confident that you've been in a situation where you've been given a list of names. I'm going to guess you've felt the frustration of the list having the names in a single cell (probably lastname, firstname OR firstname lastname) but you really wanted them in separate cells. Or what about the reverse ... the list you've been given has the names in separate cells but you want them in the same (maybe separated by a comma?). Ugh. No need to retype the list! You can make your list be exactly what you want ... with very little effort!
Sunday, November 14, 2021
Sunday, October 24, 2021
I make it no secret that working with teachers and students is my dream job. When I shared Freedom from Your Desk You Can Do two weeks ago, I wasn't sure where it would go. After all, it's an extension that has been around for awhile - but I had not used it until recently. After setting it up with one teacher, I also shared it out to all of the teachers in my district. Thanks to them, I am following up to share what they discovered and shared back to me! I think it makes this extension "that" much better.
Here's what I've learned about this extension:
- Jessica shared how she was able to print items from her desktop ... while she was in the copier room! That's right! Being able to trigger a print job from items on her desktop via her chromebook - wow!
- Guess who'll never "lose" another print job ... or have to make several trips back and forth to the copy room?
- Leah shared how she uses the non-mirroring ability on her desktop (so her projector acts as a second screen) and with this extension she can see BOTH "screens" on her desktop.
- It's kind of small, but possible.
- Think how many screens she has now? Unlimited on her chromebook and unlimited on her dual screens on her desktop!
- Amy shared how she was able to control her desktop from off campus!
- She said she even printed remotely.
- At home sick? Want to set your desktop up for your sub? Just needs to be powered on, right?
Anyone else's mind blown right now? No one goes into teaching thinking they know everything ... but this unexpected learning is always so fun!
If you want additional freedom from your desktop, I highly recommend the Chrome Remote Desktop extension. What will YOU discover? Please be sure to share back so we can all learn.
And with all of the shortages, is there anything YOU can share? It doesn't have to be a full lesson. It's doesn't have to be a big package or tool. Do you have tips or tricks or ways of doing things that make your teaching life easier? Can you share something ... even if you think it's silly or too small ... it might be "the thing" that helps one other teacher.
Sunday, October 17, 2021
- Tony Vincent's Google Document URL Tricks
- Keyboard Shortcuts Wakelet collection
- Google Calendar Wakelet collection
Sunday, October 10, 2021
Wow. What I had thought would be a week off from writing ended up being a little more than two months! I know I don't owe you an explanation, but here it is ... life got busy. And this year is tough. Tougher than last year. Something had to give. But I'm back today with a good one!
The set up isn't difficult, but it has several steps on two computers. In my district, each teacher has an iMac as their desktop and a chromebook as their portable device. Doing this it isn't difficult, but it takes a minute to wrap your head around it. They do not want to be tied down to their desktop as they present, but in order to control the tabs, slides, volume, and more, they'd have to be right there. With this extension - you can be FREE!
It's all about a single extension you add to your Chrome account that allows you to control your ENTIRE desktop via a second device. It really is mind-blowing the first several times you think about it. It's a 2 part process, so to help with this, I made 2 videos to share. Really, it's more about being confident in "following the clicks" as you install the extension. And be sure to write down your PIN! That is key in making this process work!
Part 1: Installing on your desktop (or your main computer)
Sunday, August 1, 2021
This past summer wasn't as busy for me as the summer before, but I didn't sit around either! I needed a break more than I thought I did and I was grateful my family was able to go on our COVID-delayed vacation in June.
I know many of us are STILL taking a much deserved break, but some are busily preparing for the upcoming school year and looking for some learning. Rest assured, these learning opportunities aren't going anywhere and plenty of others will join them.
The first item I want to point out is the "Professional Learning" tab at the top of my site. I have been collecting free &/or low cost professional development for awhile now and have it all here on this page. There are filters at the top you can use to better guide your search along with the ability to do a keyword search. There is a TON out there ... so be sure to take a look. And come back in a week or so, I'm sure I'll be adding to it.
Next, I want to share the summer series I did with Dr. Desiree Alexander, of Educator Alexander. She is my Google Innovator Coach and who I also did an Intro to Google Series with during the summer of 2020. BOTH of these series and their resources can be found on our site, "Level Up with Google". The Level Up series is at the top and the intro series is at the bottom. There are 6 two hour webinars in the Level Up, covering Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings & Jamboard, and Sites. The Intro series has 10 two hour webinars covering Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drive, Classroom, Forms as Assessments, collection of Google Apps, Chrome, and Sites.
AND I was able to do my first in-person presentations last week at a great conference here in Cincinnati called "High AIMs". Wow! Did it feel both great and weird at the same time! I presented twice - once solo, and once with a colleague. For my solo session, I share numerous ways you can use Google Sheets in the classroom (including pre-made templates you can go ahead and share). For the joint session, Brittney Priore and I share our brand new project, Tech With Littles. Brittney is a 1st grade teacher and she and I teamed up to create Tech with Littles to further help and promote the "purposeful integration of technology" in your classroom, with a focus on the littlest learners. I'm SUPER excited about this ... it's not just activities you can do, but also the thinking behind them and the WHY we need to purposefully integrate technology into our classrooms. Both sessions and their resources are on "My Presentations" tab. (You will need to search for earlier events, as they are over.)
My summer isn't over, yet, and I still have some presentations to go. The next will be at the G-Tech Summit this Wednesday, August 4. I will do 3 presentations. You can still sign up for this awesome, FREE, and virtual summit and join in all the goodies! Jon Corippo and Jake Miller will be doing keynotes so you definitely do NOT want to miss out! You can sign up - for FREE - on their website, G-Tech Summit. All of my sessions are showing on "My Presentations" tab already.
This week on Friday, I will present twice at the SPARCC Conference, hosted by Eric Curts and friends. One session is a pre-recorded session "Start Your Digital Year on the Right Foot" and one live - virtual - session "Start Google Classroom on the Right Foot". This, too, is FREE, and you can still sign up on the main SPARRC Conference site. You will find links to both the live and prerecorded sessions here. I'd love to "see" you!
And finally, to wrap it up, before summer wraps up, I will also be recording my presentations for Kasey Bell's "Shake Up Learning Back to School Conference". It's not until later in September, but being pre-recorded sessions, so I need to get mine done before school kicks into gear. As Kasey would say, I'm #SuperExcited for this! YOU can register - it's FREE, all on-line, and you can watch and re-watch as many of them as you'd like. There is the ability to upgrade your access with her "All Access Pass" and hold onto access to these videos AND so many more of her wonderful classes, if you are interested.
Bottom line - as much as I needed and wanted a break, my break didn't happen by turning my brain off. I keep learning everyday and I've enjoyed doing so. I hope you are interested in at least one of the above learnings - let me know which one helps you the most!
Reach out with comments below or any of the social media links above. I'd love to hear from you! Enjoy!
Sunday, July 25, 2021
This is my last Summer Sunday Tip and it's all about looking forward. If you've followed me for awhile, you know that I am a goal-setter. I am a BIG believer in goals and I think you should, too!
I set goals personally.
I set goals physically.
I set goals mentally.
I haven't always written them down, and I've shared them out even less. I believe in goal setting, but I'm also afraid to share with others my goals, in case I don't succeed ... I know I need to be better about this. It's not that I'm afraid I won't reach the goal, it's more that I don't want others to see me as a failure. (It's crazy, right!?!)
This is my FINAL "Summer Sunday Tip" - set goals for yourself.
Set short and long term goals. Set as many as you want ... and then prioritize them. Which ones can you do NOW? Which ones need to wait a little bit? Which ones will take you longer? Which ones do you need someone else to help you with them?
I write my goals out for the entire calendar year. Then I identify ones I want to achieve in each month. And then I write daily, ones that I want to do today to remind me of their importance. Nothing super fancy, I write in my notebook.
Here's a peek at some of mine:
* what's left of this summer 👉family pictures; finish overhauling the hall closet; paint the pantry; hang wallpaper in our 1st floor hallway
* upcoming school year 👉adjust to the shift in my role with the opening of a new building; publicize the Staff Help hub; create a better parent resource
* for my blog 👉try to publish once per week; work on improvements; get back to sharing on my TYCD: Resources
* for my joint ventures 👉work faithfully at sharing out
* physically 👉 keep up with running; regularly strength train; work on core strength
* family life 👉stay conscious of time and needs; be supportive; eat healthier ... minimize eating out; BE there
I hope that you set - and achieve! - the goals you set for yourself. Goals can always be adjusted, never beat yourself up over not achieving them. Heck, 2 weeks ago, I finished painting the cabinet in my daughter's bathroom that I had planned on getting done over Christmas break! But I don't give up. It might take me longer than I had planned, but I'll do it.
That's my ultimate goal - do what I set out to do, and do it to the best of my ability.
Next week, I'll return and share the learning adventures I've done this summer. I'll also share some exciting new adventures I'm taking on!!!
Sunday, July 11, 2021
I'm not a big fan of repeating myself so soon - but today's tip is a SUPER IMPORTANT step. And I'll admit, cleaning hasn't really ever been my thing. BUT with the last couple of years, I've become a big believer in keeping our digital spaces neat and tidy, just like our living spaces. While majority of my blogs are aimed towards teachers who use Google and its products, you can easily swap out any LMS for today's FINAL "Summer Sunday Tip" -->
Whatever that means.
Return work, archive classes, recycle/trash what needs to be, and start this coming year with a fresh slate. I am familiar with a couple of LMS's, and see a ton of value in just archiving - makes it super easy to reuse assignments, materials, resources in the future. So depending on your specific LMS, you may need to adjust a few of the steps.
I shared these Slides in early May and if you've not yet done these 4 things ... why??? I beg you - do it for you and do it for your students.
Often, our students are stuck with what teachers don't take care of. You'd never want your new students to walk into class with their backpack still full of last years papers, notebooks, and work, right? That's what not cleaning up our digital space does for them.
This is all pretty easy and straightforward ... so waste time. Do it!
Sunday, July 4, 2021
JUNE. IS. OVER.
How is this possible? How is summer approaching the half-way mark already? Yikes!
Now, there really is no reason to panic - I still have about 6 weeks before school starts. And just today I checked a big "to do" off my list - one that has been nagging for me to do since I put it on my Christmas Break to do list! Woot! Woot! I still have plenty of time to soak up summer and all the goodness it holds - the sun, the relaxed pace, extra family time, the late nights, the DIY projects, and more.
How do I do this? Honestly, every morning when I journal, I feel like I am also reflecting. It's nothing fancy and it's not difficult. What did I get done yesterday? What do I need - and what do I want - to do today? And by doing this, it helps me focus my attention on smaller pieces to my larger goals. If you are familiar with brain dumps, you know how helpful (and cathartic) it can be to jot down the things running through your brain. That's what journaling does for me each day.
If you've not ever tried it, I highly recommend pulling out a notebook and try it. I've been faithfully journaling every day for the past 18 months. I even shared a blog about it last March in "Uncertain Times You (& I) Can Do". I don't buy fancy notebooks and my layout has evolved over time. (I do love a good pen - currently I'm loving the scrapbooking blue pen I'm using for the month of July.)
Now ... how about you? Are you staying up late? Catching up on books you've collected? Playing taxi and driving your kids around everywhere? Starting a new work out program? Lounging by the pool? Working on some continuing ed? DIY projects around your house? Binge watching a show on tv?
What ever is occupying your time this summer, I hope you are finding rest and recuperation through it. We all rest and recuperate differently, so enjoy it!
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Since it's summer time, it's a great time to go through your Drive and clean it up a bit because if you weren't aware - Google will be imposing some limitations on storage. Boo! I've had my time to cry over this - and now I'm ready to make the best of it.
Nearly 2 years ago, I wrote a post "Google Drive Organization You Can Do" where I shared 6 steps to help you organize your Drive. I am sharing it again today because the steps still hold value. Organizing your Drive is NOT easy ... for most teachers, it's not fun, so I cannot stress this enough ... set a timer and do it over several days or even a couple of weeks. (I talk about this in Step 3.) You can set aside 10-15 minutes and you'll be shocked at how fast the time goes.
Now, for those of you leaving one school and going to a different school - now is the BEST time for you to tackle this. I find that we tend to hold on to a lot of unneeded files. Take this time to go through your Drive and decide what you REALLY want to keep.
I'd strongly recommend the following proceed in conjunction with the 6 Steps from the post above:
- in your CURRENT Drive make 2 folders "Keep" and "Don't Need"
- go through your Drive using the 6 steps - and quickly make a decision as to which folder you need to move it to
- once you're done, share the "Keep" folder to your PERSONAL account with editing
- in your personal account, make copies of all the files (you can select multiple files at one time and use the "make a copy" to make copies of all of them at once)
- you can un-share the "Keep" folder which will take the originals away from your personal account
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Summer is the perfect opportunity to take a step back and say to yourself, what do I need to take care of? For me it's a lot of around the house items but also some personal items. Looking back at my 1st Summer Sunday Tip, Summer Sunday Tip #1: To Do Lists You Can Do, I focused on to do lists. I'm happy to report I've checked a few things off my to do list. They are not glamorous items - oil change, fixed an electric outlet in our kitchen, cleaned out all 3 of my girls closets, and met with our financial planner. But man! It felt great to get those items checked off.
I have several things I still need to check off my lists and a few things to schedule. My girls and I have dentist appointments coming up in July. Isn't that sweet? Yep, we have one giant appointment together. It's a great way to spend about 2 hours.
Female? You know what I'm talking about. Don't put those items off.
How about some downtime for just you? I still set my alarm so that I have some quiet time in the morning all to myself. I love that time. I cherish that time. Maybe your vision of downtime is reading a book or two? I know I have a couple that I still want to read.
And here's something else. How about some crafty time? I hope to paint my girls bathroom cabinet and maybe redo the floors, too. I'm half-way through a bit of a reorganization in my basement, so I need to finish that.
I share all this not to tell you to go find things to do or to do the things that I am doing. But in summer, I use my time very differently than I do during the year. That is a benefit of this extended time off.
So ... what do YOU usually put off during the school year? Pick one thing to check off your list tomorrow. Then repeat the next day. You'll feel better. (It goes so well with my Summer Tip #1!)
And the next thing on my list of things we've avoided ... vacation! We couldn't do it last year, so no more postponing! I'm signing off to enjoy!!!
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Sunday, June 6, 2021
Fact: I have multiple to do lists - both personally and professionally.
Fact: There is something super satisfying about checking off an item on my "to do" list.
Today I am kicking off series of blog posts focused on small and doable things perfect for summer time. And the first thing I want to focus on is "to do" lists.
Summer Sunday Tip #1 : create your own to do list for things you want to accomplish. This should take no more than 5 minutes. Use something as simple and handy as a notebook and pen. Or do something digital - Google Keep, the Reminders or Notes app, or even a Google Doc or Sheet.
Not buying in? Here's why you should:
My to do lists often reflect and incorporate my goals. They are long-term and short-term as well as reminders. They are a means of centering me each day. They are also a source of brain-dumping where I can write out projects or ideas that maybe I can't do right now, but I can record, modify, improve on later.
I start each month with writing out a to do list of what I'd like to accomplish that month, broken into big categories. I don't have tons of items in each category and often there is carry over from the month before.
- personal - family items, around-the-house projects
- fitness - my Apple watch goal, a milage goal for running
- school - items specific to school projects/activities
- professional - my blogs, presentations
- Do you have a fitness goal? Maybe you want to start a walking program. Maybe you want to increase your weights. Write it down.
- Are there projects around the house you have been putting off? Right down. Have you been putting off calling the plumber for that leaky toilet? Write it out.
- Need to pack for a summer vacation? To do lists will lessen the crazy last minute running around.
- Random items you want to do? Jot it down.
- Wednesday, June 9 @ 2:05 pm EST - #WakeletCommunityWeek: Wakelet for Everyone!
- Tuesday, June 22 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Docs
- Tuesday, June 29 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Sheets
- Thursday, July 1 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Slides
- Friday, July 9 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Forms
- Monday, July 12 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Drawings and Jamboard
- Tuesday, July 13 @ 1 pm EST - Level Up with Google Sites
Sunday, May 23, 2021
I've never run a marathon - the most I've done is half of one. But that is still 13.1 miles. I pushed myself during training and I pushed myself during the race. I feel like this school year has been a lot like running a half-marathon. And I don't mind admitting this - I'm tired. I feel like I've been pushing myself all year. And I'm exhausted. We will be crossing the finish line on Thursday. I've got to keep going until Thursday.
Wrapping up a year with thoughts toward next year simply mean that you can put this year to rest while helping to ensure a good start to next year. (We didn't really get that last year, did we?) I've got some tips on wrapping up this year - with a look to the future - so that next year starts as smooth as possible.
Tip #1 - Take care of your Google Classroom (or LMS)
Two weeks ago, I shared "End of Year Google Classroom You Can Do". Don't skip this. Do it now and it will benefit you AND your students,
Tip #2 - Reflect
I have this included in Tip #1, but reflect on more than just your digital classroom. None of us liked all the restrictions, but let's focus on what and how we built relationships. What will you keep doing? What can you improve on? Did you "up" your communication with parents in a digital fashion? Did you like virtual conferences? Generate a few really positives and add a few things you'd want to keep improving on. (No need to list out all of the dislikes ... too many of them! And most we had zero control over.)
Tip #3 - Unplugging your school computer
BEFORE you unplug everything, take pictures of the back of your computer and where the cords plug in the wall. Don't rely on your memory to do this - a quick couple of photos will do a better job. Bonus tip: find those tiny colored dots or use washi tape to help you realign cord to outlet.
Tip #4 - Turn everything off
Honestly, I love this because it does save some energy, but beyond that, it's just really good practice to unplug when you won't be using something for a period of time. (I recommend it at our winter and spring breaks, too.) And be diligent - your computer, your projector, your speakers, even pencil sharpeners. Everything.
Tip #5 - Student computers
Each district will probably share their own list of what to do with any student devices. But if not, at the VERY least, have students completely power down - not just close the lid - and then unplug from the wall. Just like your school computer and peripherals, no need to be charging them if students won't be using them.
Tip #6 - Do summer YOUR way
Every teacher has a method to their summer breaks. Some shut off their teacher brain completely for a period of time, some never shut it off. Some use summer to do professional learning, others don't. Some go on vacation right away, some wait until the end. Some have summer jobs, others don't. There is NO RIGHT way! Do it your way! Use your time in the summer to refuel however you want. And don't let others stress you out about how you are doing it. Me ... I don't turn my brain off. I use it in a different way, and I enjoy more free time, but it's always on. Below I've got some ways that I will be using my brain - and if they appeal to you, I'd love it if you join me!
I'll keep blogging here - probably about twice a month or so.
I'll be doing some presentations - be sure to check My Presentations calendar for these events!
I'll keep sharing on my Tech You Can Do: Resources blog.
I'm hoping to add some additional templates to Templates for Teachers.
Enjoy the rest of your year and the start to summer!
Sunday, May 9, 2021
I want to focus in on 4 areas of great importance - reflection, Google Drive, Classroom, and Calendar. I believe spending a little bit of time on them now are the keys to wrapping up the year in a productive manner and will go a long way in starting next year off well.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Yowzer! I've had such a positive response to my previous blog "Slide Master You Can Do" that I'm adding to the video collection today. I break apart several of the components of the master slide so you can see a detailed - but quick - view of how it impacts your entire slide deck. I've also collected these all in my "Google Slides: Master Slides" YouTube playlist. Feel free to share this playlist with colleagues and your students! (I'd also love it if you click the subscribe button.)
Adjusting the theme & its impact
Font, text boxes & text placeholders
Changing the theme colors
Renaming the master slides
Or connect & follow me on any of these platforms:
Sunday, April 11, 2021
It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Spring has been in the air and I've taken advantage of the nicer weather. And to be honest, I needed some downtime. I've tried to not feel TOO guilty, but I needed it. I wanted it. But I'm back today! And I hope today's little tutorial on the master slides is worth the wait.
For a long time, I thought was a Slidedeck that I created with specific layouts and colors and just reused over and over. Ha! Nope. Slidesmania has taught me otherwise. (Thank you!) Last summer I forced myself to learn about it. I made a copy of a Slidesmania template and broke it apart. And while I am no expert, I do feel a lot more comfortable with it and the benefits of it. And I'd like to share that with you.
When you create a Slidedeck for your students, my guess is there are things you want them to be able to manipulate and other things you do not. And we ALL know kids will delete (accidentally or purposefully) and we want to create as little a headache for ourselves as possible. The master slide can go a looooong way in helping with this.
I'm going to break it down: First - what IS the master slide? Second - why use the master? and Finally - how do you adjust the master slide? I think videos are the way to go.
Questions? Why not use the comments under the videos in YouTube? I'll respond, but others can also respond, too!
What IS the master slide?
Or connect & follow me on any of these platforms:
- Twitter: @kiefersj
- Facebook: Sarah Kiefer
- Wakelet: @kiefersj
- YouTube: Tech You Can Do - I'd love it if you hit the subscribe button, too!
- Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org