Thursday, March 7, 2019

AASL Digital Breakout

I love sharing the AASL Standards with fellow teacher-librarians. I think it's because these standards are unlike any that I've ever worked with. They're so in tune with what we are doing in school libraries and how students learn best.

I recently shared the standards with a group of teacher-librarians. I wanted to give a general overview and allow time for them to individually deep dive into them.

Digital breakouts are a great way to introduce lessons in classrooms and a fun way to summarize professional learning. I have used some of BreakoutEDU online breakout games for students. And, I've also created my own using Google Sites and Google Form, embedding pictures, puzzles, videos, and word clues.

The teachers were engaged in discussion while working through the breakout. Most chose to work with a partner so that one device could stay on the Google Form, and they could use a second device to search the site for clues.

Check out this digital breakout for the AASL Standards! Feel free to use it as you share the AASL Standards and play it yourself!

AASL Standards Digital Breakout

You can also use the shortened Bitly link

Friday, March 1, 2019

Museum of Natural History

I love when websites and tech tools integrate seamlessly with Google Classroom. It makes sharing resources so much easier on both me and classroom teachers. It's the old adage "work smarter, not harder". 

The American Museum of Natural History has great resources for teachers. Personally, I loved looking through their exhibits. I've never been to the museum in person, so taking a virtual tour is the next best thing. Don't you love that our students get to have those experiences? 

AMNH articles and exhibits can integrate into Google classroom! Use the "share" option to add it to Google classroom, create an announcement, assignment, question, or class material. 

Find an article or exhibit, and then share it to GC.

Choose which class and action!

I can't wait to share resources from The American Museum of Natural History with students and teachers!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Paperless Math Class? But How???

We are newly 1:1 24/7 district for our 6-12 graders and 1:1 at school for K-5. We use touchscreen Lenovo 300e series Chromebooks. They're amazing. The screen can actually be written on with a graphite pencil, so text can be handwritten. 

Check out this video from The Verge to see the screen writing capabilities.

Students also use stylus and even their headphone jack works (weird, but it does). Last week while I was teaching in a science classroom, a student with an iPhone 7 made a comment about her phone not having the auxiliary port. Guess what? The charger jack also works on our screens!

hdr, headphone jack, headphones

I've worked with our algebra teacher quite a lot this year on how to incorporate the use of technology with math. She's been completely on board from day 1. We are a Google District, so all of her assignments are posted on Google Classroom. She uses Kami integrated into her Google Classroom. When she posts an assignment, it is posted to force copy for all students, and students open the assignment with the app/extension Kami. They use the paint/draw tool to hand write and work out problems. Students also use the text box feature to type notes and responses that require longer worded answers. 

All work is automatically saved in Kami; and, with Kami's Google Classroom integration the work shows up on the teacher side of Google Classroom making grading with Kami a breeze. Teachers are able to correct problems using a different color and make comments using text boxes. Teacher-student feedback is fast and easy. Teachers are also able to see student work, notes, and who is NOT taking notes in class in real time.

Several teachers have begun to use Kami in place of making paper copies for every student. Not only does it cut back on paper consumption, using Kami also helps students keep track of work. And there's never the excuse of "I lost my paper" or "I didn't get that assignment".

To see a step-by-step of how to create an assignment using Kami, check out my post here.

Assigning Work in Google Classroom with Kami

First, install the Kami extension from the Chrome Web Store.

In Google Classroom, create an Assignment.

Enter the title of your assignment and any directions. I like to include for students to complete the work in Kami (just so there’s no confusion). Make any adjustments to due dates and points possible.

Attach from Drive the PDF you are assigning to students. In this case, I’m assigning students a word search puzzle. Yes, I called it a crossword puzzle (oops). Change the file to Make a copy for each student! This is important. Each student needs their own copy of your PDF assignment to edit; otherwise, every student may end up editing your original.

Crossword puzzles, dot-to-dots, and word searches are an easy option to use to practice assigning work using Kami. Students can practice opening the PDF and Kami’s features without worrying about classroom content.

What the student sees.....
A new assignment has posted in their Classroom.

Students will open the assignment with Kami. If they do not have this option, make sure they’ve installed the extension. I’ve also had some students that need to open in a new window in order to use Kami. *I think they may have had an OS update.

To open in a new window, click the three dot menu in the top right corner, and then Annotate with Kami.

In this case, students had directions to use the Box Highlighter or Paint Brush tools.

When writing small features such as working out math problems or entering grammar and punctuation corrections, I have students use the smallest font. You’ll notice on the plotting assignment picture in my post Paperless Math Class? But How?? the plot points are large. The student increased the font size and just made a dot.

After students have complete the assignment, they’ll return to the assignment post and click “turn in”.

Meanwhile back in the teacher's view of Google Classroom

I can track who has turned in their work.

Click the assignment to view individual student work.

You can automatically see the work they've done, even if they haven't turned in the assignment!

Open with Kami to mark directly on the student's work, make corrections, or leave comments. Enter the grade in Google Classroom and return the assignment to the student!
Alternate option: assign work directly from Kami into Google Classroom.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Posting a Question in Google Classroom

Using the Question post in Google Classroom with a video can be a great way to provide support for struggling students or students that were absent during the teaching of the lesson. It's also a quick way to gauge student understanding. Check out how to post a video question to your GC! You can also follow the steps to post a question omitting the video.

1. Find a supporting video on YouTube. *If the video is not approved for your domain (, you must click Approve.*

2. Right click on the video and choose copy video URL.

3. Move to your Google Classroom tab. Go to the Classwork tab, Create, Question.

4. Enter a question in the box and provide any other information for your students. Questions can be short answer or multiple choice. This method only allows you to post one question.

5. To add the video, click the YouTube icon. Choose URL and paste the YouTube video URL. (You can also search for videos; however, I find it more helpful to have the link instead of searching for a video.)

6. After the video loads, click Add.

7. Make sure you have provided a short answer or multiple choice response. Then, click Ask.

What the student sees….

1. Question has been posted in class Stream.

2. After clicking the question, students can answer and submit.

On the teacher side…T

1. The teacher can view individual student answers and the number of students who choose each answer. You can provide a grade (if you want).

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Qball Marble Maze

In our adventure with "makerspace" areas this year, we stumbled on a product that looked super fun. Qball Marble Maze
See the source image
We purchased ours from Demco. In looking at Demco's site, there are now several different Q-Ba kits for mazes! I loved the idea of a vertical maze rather than a flat horizontal maze. Students loved building with these blocks. They did have some trouble connecting them together as each block does not fit directly on top of each other. Some connect on the sides.

We did establish a few ground rules before students started on their mazes.
1. Your maze must stand on it's own.
2. Your maze must be more than 3 blocks high and not drop straight down.
3. You can work together or on your own. Your choice.

Check out these awesome towers students built!

Were all of the mazes a success? No. But the conversations and problem-solving that was taking place was so awesome. Hearing students say things like "I need more support at my base", discussing gravity and trajectory, or using marker boards and markers to sketch their towers was where the true learning takes place. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Maker Stations-Snake Art

For the last quarter of our school year, we have decided to open permanent Maker Stations in the library. We wanted to create stations that not only included making, but also technology, literacy, and research. Our arts and crafts station has centered around a book from our listening station.

Because we live in the south, I wanted to incorporate some safety tips for summer, particularly with snakes. We have had a few in the hallways, on the playground, and in our own yards. Because kids are kids, they sometimes act before thinking. Not all snakes are bad. I have three that I regularly see in my yard. They're beautiful ribbon garter snakes.

But...back to the arts and crafts center. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a super easy craft for students to create a snake from pipe cleaners, beads, and some googly eyes.




I created a Snake Safety Tips coloring page for the center, as well. Students create their snakes independently. I add the eyes and tongue since the eyes are glued with hot clue. 

In the computer station, students are using Encyclopedia Britannica to research and read about animals. I've even had some students use the books at the station for inspiration or ask to go to a computer to look up snakes on Britannica!

Aren't they so adorable!!!