Monday, August 3, 2020

Create a Reflection Template in Google Docs with the Table of Contents Feature

Reflection is an important component of learning because it allows students to document what they have learned. The act of reflection is critical for connecting yesterday's content with today and today's content with tomorrow!

Did you know that you can create your own template for students on Google Docs? I created the following sample for students to reflect in a 3-2-1 format. Not only can students use this as we progress throughout the unit, they can easily navigate the document through hyperlinks which are automatically generated by creating a table of contents!




Want your own copy of the reflection template? Feel free to use the following Google Doc


Not sure how to create a table of contents in Google Docs? Check out my video below. 



Saturday, August 1, 2020

Helpful Tools and Strategies to Create Better Seesaw Activities in Minutes

Did you know that Seesaw is a great platform for creating interactive learning activities for students? The Activities feature is perfect for creating virtual manipulatives, templates, and even book snaps! 

Want to learn how to create your own Activity for students? Check out my video below:



Helpful Tools for Creating Better Seesaw Activities 

Visuals and icons are very helpful tools for increasing student engagement or providing the scaffolds and supports they may need to complete assignments. Here are some of the helpful resources that I mentioned in the video:

Ideas for Seesaw Activities

Want some ideas for using Activities in Seesaw? Here are a few ideas: 
  • Feel free to use the modified Frayer Model Definition template that I created in the video. Click here to make a copy of my Google Drawing, which I downloaded into Seesaw.

Friday, July 31, 2020

3-Minute Crash Course on Screencastify

As more schools are planning to go remote or use hybrid learning models in the fall, the art of screencasting is going to be an important skill for teachers to master. If you are not familiar with the term screencasting, I am referring to recording videos using your screen, webcam, or both.

What is Screencastify? 

There are a variety of different programs out there to create screencasts; however, I am going to focus on using a tool called Screencastify today. Screencastify is a free Chrome Extension that can be used to record brief (5 min or less) screencasts.  

Here is a crash course (3 min) on how to use this powerful tool!

 


Conclusion

Although the tool is free, there is a paid version that does give you more options; however, if you are starting out, you might want to check out the free version first. This will help you determine whether or not you should continue using this tool.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Crash Course on Seesaw

Are you new to Seesaw? No worries! Here is a crash course on using this powerful learning journal!


Friday, July 24, 2020

Create Animated GIF's with Screencastify (Perfect for Scaffolding Instructions)

Are you noticing that your students may be skipping certain tasks because they are not fully reading your instructions? Adding animated GIF's could be a helpful idea. This may also help students who are more visual or need an additional scaffold or support for completing a task.

Check out how to do this below:




First, you will want to install the free Screencastify extension. Just keep in mind that Screencastify limits you to 50 recordings per month in the free version!

Secondly, you will want to record short clips (less than 10 seconds) of tasks that you want students to complete. In the example that I provided, I recorded how to open up a new Google Doc.


Then, you will download your video as a GIF in Screencastify.



 Finally, you will want to insert your GIF into your Google Doc or Slides presentation. If you want to get rid of unnecessary or distracting parts, you can double-click on your image and use the cropping tools to get rid of the parts you do not need!



Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Flipgrid Hack to Add Bitmojis to Your Topics and Grid Covers

Have you ever wished that you could add a Bitmoji to your Flipgrid Topic or Grid Cover? Well, you now can with this quick and easy hack!

How does this hack work? First, you will need to use the Bitmoji Chrome extension, Flipgrid, and Google Drawings.

Next, check out my helpful video below:






Friday, July 17, 2020

Plus Minus Interesting (PMI) Protocol for Critical Thinking

In a world full of Internet fluff and fake news, developing important critical thinking skills is an important part of educating our students today. I developed the following template inspired by Inquisitive.com's amazing reservoir of teacher visible thinking activities.

A Plus Minus Interesting or PMI chart is a great tool for students to use whether analyzing a new idea or investigating an article.  Here's how it works:

  • Plus - students list positives or pros associated with the idea. I have found having a certain number of required responses is helpful when working with students. The following template asks students to list 3 positives or pros. 
  • Minus - students list negatives or cons associated with the idea. I have found having an equal number of pros and cons is helpful in developing critical thinking skills. This forces students to think equally about both ideas without unintentional bias. The following template asks students to list 3 positives or pros. 
  • Interesting - students use this section to list 1 - 2 interesting ideas. Whether students feel negatively or positively about an idea, there is always something interesting to learn or observe. 


Conclusion:

I have found this template helpful in any classroom K - 12; however, I recently used this template for a professional development workshop that I am hosting on remote learning. Participants used the template to analyze an article on remote learning.  Want your own copy? Click here for a copy of the Google Doc template.