Friday, November 27, 2020

Make a Booksnap in 3 Easy Steps

Booksnaps take a literacy twist to the idea of Snapchat! The idea is for students to use a digital tool to identify a portion of the text and share connections in a creative and meaningful way! 

“A BookSnap is simply a digital, visual representation used to annotate and share reflections of an excerpt of a book or text.” (Martin, T, 2017)

Why Booksnaps?

  • Students can make meaningful and personal connections to the text.

  • Provides students with flexible options for expressing understanding and thoughts.

  • Helps students identify critically important parts of the text, illustrations, themes, etc.  

How Do I Create a Booksnap? 

The most effective tools for creating a Booksnap allow students to insert images, utilize annotation tools, and add audio/video. You can use a variety of tech tools, such as Flipgrid, Seesaw, and Book Creator. 

Check out my helpful video below:

No tech? No problem! Students can do many of the same things on a paper handout. 

Step 1 - Take a Picture!


Have students use their camera to take a picture of a passage from their book, OR the teacher can pre-determine the passage of text. 

Step 2 - Annotate and Make Connections

Booksnaps should have the following four components:

  • Identify - Underline, circle, or highlight the portion of the text that you are connecting with. 

  • Reflect - Add a sentence or phrase with a brief comment on what stood out to you from your highlighted sentence. Consider using text boxes, speech bubbles, etc.  

  • Visual - Add a visual representation that shares your thinking. Think about using an image, drawing, emoji that represents something about your passage. 

  • Give Credit! - Don’t forget to include the name of the text and the author OR include a picture of the book. 

Step 3 - Present 


Record a brief 15 to 30-second video of yourself presenting your Booksnap. Using tools like Flipgrid or Seesaw provides students with an opportunity to view each other’s work and comment and discuss the text in meaningful and interactive ways! 

Additional Resources

Friday, November 20, 2020

Crash Course on Creating Your Own Fliphunt with Flipgrid

 Fliphunts are digital scavenger hunts powered by Flipgrid and another tool like Google Docs. 

Fliphunts are an amazing way to help students demonstrate their understanding of content in a highly engaging way! Whether students are at home, at school, or in a hybrid situation, they can showcase their understanding anytime and anywhere! 

How Do You Create a Fliphunt? Check out my video below:

What are the common elements of effective Fliphunts? 

  • Fliphunts begin with a learning goal. Ultimately, you are providing students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of a concept or content. 
  • Tasks are often listed in a Google Doc, Word Document, Google Slides, etc. 
  • Each task should be designed to meet your goal, which is often designed with varying degrees of difficulty. 
  • Some Fliphunts can take the form of a list of tasks to be completed in order 
  • Students record themselves performing tasks, answering questions, or finding clues 

  • Many Fliphunts take a gamified approach and provide students with an opportunity to choose which tasks they will complete. Tasks are often assigned point values and students need to meet a certain number of points. 
  • Consider using many of Flipgrid's amazing tools to illustrate understanding, such as the drawing tools, adding images, and adding emojis!
  • Fliphunts should be fun and hands-on! 


Students learn more when they teach others! Fliphunts provide students with the opportunity to "teach" others what they have learned by demonstrating their understanding. Fliphunts powered by Flipgrid offer a great way to do this. Not able to use Flipgrid in your school? Consider using alternative tools like Seesaw, Canvas, or the camera on a tablet. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

3 Strategies for Creative, Meaningful, and Engaging Discussion Online

 If you are a Google Classroom or other LMS user, then you know that increasing student engagement and participation in asynchronous discussions can be difficult for several reasons. What if we looked for ways to facilitate online discussion in creative, meaningful, and engaging ways? 

Idea # 1 - Flexible Discussion Board

When I was younger, I would struggle with writing my thoughts on paper. It was much easier to "speak" them than right them. If your goal is for students to reflect on a writing prompt, why not consider offering a few ways to respond? Here is an example of a Google Classroom discussion prompt, which provides students with two different response options: 

  • Written response on Google Classroom
  • Video response on Flipgrid

If you cannot offer flexibility in the tool being used, it might be helpful to consider using a speech-to-text tool like Voice Typing in Google Docs or using a tool like Grammarly to help edit your student's writing. 

Idea # 2 - Provide Students with Roles

Role-playing is an effective instructional technique to provide students with an opportunity to view content and make meaning from different perspectives. When designing asynchronous discussion boards, why not give the students different ways of participating in the discussion? Here is a sample template that you could use as students participate in an online debate. Click here for your own copy! 

How can you assign roles? There are a variety of ways that you could give roles, such as: 

Idea # 3 - Differentiate Discussion Questions

Did you know that you can differentiate assignments in Google Classroom? Did you know that you can differentiate discussion questions in Google Classroom as well? Differentiating questions will provide you with an opportunity to shrink the group size and have students work in smaller discussion groups. This might be particularly effective in role-playing situations.

When you differentiate assignments in Google Classroom, students cannot see assignments not assigned to them. This will be particularly effective if you want students to avoid reading others' posts and participating in discussions with original thoughts. 


 If you are a Google Classroom or other LMS user, then you know that increasing student engagement and participation in asynchronous discussions can be difficult for several reasons. First, students sometimes lose interest because they respond to the same question and the same way as the rest of their classmates. Secondly, students may not have the same type of access to a discussion forum as their classmates. For instance, what if a student has a permanent or temporary loss of their hands for typing. Should students fail because they cannot type or struggle with getting words from their mind to their fingertips? Finally, students may lose interest because they feel like they do not have autonomy or choice. 

By planning with variability and accessibility in mind, we can develop meaningful and engaging learning opportunities for all students - regardless of ability or disability. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a HyperDoc

HyperDocs are an excellent way to connect learning with students in hybrid, face-to-face, or virtual learning environments. Want to learn how to create your own HyperDoc? 

First, I would recommend visiting the website to get an idea of some of the templates and samples that are available for all teachers to use. Here is a sample HyperDoc on HyperDocs that I have created. 

Want to see a step-by-step video on creating a HyperDoc


 Next, I would make a copy of a template and begin putting together your HyperDoc. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Workflow - how will you collect and distribute materials? How will students submit work to you? Google Classroom is a great tool for this. 
  • Accessibility - how will you help students access learning and materials?  A good way to do this is to force a copy of the document and add helpful video tutorials. Screencastify is a great tool for creating helpful videos. 
  • Design - how will you create a document that is easy to navigate and simple to use? A good way to do this is making Hyperlinks appear highlighted and in a larger font. Joypixels is a great tool to add emojis to your doc!
  • Engagement - how will you hook students into learning? Add trivia, a fun quiz, and opportunities to collaborate and create! Google Forms and Quizziz are excellent tools to use for this. 
  • Reflection - offer your students regular opportunities to reflect on their learning. It might be helpful to view reflection as checkpoints or exits along the learning journey. Flipgrid is a great tool to reflect! 
Finally, share your document with your students and watch learning happen! 

Monday, October 26, 2020

New to HyperDocs?

 Are you new to HyperDocs? Check out my infographic for tips, tricks, and resources:

Friday, October 16, 2020

3 Ways You Can Share a Jamboard on Google Classroom

 Jamboard is quickly becoming a favorite tool for many educators across the globe. It is simple to use and easy to integrate; however, the one question that I often hear is "how can I share it with students?"

Want a tutorial on how to use Jamboard? Check this out! 

Google Classroom may be one of the easiest ways to share a Jamboard with your students. Simply attach your Jamboard to your assignment from your Google Drive. Then you will have the option to choose one of the following options:

  • View Only - students can only see your Jamboard and can't change anything. Perfect if you want to demonstrate something to students. 
  • Students Can Edit - this allows your entire class to work on one Jamboard at the same time.
  • Make a Copy for Each Student - this creates an individual copy of your Jamboard for each student in the class. This will save on your student's Google Drive. NOTE: You will not be able to see all of your students completing their Jamboards at once; however, you can have students turn it into Google Classroom to see what they have completed. 

Want to see this in action? Check out my video below

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Create an Interactive Google Sheets Checklist: Tally Checkboxes, Use Conditional Formatting, and More

Have you ever been frustrated when students forget to read instructions or include certain elements in an assignment? I have found writing assignments to be particularly challenging for some students.

In order to save my sanity and help students practice important self-management skills, I developed an interactive Google Sheet called "My Perfect 10 Checklist." The following Sheet has checkbox reminders, a tally feature to count all checked boxes, and conditional formatting, which will turn green when the student is ready to turn in their assignment. 


How Does It Work? 

First, you will want to create a Google Sheet with the important tasks you want students to complete. It might be helpful to keep it simple and list a handful or no more than 10. 

Then, you will want to add checkboxes, so that students can keep track of their completion. 

Next, I find it helpful to add a box to tally up how many boxes have been checked. You can use a CountIf equation to keep track of how many boxes are checked. Here is the sample equation from my example. 

Finally, I like to add conditional formatting to tell students whether or not it is ok to turn in their assignment. For example, if students score anything less than 10, the box containing their total will appear red. If they score a 10, then the box will appear green. You will use Conditional Formatting (in the Format menu) for this to appear. I show you exactly how this works in my video below. 

Want More? 

Want to see this in action? Check out my video below. 

Want your own copy? Click here for a copy of my template.