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Showing posts from 2021

Managing Browser Tabs is a Cinch with Tab Manager Plus

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Do you tend to have A LOT of tabs open at one time? That seems to be a common occurrence for me as well. It can be a lot to manage; however, the Tab Manager Plus for Chrome can be a good solution for managing all of those open tabs. Why I Like Tab Manager Plus First, this Chrome Extension has a simple interface, giving you a visual icon summary of all open browser tabs and windows on your screen. Need to quickly find an open tab? Just look, and you will find it!  Secondly, it gives you tools for opening new tabs, minimizing, and closing all of your tabs at once. In other words, you can control your browser experience from the Chrome extension window.  Finally, you can use several other helpful features to search, organize, and quickly find the information you need. One of my favorite features is the ability to pin a browser tab to make it easier to locate.  Conclusion Managing resources is an essential executive functioning skill for adults and students alike. Being productive begins

6 Great Virtual Manipulative Tools for the Math Classroom

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When I think of the lessons we learned from remote learning, I think about how much mathematics instruction had to adapt to the changing needs of students. In other words, we couldn't do things the way we had always done them. We had to change! As we start the journey towards post-COVID, there are many lessons that we can take and infuse into our classrooms.  Montejo-G├ímez et al. (2022) proposed several best practices for teaching mathematics during remote learning, such as: Connect real-world issues (i.e. COVID stats, lockdown numbers, etc.) with math concepts to take a "meaningful mathematics," approach. Blend synchronous and asynchronous instruction.  Emphasize modeling, student interests, and hands-on activities.  It made me think about how important virtual manipulatives are for modeling math concepts and providing students with hands-on learning opportunities. Here are six great tools for providing students with hands-on learning opportunities for math!  #1 - Didax

My Spin on the Iron Chef Eduprotocol

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I am a big fan of Eduprotocols. If you are not familiar with this innovative and engaging way of infusing technology and pedagogy together, then I recommend that you check out the Eduprotocols website.   Eduprotocols are  UDL-friendly and provide accessible and flexible options for ALL students! Student centered and increase student engagement Collaborative in nature I have written about several different protocols in the past, such as the Getting to Know You Frayer Model  and the Sketch and Tell Bumper Sticker .  Iron Chef Eduprotocol The Iron Chef Eduprotocol is a lot of fun because it provides students with an opportunity to research and collaborate on a slideshow. Students are assigned a slide and have ten minutes to complete it. They have ten minutes to add facts from a text, video, or website, as well as an image and "special" ingredient. The special ingredient is what makes this item "special" in comparison to the other items discussed in the presentation. At

A Creative Hack to Add Visual Icons to Google Sites

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Google Sites is a great tool for creating websites, but how can you make it more visually stimulating to your audience? One way is to create visual icons like you see below.  Why Customize Your Site?  Customizing your Google Site meets the needs of your audience. Visual icons make it easy to navigate, understand, and engage with your site. For example, perhaps you want to increase engagement with your Bitmoji or make it easier to navigate with colorful icons.  How Does It Work? The following hack involves using Google Sites, Google Slides, and one of my favorite free add-ons called  Insert Icons for Slides     or  Icons for Slides and Docs .  Want to see how this works? Check out my  video  below:

Help Students with Self-Regulation and Manage Their Time with Time Timer

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How often do you use a timer in the classroom, at home, or somewhere else?  I use my timer all of the time to keep track of time and stay focused. For instance, I often set a time limit for myself to complete a certain task. For example, if I know that I cannot complete a project in one sitting, I might set a timer for 30 minutes. Setting the timer actually helps me work harder and stay focused! In a similar way, timers are extremely useful for helping our students with self-regulation and managing their time. Setting timers help students stay engaged and focused!  There are a lot of great free products out there that help with managing time; however, I recently came across Time Timer, which offers a free iOS, Android, and Apple Watch application . There is a paid Mac and Windows application too.  Why do I like it?  It's visual interface is easy to use and understand. It's visual nature makes it easy to understand how much time remains.  Setting the timer can be done by touch o

Create a Signup with Time Slots Using Choice Eliminator 2 and Google Forms

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 Tis' the season for parent teacher conferences and other meetings that may require creating a Google Form with limited choices. Choice Eliminator 2 might be a great option to create a Form with limits!  Want to learn how it works? Check out my video below:  

Create Accessible Games for Elementary Students with Tiny Tap

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Games are a great way to provide students with valuable practice or assess their understanding of content. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right tool for elementary students in particular. I found a great free resource called Tiny Tap for students in elementary school to practice a variety of skills in math, language arts, social studies, science, and more. If you have ESL students, this could be a great resource too!  I like it for several reasons because it provides accessible ways to access content through video, audio, and hands on activities. Secondly, it provides you with an easy way to share activities with students via Google Classroom, your LMS, or assigning it through Tiny Tap. Finally, it is easy for students to understand and navigate. You can embed audio instructions as a way to help students with understanding directions.  Whether you want to create your own game or use an existing game, it is a great tool to use in your classroom! Want to see it in action? Chec

Better Writing Responses with Slides

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I have been spending a lot of time working with elementary teachers on infusing technology into a new ELA curriculum. It has been a valuable experience because I have learned so much about how students use language to communicate. Writing is an essential skill that all students need to master; however, many of our students struggle with the structure associated with writing. Have you ever considered using Google Slides to provide students with the scaffolds and supports they need to construct a writing piece?  Want your own copy? Click here!  I recently developed the following Writing Prompt template in Google Slides for students in our elementary school; however, this could easily be adapted for use in secondary classrooms. Students read a writing prompt, brainstorm ideas, and then construct their paragraph - all in one place.  First, students read the writing prompt. We have found that many of our students struggle with some of the vocabulary terms in writing prompts, so we added an

Google Classroom Discussion Organizer Tool

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 Remote learning has transformed how students participate in class. The shift to virtual environments has introduced students to online skills, such as using Google Classroom to foster online discussion. Although some may consider online discussion self-explanatory, many students need structure to successfully master this skill.  Building skills for effective online discussion begins with helping students understand my expectations and the structure to complete the assignment successfully. Therefore, I have developed the following Google Classroom Discussion Organization tool to help students: Brainstorm ideas Write an effective response Edit their responses Respond to classmates Tip : It might be helpful to share an individual copy of this document with each student so that they can edit, add text, and check off each box on the checklist!  Click here for your own copy!  Brainstorming   First, students begin with copying and pasting the discussion question in the document. Then, stude

Create and Assign Virtual Math Manipulatives with Mathigon Polypad

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Mathigon is a very helpful virtual manipulative tool that you can use to make math more engaging and exciting! It contains free tools, games, activities, and resources for all students to use! Not only can you use the activities, but you can assign assignments to your students directly from Mathigon or import your students from Google Classroom.  Here is a quick 4-minute tutorial to learn more about the Polypad feature!   --------------------------------------- Matt Bergman (2021) Check out Matt's Podcast

Notion: A Dynamic All-in-One Workspace

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Are you looking keep yourself organized, take notes, upload documents, bookmark key resources and add notes to them, develop and utilize note templates, and manage a to-do list all in one place? I recently came across a free tool called Notion , which is an amazing workspace tool that can be used across any device.  You may see some of these features in some tools like OneNote, Evernote, Apple Notes, etc.; however, very rarely can you find them all in one place! Notion has solved the dilemma of many educators and business professionals across the globe.  Not only is this a great tool for adults, but it can be a helpful way for older students to reflect, take notes, gather resources, collaborate with classmates, and more.  Want to see how this works? Check out my tutorial below:  --------------------------------------- Matt Bergman (2021) Check out Matt's Podcast

Do You Use Anchor Charts?

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Anchor Charts are a helpful strategy that you can use to reinforce learning, independence, and problem-solving skills in the classroom. Have you ever used Anchor Charts? Check out my Wakelet below for more information and strategies.  What are the Benefits? There are many different benefits to Anchor Charts in any classroom.  First, Anchor Charts are used to increase student engagement. One helpful strategy is to develop a chart as an entire class because students will feel more a part of the learning process.  Secondly, Anchor Charts, when designed with variability in mind, provide options for representing content differently. For instance, it may be helpful to include graphics, colorful text, and examples to help students connect with the content.  Finally, Anchor Charts are an excellent self-regulation tool that can help reinforce classroom procedures and help students solve problems. For instance, students who have difficulty understanding a text can revisit an anchor chart contain

Create a Google Classroom Custom Header in Minutes with Google Slides

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With the beginning of school upon us, you might want to create a custom Google Classroom header. If you upload a traditional picture, you might get this.  Instead, you might want to use Google Slides to design a slide that everyone can see. See my example below.  How do you do it?  1. Open up Google Slides 2. Visit File Menu > Page Setup > Custom > Pixels and make the dimensions 1600 x 400 3. Add your pictures and design your header! 4. Visit File Menu > Download > download your current slide as a JPG or PNG  5. Upload to Google Classroom Want to see a video on how to do this?  Check out my video below to see this in action!  --------------------------------------- Matt Bergman (2021) Check out Matt's Podcast

Four A's Text Rendering Protocol with Mote and Slides

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 Reading protocols are great tools for analyzing and dissecting a text. One of my favorite protocols is known as the Four A's protocol because it helps provide students with a framework for constructing and composing their ideas through the graduated levels of supports offered by the protocol.  Adding a tool like Mote and Google Slides can create dynamic discussion through audio comments.  Want your own copy? Click here How Does It Work? First, students will read the assigned text.  Then, students will use the following Google Slides presentation template and Mote to record their comments. Students can work individually or collaboratively on this assignment.  The Four A's Protocol The Four A's protocol is quite simple and requires students to  analyze the text through the following lenses: • What Assumptions does the author of the text hold?  • What do you Agree with in the text?  • What do you want to Argue with in the text?  • What parts of the text do you want to Aspire

Make Your Word Walls Better with Mote

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In the past, I have written about the importance of vocabulary instruction in all grades because the achievement gap is largely attributed to a vocabulary gap. Therefore, strategies like word walls are effective tools for providing students with important visual representations to encourage the use of vocabulary in the classroom, in assignments, etc.  Neuroscience is showing us that students need multiple representations of vocabulary terms in order to best understand the word's meaning. Adding tools like video and audio can enhance how students comprehend vocabulary. Mote is an audio recording tool that can be used to add audio explanations of vocabulary terms.  Word walls can be created in a variety of different ways. For instance, teachers can generate a word wall for the entire class based on vocabulary terms within a unit, chapter, story, etc. Students could create their own individual word wall for an assignment or collaborate on a word wall for the entire class.  The followi

Google Slides Vocabulary Choice Board

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Student choice and autonomy is an important aspect of learning, especially in vocabulary instruction. A choice board is an effective strategy for supporting vocabulary instruction. I recently developed the following Vocabulary Choice board for Google Slides.  How does it work?  First, you will want to share this with students through your learning management system. Google Classroom makes it easy to create an individual copy for each student. Don't have Google Classroom? Here is a great way to force a copy of any Google Docs, Slides, etc.  As students complete each task, they will drag the red "X" on top of the task completed. There is an additional slide they can see and mark off vocabulary terms used.  Next, students are required to complete a Frayer Model for one vocabulary term on slide number 5. When students are finished, they will have the choice to complete any two tasks on the choice board to make a tic tac toe!  Conclusion Do you like what you see? Click here fo

Google Classroom Hack for Adding Text and Audio Instructions Using Mote

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  Mote is becoming one of my favorite tools for adding scaffolds and supports for struggling readers. You might be familiar with using it in Google Docs and Slides, but did you know that you can use it in Google Classroom too?  I love using Mote to add audio instructions to Google Classroom posts; however, there has always been a catch. You can either add a Mote (audio) OR text. Not both! Or is there?  However, I recently created a video with a hack for infusing both Mote and text instructions into your Google Classroom. Check out my video below for more!