Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning 10.23.18

I Spy With My Little Eye: Monitoring Student Work on Chromebooks

While actively monitoring student work is best, sometimes teachers are tied up with small group instruction or assisting a student with a problem. That's when the ability to check on other students' activities is important. Enter Lightspeed's Classroom Relay, the first cousin of last year's Classroom Orchestrator. With an easier way to important students through Google Classroom, teachers will find it a helpful tool to monitor on-task behavior. To learn more, check out these directions or watch the screencast below.

Tricks and Treats with Halloween Activities

Looking for a fun way to get students thinking about poetry? Try out Kasey Bell’s Halloween-inspired magnetic poetry activity that uses Google Drawings. Just let students make a copy of the template, and you are ready to go! Get all the details and find more magnetic poetry templates on Kasey Bell’s blog post.

Is Kahoot a class assessment favorite? Explore Kahoot's Halloween collection for game based learning activities and some friendly class competition.

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Google Earth for Tricks and Treats

Google Earth uses satellite imagery to zoom, tilt, grab, spin and view almost any location on Earth! Use any device to visit, and let your students virtually explore every nook and cranny of the earth, measure distances, and even create and share their own tours. Spark discussion and share the thrills of Google Earth’s Incredible 3D imagery explained with this breathtaking video. Test out some tricks by clicking on the Feeling Lucky dice icon. Google Earth will zoom to a random location and provide fun fact cards explore. Use this Where in the World Template for a quick writing activity. For an October treat, give the opportunity to use the new Voyager Tool (the ship wheel icon) to take a “Spooky Spots” quiz. Students can also use the the culture section of Voyager for 360 degree views of famous, scary movie locations. From The Shining’s Timberline Lodge and Ski Area to Halloween’s “Myers’ family home”, use Google Earth and 3D views to trick your students into the joys of geography. Since every location has its very own URL, find a desired location and share through Google Classroom with the click of a button to get your students on the same page. Google Earth can be used across all grade levels and content areas. Check it out now for more tricks and treats!

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Language Is a Virus

“But I can’t think of anything to write about!” “I have brain block.” “I’m not sure what to do next.” All students experience difficulty with topic and idea development at some time during their schooling, but now there is a resource to help with that issue. The Language is a Virus website ( offers a wide-ranging collection of exercises, games, generators, and writing tools to trigger topic creation and to inspire ideas for product development. Give ‘em a try yourself!

Our favorite game to explore is Visual Poetry. Copy and paste a line or more of text, and then create drawings which use your text as a stylus. You can change the font and background colors, as well as size and angle of the text. We saved our image by using the Snipping Tool in Windows. Check out our drawing when we used Abraham Lincoln’s text, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe.”

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Wonders Full of STEM

How do I incorporate STEM and NGSS practices into my already packed instructional day?

  1. Get to know your grade-level standards and check out the Curriculum and Instruction Lightbulb for science. You will find pacing guides, curriculum maps, and supporting materials there.

  2. When planning your Wonders or your Investigations/Envisions units, look for natural connections to the science and engineering practices.

  3. Make one center rotation, a makerspace, or a digital tool that will allow students to create, critically think, or solve a problem.

  4. In hopes of making this shift, I have developed a working document to help assist homeroom teachers in engaging their students in STEM thinking. Here is an example of 3rd Grade and 4th Grade STEM opportunities aligned with Wonders that teachers could choose to do in their classrooms or during small group time. This is a working document with more grade levels to come. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Upcoming Technology Related PD

Looking for engaging, hands-on, and relevant technology pd? Navigate to, click on ACTIVITY CATALOGS and DISTRICT CATALOG in the left hand menu to view full descriptions and to register.

Upcoming Sessions for October - December

The Building Blocks of Minecraft 10/25/18

Discover how to use Minecraft in creative and innovative ways across different content areas and for various enrichment ideas. Engage students in a fun way while adding innovative design. Never touched Minecraft? Don't know what a creeper is? This session is for YOU!

Google for Education Level 2 Series: Advanced Forms, Sheets and Add-On's 10/29/18

Ready to dig a little deeper into Forms and Sheets? In this session you will learn how to create more complicated forms and how to use basic functions and pivot tables in Sheets along with conditional formatting to make the data work for you. We'll also look at the power of Add-Ons for both tools.

Google for Education Level 1 Series: Forms and Sheets 11/1/18

Google Forms are great for creating digital formative and summative assessments as well as surveys and questionnaires. Explore question types from short or long answer to multiple choice, rubrics and advanced branch logic and question skip logic. Moving on to Google Sheets, we'll format, organize and filter data and explore data validation.

Explore Canvas: Assignments, Speedgrader, and Quizzes 11/12/18

Introductory training barely scratches the surface of the many incredible things Canvas can offer for blended learning. With this session, learn how to turn an assignment into a virtual copy machine with either Google Docs/Slides or Word/PowerPoint, use Speedgrader's markup tools to provide student feedback, and set up Quizzes with various options, such as adding images to answers. Bring your content or have it already uploaded to the Cloud so that you can use your own material while you practice.

Google for Education Level 1 Series: Chrome, Drive & Docs 11/15/18

Are you new to using Google tools? This session will get you started using Google Drive, Docs and the Chrome browser. We will cover the basics of these foundational tools so you will be prepared to use them in the classroom.

Evaluate Student Assignments with Consistency Through Canvas Rubrics 11/28/18

One benefit of using Canvas Assignments is the Rubric feature. Learn how to build and share scoring guidelines that detail criteria and makes evaluation quick and consistent.

Utilize Canvas' Collaboration Tool to Increase Student Communication and Teamwork 12/5/18

There's a simple way to create student collaborative workspaces in Canvas using Google and Office 365. Learn about which types of tools are available, how to enable and setup Collaborations' spaces, and how to manage workflow.