Ed Tech Update

Crawford Central School District


The purpose of this newsletter is to share ideas, resources, and/or links with educators who may be looking...
  • for creative avenues to engage students or
  • to engage in partnerships with other educators/students.

The goal is to "enhance learning for students." If you have ideas/resources to share, feel free to send them my way and I'll include them in this eNewsletter.

Zoom Resources, Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to consider when using Zoom to connect with students and colleagues. If you know of others, please send them to me.

March 2020

Accessing Google Classroom Using ClassLink

70+ Awesome Apps that Integrate with Google Classroom

Talk about app smashing! Check out the 70+ applications that integrate with Google Classroom.

March 2020

Summer Learning Opportunity for Teachers

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will conduct the National Summer Teacher Institute (NSTI) on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property July 12-17, 2020 on the campus of Saint Louis University (SLU) in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Click here for details.

March 2020

Reading Elements and Text Analysis: Middle Level

Newsela and the Pennsylvania Department of Education collaborated to build two instructional exemplar units of study for middle level classrooms: Reading Elements and Text Analysis. These state-standard aligned resources are available to every Pennsylvania public educator at no cost. Login or create a Newsela account to access these units in the “Collections” section of your Newsela homescreen.

Details here.

March 2020

Interactive Periodic Table

The Interactive Periodic Table of the Elements, in Pictures and Words provides chemistry students of all ages and levels with instant facts about each of the elements it illustrates.

March 2020

Grant Opportunity: Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant

Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations who help students that are below grade level or having trouble reading are eligible to apply. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas:

  • Implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs
  • Purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives
  • Purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs

Details here. Deadline to apply is May 21, 2020 at 10:00 p.m. CST.

March 2020

Evidence-based Resources

Brought to you by PDE, this collection of evidence-based strategies was curated to help educators make evidence-based decisions and implement strategies, interventions, and activities that are best fit for their needs and local context.

Click here to access.

February 2019

Smithsonian Releases 2.8 Million Images Into Public Domain

The Smithsonian has released millions of pictures that are free to use for anyone. Click here for more information.

February 2019

Winter Poetry Magnets: Google Slides Activity

Jamie Forshey has done it again! Here’s access to a new resource she just created: Winter Poetry Magnets. It is a Google Slides activity containing 100+ words and phrases that can be manipulated into a wintry themed poem, story, etc.

February 2020

Digital Learning Day - February 27

Started in 2012, Digital Learning Day has provided a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. This grassroots effort blossomed into a massive nationwide celebration as teachers realized that Digital Learning Day is not about technology, it’s about learning. It’s not about laying off teachers for laptops, it’s about enhancing the role of the teacher in America’s classrooms. Digital Learning Day promotes the effective use of modern day tools afforded to every other industry to improve the learning experience in K-12 public schools.

Check out this Web site for ideas to use on Thursday, February 27th for Digital Learning Day.

February 2020


Check out these templates from SlidesMania for Google Slides or PowerPoint. Did you see the Harry Potter-themed template?

February 2020

Virtual Experiences - US Symbols/Government Sites/Icons

A colleague shared the following listing: (Thanks, Ed McKaveney)

Liberty Bell VR explore


Constitutional Walking Tour Virtual Field Trip


Philadelphia PA virtual tours


National Park Service liberty bell (link to images and resources at bottom of page)


Another interesting idea (not the virtual tour) is on the Captiol website. Along the lines of this Design a Statue idea, you could have students design/recreate symbols of their choosing.


Virtual Capitol and other Multimedia resources they have might be good for this.



Not sure if your library would have this book or if this is even still active, but Scholastic was working with the Smithsonian Museum of American History on this Virtual Field Trip that targets grades 3-5.


The Library of Congress has some resources for US Symbols. This teacher guide mentions creating posters of varied symbols. You could place them around the room and have student use Flipgrid to record themselves talking about what they learned about a particular symbol.


The bottom of the LOC tour page also has virtual tours.



Education World article on Virtual Field Trips for Presidents Day


February 2020

Google Sites Bells and Whistles

Check out the new features of Google Sites. You can add a table of contents or an image carousel and more! Read about the enhancements here.

February 2020

College/Schools Collaborative

Do you have a terrific idea for a collaborative project between Crawford Central School District and Allegheny College faculty, staff, or students? If so, the College-Schools Collaborative (CSC) can help you by providing funding to support your collaborative project. Guidelines and the application form can be found at this link: https://tinyurl.com/y8nury62 .

For more information, contact...

January 2020

See the ISTE Student Standards in Action!

ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) unveiled 28 videos illustrating how real teachers address the ISTE Standards for Students indicators in their classrooms. Watch them all on the ISTE Standards playlist.

January 2020

Dynamic Learning with Google Podcast & Blog Series

Kasey Bell has done it again! She is offering a four-part podcast and blog series on doing new things with Google Tools. She states that it isn’t about Google; it’s about learning. The focus of the series is how you can use G Suite tools to support dynamic learning experiences for your students!

Click here to access the resources.

January 2020

Doodle For Google

Use your imagination to create a Google Doodle based on what kindness means to you.

From the Doodle For Google Web site... We're excited to see some kind doodles this year! Students can work with any materials they want, but all doodles must be entered using the entry form. Parents and teachers can mail us the completed entry form or submit it online as a .png, or .jpg. The contest is open for entries until March 13, 2020 8:00pm Pacific Time (PT).

Click here to get info to get you started.

January 2020

Fighting Fake News

PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) scores were recently released, and results of the international test revealed that only 14 percent of U.S. students were able to reliably distinguish between fact and opinion. Educators and parents can teach students how to tell fact from opinion.

January 2020

2019 Google Resource Roundup From TCEA

From the TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) site... "Nearly everyone uses Google. Here's our 2019 roundup of the latest tips, tricks, and updates for Google Docs, Earth, Chrome, and more! Make sure to take advantage of all our Google resources from 2019."

Click here to access the Roundup.

December 2019

Math Game Day - December 11 Grades 1-8

Thanks to Zee Poerio for sharing information about Math Game Day. According to their Web site.... "This is a unique event and exciting experience for your students!

Math games are hosted online and all participants play in real-time! Students can join from all over the world by using a smart device and WiFi connection."

Click here to access the site.

December 2019

Decorate A Tree With Google Slides & MORE!!

Eric Curts has done it again! Fun project for creativity, writing, and tech skills!

Click here to access the Decorate A Tree activitiy OR

Click here to access 7 Googley Wintertime Activities for Kids.

December 2019

Great Family Conversations Calendar

Mary Hauser, Speech Language Pathologist at Neason Hill, shared a calendar that she found. It is a "Countdown to the Holidays" calendar with 24 days of language-building conversation starters. Check it out here.

December 2019

December STEAM Activity Calendar

Check out the December STEAM Calendar from Left Brain, Craft Brain. All the projects, printables, and recipes are perfect for adding a little science, tech, engineering, art, or math to your day!

Click here to access the calendar.

December 2019

Did You Hear That....?

In addition to being able to listen to sound effects like sleigh bells, Discovery Education Experience also provides access to over 550 podcasts. Learn ideas and strategies for using these resources.

Join the conversation. If you need help with your Discovery log in, let me know.

December 2019

Virtual Dissection

Looking for some virtual dissection resources? Check these out...

December 2019

Eat 'n Park Christmas Star Commercial

First airing more than 35 years ago, Eat 'n Park's Christmas Star commercial has since become a beloved tradition shared by generations. With a timeless message of goodwill for all, it’s a classic that has stood the test of time.

Click here to watch it. Here's hoping you get a special lift this Holiday season that lasts all year long!

December 2019

Purposeful Play with #LEGO Course - FREE Online Course

Aaron Maurer, STEM Lead from the Mississippi Bend AEA, is offering a FREE online course beginning in December 1, 2019 and ending in May 2020. Each month the class will focus on a new goal with lots of exciting challenges infused into the learning.

Schedule is going to follow this flow:

  • December: Creativity
  • January: Critical Thinking
  • February: Communication
  • March: Collaboration
  • April: Assessment
  • May: Subject Specific

Along the way there will be fun build challenges that will be woven in just for fun and global sharing. Are you getting excited yet? Check out all the details here.

November 2019

Hour of Code

The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2019 Computer Science Education Week will be December 9-15. The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code," to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Check out the tutorials and activities.

Left Brain Craft Brain shared a site that includes 20+ Easy Ways To Get Kids to Code. Here is the link.

November 2019

Everyone Can Code Puzzles

Everyone Can Code Puzzles is an all-new student guide to Swift Playgrounds that reinforces problem-solving strategies and critical-thinking skills through over 40 hours of flexible activities. Each chapter helps students build on what they already know, experiment with new coding concepts, apply their understanding, and creatively communicate how coding impacts their lives. Check it out here.

November 2019

Thanksgiving Poetry Magnets

Check out this idea from Jamie Forshey... Google Drawings activity containing 80+ words that can be manipulated into a story, poem + more!

November 2019

New Hour of Code: Dance Party (Features new artists, a new dancer, and more!)

Hour of Code: Dance Party inspired tens of millions of students in classrooms around the world to dance and code last year, and we can’t wait for you to discover all the exciting new updates we have this year!

New to Hour of Code?: Check out this How To guide.

November 2019

Explicit Instruction

THE Anita Archer talks about the importance of explicit instruction in this YouTube video. Those involved in the Dyselxia Pilot will recognize her name as a leader in the field of reading/writing instruction. The contents of this video are a great reminder of the "why" behind explicit instruction.

November 2019

Tech Up Your Thanksgiving

Check out this ThingLink. Hover over the interactive image to find tons of Thanksgiving-themed games and interactive learning activities for students.

November 2019

Incredibly Fun Thanksgiving Science Activities & Experiments for Young Kids

A collection of STEM-related Thanksgiving activities that are simple, yet fun. Pick up all the materials you need when you do your Thanksgiving dinner shopping!

November 2019

Zoom Live Streaming Events - FREE!!

Zoom is hosting two streaming programs per month on CILC (Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration). Check out the program descriptions here. Feel free to contact Ann in the Curriculum Office if you need assistance.

October 2019

Tech or Treat

Check out this spook-tacular collection of digital resources that blends the seasonal theme with learning.

October 2019

Sparky School House - Teach Fire Safety

Check out this online resource packed with ideas and resources designed to teach fire safety to students in grades K - 5.

October 2019

24 Fun and Educational Halloween Games for the Classroom

We Are Teachers highlighted classroom crafts, activities, and games with a Halloween/fall theme. Check them out here.

October 2019

Vooks - Streaming Service for Children's Books - FREE Subscription for a year

Vooks is the first-ever streaming service that brings children's (ages 2-8) books to life with illustrations, read-along text, and animations. You are invited to register for a free one-year subscription. Click here for more information.

September 2019

Bring Read Alouds To Life

The Novel Effect: Read Aloud Books app contains music and sounds for over 200+ children's books and poems and they add to it weekly. It now works with over 30 titles in Spanish! This invisible technology follows along as the user reads a story aloud. It plays music and sounds throughout the story turning the reader into a master storyteller. Smart voice recognition stays in sync with your reading style even if you skip ahead or reread a certain part. Read more about the app here.

September 2019

10 Alternatives to Think-Pair-Share

The "We Are Teachers" Web site shared.... "All learners need time to process new ideas and information. They especially need time to verbally make sense of and articulate their learning with a community of learners who are also engaged in the same experience and journey.

In other words, kids need to talk!!

Problem is, sometimes it’s hard to stay on subject without a little guidance. That’s why structured discussions really work best with children, regardless of their maturity level.

These ten discussion techniques (and a little purposeful planning) go beyond the traditional Turn and Talk/Think-Pair-Share to give students an opportunity to deepen their understanding while practicing their verbal skills."

August 2019

Beginning of the School Year Activities

Looking for some plans to kick off the new school year? If so, check out the Diary of a Public School Teacher Beginning of the School Year Activities.

Summer 2019

The Calm Schools Initiative

Calm is offering every teacher free access to their mindfulness app. Their aim is to empower teachers with mindfulness tools and resources that can be used to help kids learn this new skill. Teachers will get free access to Calm’s paid subscription service available on Android, iOS, and the web – a $59.99 value!

Teachers will have unlimited access to the growing library of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises, including Calm Kids, the program tailored for age groups from Pre-K through high school.

Click here for more information and to access the registration form.

Summer 2019

Back To School Read-alouds ~ TeachersFirst

Build classroom community during those all-important first few weeks of school by reading with your students. To get started, check out this collection of read-aloud suggestions, books are divided by grade level.

Summer 2019

PDE Book Nook

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has launched an initiative aimed at promoting literacy, even when school isn’t in session. Beginning May 16, 2019, PDE will unveil a new video on a weekly basis featuring a well-known Pennsylvanian reading a children’s book to an at-home audience. Learn more about this initiative: http://bit.ly/PDEBookNook.

Here is the first video.

May 2019

Free Coding & ELA Activities - for Grades 5-6

Scholastic is offering a downloadable mini magazine and teaching guide, plus links to coding videos. Check it out here. Students are able to create their own animated story using code!

May 2019

End-of-Year Google Classroom Clean-up Tips

Eric Curts shared this... FYI... A couple years back I had put together a list of end-of-year Google Classroom clean up tips to help close out the year and get ready for the next. Of course Classroom has changed quite a bit since then, so I went ahead and updated it with new directions and screenshots. This time I also added a video and podcast version of the info.

You can get all the details here.

May 2019

eBook POWERLibrary Resources

Just a reminder to check out the eBook resources available to CCSD educators and students via PowerLibrary.

POWERLibrary resources are available through the Symbaloo page on the District Web site. Here's the path to get to these resources while on the District network:

  • Head over to http://www.craw.org
  • Hover over the Parent/Student Resources Tab and click on the Symbaloo link in the menu
  • Click the PowerKids link for your building
  • Let's check out support materials for BookFlix and TrueFlix



If you have questions, please let me know.

April 2019

53 Ways To Check For Understanding

Looking for ways that students can demonstrate their understanding? Check out this list of ideas from Edutopia.

March 2019

60+ Apps that Integrate with Google Classroom

One of the things that Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning loves about Google is that they play well with others!

Google Classroom is no exception.

Every year she updates her list of applications that integrate with the Google Classroom platform. This list now has more than 60 Apps that Integrate with Google Classroom, making it even easier to create lessons and announcements with your favorite apps and resources.

March 2019

Pi & St. Patrick's Day Resources

Top 'O The Day! Thanks to Jamie Forshey for sharing the links to these resources!

Pi Day Digital Collection

St. Patrick’s Day Poetry Magnets – A Google Slides Activity

March 2019

Join Governor Wolf in Celebrating Read Across America 2019!

Happy Read Across America Day! Below find a special Dr. Seuss-themed video from Governor Wolf and the First Lady celebrating Read Across America Day.

Streaming link
High Quality download link

March 2019

17 Fabulous Fluency Anchor Charts

Fluency is an integral measure of a competent reader. A review of the DIBELS data underscores the need for work in fluency at CCSD. We Are Teachers posted 17 fluency anchor charts. Check them out here.

February 2019

The Best Dr. Seuss Activities to Go With Each of Your Favorite Books

Read Across America Day, March 2, in the nation's largest reading event for schoolchildren and the celebration of beloved author Dr. Seuss' birthday. Get into the spirit of the day by sharing these Dr. Seuss activities and read-alouds.

February 2019

21 Ways to Build Background Knowledge — and Make Reading Skills Soar

We Are Teachers posted twenty-one awesome ways to build background knowledge. Click here to check them out! One of the ideas centered around using video. Remember that all CCSD educators have access to Discovery Education. If you need help accessing the amazing Discovery resources, let me know.

February 2019

Pittsburgh's Hays Bald Eagle Cam

THREE EGGS!! Click here to view the first nesting pair of Bald Eagles in Pittsburgh in over 150 years. According to info on the Web site, egg #1 is expected to hatch on March 19.

February 2019

Teaching Tools for Presidents Day

Presidents Day in 2019 is February 18. On this day, students celebrate the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, their contributions to the United States, and the lives and contributions of all 45 US Presidents. The National Education Association provides resources (lessons, games, videos, and more), organized by grade range (K–5, 6–8, 9–12), which teachers can use in the classroom.

February 2019

West End Elementary School has a Twitter Account!

West End Elementary School @WestEndCCSD is joining Second District Elementary School @SDES_Eagle on Twitter. Links below. Be sure to follow both!

February 2019

Use Google Calendar Appointment Slots

Over the MLK Holiday I caught up on some email and came across this gem! Did you know you can use a school Google account (crawfordsd.org) to set up appointments that others can reserve? So, perhaps you could use this feature to invite parents to schedule Parent Conferences (or any other appointments) with you.

Here are the directions. If you need help, let me know.

January 2019

The Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Math

A conversation on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook focused on the best math websites for teaching and learning math. What a treasure trove! They gathered all the links and included a short description of each math website, along with a grade level recommendation and the cost, if any. The list covers grades K–12 and is full of resources, games, freebies, and innovative programs.

Check out the list here.

January 2019

Googley Activities and Tools for Primary Students

Eric Curts recent blog post pulls together a number of ideas for using Google in fun and creative ways with young students. Here is the link.

January 2019

96 edtech predictions for K12 in 2019

Happy New Year! I found this to be an interesting read and thought some of you might enjoy it, too. eSchool News asked 49 ed tech executives to look into their crystal balls and share their thoughts about what will happen in 2019. In addition to the usual suspects — more augmented reality and virtual reality apps — a lot of people believe this will be the year that social emotional learning and interoperability become part of the mainstream. There are also a lot of predictions about improving safety and security. Read more.

January 2019

2019 International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Hana Koral

Join Hana Koral as she shares stories of persecution and survival living through the Holocaust as a young adult. Don't miss this opportunity for your students to connect with a survivor and learn from her experiences. Appropriate for grades 7–12 or ages 12 and older.

January 25, 2019 at 12pm CST


January 2019

Learn about Global Holiday Traditions with Google Earth

Feeling festive? Google Earth launched a fun and quick quiz that will test your knowledge of how holidays are celebrated around the world. Other quizzes cover ocean marine life, global soccer stadiums, haunted places, and of course, natural wonders.

December 2018

Holiday K!alendar

Ho! Ho! Ho! CCSD Kahoot!'ers! There are new Holiday Kahoots added each day. Click here to access them.

December 2018

6 Googley Winter Activities

Eric Curts shared the following with a listserv to which I subscribe.... With the holiday season and winter coming soon, here is a collection of several fun activities for students that combine tech skills, creativity, writing, math, and more:


Some of the activities include:

  • Build a Snowman with Google Slides
  • Drag-and-Drop Winter Poetry with Google Drawings
  • Holiday Greeting Cards with Google Drawings
  • Pixel Art Ornaments with Google Sheets
  • Wintertime Emoji Rebus Stories in Google Docs

If you want to try any of these and have questions, please let me know.

December 2018

Additional Hour of Code Resources

Hour of Code Lessons by Grade Level

Hour of Code Participation Guide

  • This looks like a great guide to help you get started.

November 2018

Gobble up these creative Thanksgiving Kahoots

Celebrate and learn this holiday season with these curriculum-aligned history, math, ELA and science games, as well as fun trivia. Click here to access the Thanksgiving-themed Kahoots.

November 2018

20 Formative Assessment Tools for Your Classroom

According to Rick Stiggings, “Teachers who use, “Assessment FOR learning,” involve their students in ongoing self-assessment in ways that reveal to those learners (a) where they are headed in their learning, (b) where they are now in relation to those expectations, and (c) how each student can close the gap between the two.”

There are many digital tools to help with formative assessment. Kasey Bell include some of them in a post that is available here.

November 2018

Get Ready to Code

Tech or Treat: Spook-tacular Halloween Resources for the Classroom

Wanted to share a couple of resources for integrating Halloween, tech, writing, and/or creativity!

Eric Curts shared the following....

Jamie Forshey from Bellwood-Antis School District, shared this via email....

  • If you’re in search of some really neat Halloween activities for your students, check out this link: Tech or Treat: Spook-tacular Halloween Resources for the Classroom II Whether it’s writing prompts, science experiments, STEM projects, Halloween candy math, Edgar Allan Poe videos or haunted vocabulary, there’s something ghostly awaiting you right here, right now…

Dare to Play These Tricky Halloween Kahoots?

  • To add to the special mood, they spookified Kahoot! with a new logo, haunting music and chilling decorations!

October 2018

What Gives You Goosebumps? Scary STEM-based Activities ~ Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Here is an opportunity to scare up spooky excitement of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween with your students in grades 3 - 8! Bring STEM lessons and resources to life in your classroom then tell Scholastic your thoughts on "What Gives You Goosebumps?" program.

September 2018

College/Schools Collaborative - Seed money available for a project involving Allegheny College

Do you have a terrific idea for a collaborative project between your school/class and Allegheny College staff or students? If so, the College/Schools Collaborative can help you by providing seed money and facilitating contacts between you and the college.

A project request can include, but is not limited to, covering transportation costs, purchase of supplies, expenses associated with guest presenters, or recruiting college students for service.

The request process is quite simple. First, develop the idea by speaking with as many individuals as possible who can assist in the project. Second, complete this project proposal form. Third, submit the form. (A PDF of the form is posted below so that you know the info that is required n the proposal.)

The criteria used by the C/SC Committee to determine project approval will include:

  • The project will enhance learning of the participants and supports its principle goals.
  • The number of individuals that will participate to equate to the funds solicited.
  • Collaboration will be utilized between Crawford Central School District and Allegheny College.

The C/SC is charged with the responsibility of facilitating projects benefiting Allegheny College and Crawford Central School District. The Collaborative Group will review all project proposals and assist in the development (but not the operation) of the project.

If you have questions, please contact Ann Noonen or Jennifer Galdon.

September 2018

Virtual Manipulatives

Click here to access dozens of interactive, online virtual math manipulatives including geoboards, pattern blocks, counters, fraction bars, tangrams, base ten blocks and more.

September 2018

Manufacture Your Future ~ Virtual Field Trip

Discovery Education is offering a virtual field trip on October 5th at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Celebrate Manufacturing Day October 5th with a virtual tour of the Arctic Plant in Austin, Texas! Explore how 3D printing is revolutionizing aerospace manufacturing and bringing exciting STEM careers into the classroom with this Manufacture Your Future Virtual Field Trip.

Details are here.

September 2018

Why We Fail At Teaching Math & 8 Types of Tech Tools To Improve

As you head back to school and this about tools to support teaching and learning, you might check out this blog post as it outlines 8 tech tools to use in the teaching of math.

August 2018

9 Updates for Google Classroom (and 3 more to come)

Eric Curts writes.... When Google Classroom launched in 2014 it was immediately a valuable tool to save educators time and increase connection with students. Since then Google has continued to make updates to Classroom, bringing new features and improvements.

Google has been very busy over the summer for the start of the new 2018 school year. Classroom has received nine updates, and has three more to come in the near future. In this blog post we will take a look at each of these updates, how they work, and what impact they will have on teaching and learning.

Click here to access his blog post.

August 2018

Global Read Aloud

What is the Global Read Aloud?

(From the site...) The premise is simple; we pick a book to read aloud to our students during a set 6-week period and during that time we try to make as many global connections as possible. Each teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be. Some people choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible. The scope and depth of the project is up to you. While there are commonly used such as Skype, Twitter, WriteAbout or Flipgrid, you choose the tools that will make the most sense for you. Teachers get a community of other educators to do a global project with, hopefully inspiring them to continue these connections through the year.

When is it? For more information, visit https://theglobalreadaloud.com.

Once a year, starting in early October and running through mid-November.

For more information, visit https://theglobalreadaloud.com. If you want support to get this set up, please let me know.

August 2018

Summer Reading

Teachers know the importance of summer reading. Here are a few resources that you might want to share with your students and/or parents:

  • ReadWorks.org is providing a way for you to provide curated summer reading packets to your students on a variety of levels. You may choose packets with and without question sets. There is a letter to send to parents, too ~ Word version or Google docs version.
  • We Are Teachers - Color-As-You-Go Summer Reading Challenge - Includes printable Summer Reading Challenge bookmarks.
  • TeachersFirst weekly message contains tools for practicing math and reading skills. They also tools to create books, images, and more! Click here to access the page.
  • The Association for Library Service to Children created Summer Reading Lists available in a brochure format The lists are available for Birth=PreSchool, Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-8.
  • This year's Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is called "A Magical Summer of Reading." Click here for details.
  • WeAreTeachers posted a link to information about 17 picture books to celebrate summer!
  • WeAreTeachers shared "from irresistible family read alouds to can't-put-them-down titles for road trips and rainy afternoons, these are our top choices for K-8 students. Click here to access the summer reading list for families.

What about Teacher Reading/PD?

  • Do you have an Educator Summer Book Club? If so, you might be interested in the summer reading recommendations from Jennifer Gonzalez on her blog, Cult of Pedagogy.
  • Matt Miller from Ditch That Textbook offers 12 Ways To Grow and Learn in this post. Don't miss the list of podcasts.

May 2018

Three Ways to Collect Video Reflections from Students

Richard Byrne outlines three ways that you could have your students record and share video reflections.

Click here to access his blog post.

May 2018

Twelve Tools for Building End-of-year Review Activities (That Aren't Kahoot Games)

Thanks to Richard Byrne for his work to post tools to create review activities. Click here to read his post.

May 2018

Literacy Under the Lights

Please plan to join families from the community as we celebrate literacy, books, and reading! Local literacy resources and experts will be there to share information and strategies to promote literacy.

Details are available here: https://www.smore.com/bj5re

Agencies may register here.

April 2018

Educators in the Workplace

An Educator In The Workplace event is scheduled for April 26th from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at Starn Tool. The flyer below provides the details. Click here for the link to register to attend. This will work, too: http://bit.ly/EWPStarn

This event provides an excellent opportunity to connect your subject area with the challenges, new technologies, and use of academic skills and knowledge in a manufacturing setting.

If you have questions, please let me (ann.noonen at craw.org) know or reach out to Eileen Mullen (emullen at crawfordctc.org), the event coordinator.

April 2018

ASM Materials Camp

ASM Materials Camp and Allegheny College are looking for students in high school who are highly motivated, inquisitive learners with math and science aptitude.

ASM Materials Camp is a three-day day camp (non-residential) utilizing hands-on learning principles of applied math, physics, and chemistry. A very unique team-based, intensive problem solving science experience under the direction of distinguished industry leaders and college faculty. The Camp includes a combination of mini-demonstrations and field trips with extensive involvement in laboratory facilities to actively explore materials science & engineering principles in practice with local industry.

Details are available here.

April 2018

Springtime "Magnetic" Poetry with Google Drawings

Spring is here, and April is National Poetry Month, so what better time to have your students work on their creative writing skills with a Springtime-themed writing activity.

Here is the latest from Eric Curts....

In the past I have shared Google Drawing templates for students to create drag-and-drop "magnetic" poetry with a winter-theme as well as for Valentine's Day. This time I have updated the template for Springtime. You can get a copy of the Springtime Magnetic Poetry template to use with your students (or yourself) however you want, as well as directions on how to use it here:


April 2018

CCSD Hosts Google Level 1 Certification Training

Join like-minded colleagues as we explore Google tools and best practices for the classroom. This certification training will help better prepare you to take the Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam which is offered on day 3 of the training.

June 13, 14, and 15, 2018

Details are here.

March 2018

March 14 - Pi Day

How are you and your students celebrating Pi Day? Here are a few resources to consider...

Discovery Ed Resources (You will need to log in)

Official Pi Day Web site

Best Pi Day Activities for the Classroom

March 2018

They Are Back - Hanover Eagle Nest

Julie Clements shared this with the staff in her school.... "Here is a site that has the Pittsburgh eagle nest if you want to show the kiddos one closer to home. This nest has 3 eggs in it due to hatch March 20.


Streams and audio from two cameras at the nest site went live on January 3. One camera a side angle and the other a view from above, which also has infrared capabilities for night viewing. View the site here.

January 2018/Updated February 2018

"One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" Sorting with Google Slides

If you are looking for a fun Googley activity for Read Across America and Dr. Seuss' birthday, feel free to check out Eric Curtis' Google Slides template for a "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" Sorting activity.

You can get a copy of the template and all the directions at:


February 2018

NMC/CoSN Horizon Report > 2017 K-12 Edition

What is on the five-year horizon for K-12 schools worldwide? Which trends and technologies will drive educational change? What are the challenges that we consider as solvable or difficult to overcome, and how can we strategize effective solutions? These questions regarding technology adoption and educational change steered the collaborative research and discussions of a body of 61 experts to produce the NMC/CoSN Horizon Report > 2017 K-12 Edition, in partnership with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and made possible by mindSpark Learning.

Important Developments in Educational Technology for K–12 Education

  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
  • Makerspaces
  • Robotics

  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
  • Analytics Technologies
  • Virtual Reality

  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • The Internet of Things


February 2018

Computational Thinking/Coding World Added to First In Math

Sent to FIM Contacts and Elementary Principals:

Have you noticed a new “world” when you logged in to First In Math? The new Computational Thinking World was recently added.

Please share the following news about an update to First In Math with your colleagues who teach grades 2 - 6:

New Computational Thinking + Intro to Coding Module: I was totally enthused to see they've taken one of their existing game structures, Rock Paper Scissors Chess, and developed an amazing world to build computational thinking + introduce rudimentary coding skills. This new CT world should be live on student screens this winter and will be freely included with the full FIM bundle for next year.

When students log in to First In Math, they should see a new world. I’ve attached a screen shot of what they will see. Clicking on the pink CT World will take the user to the Computational Thinking World where the problems require coding skills in order to solve. Check it out with your students.

February 2018


TIPSbyTEXT is a free text-messaging program for parents of preschoolers designed to help them prepare their children for kindergarten. Each week during the school year, parents receive three texts about important kindergarten readiness skills. TIPSbyTEXT’s text messages were developed at Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis. They are based on child development research and linked to state educational standards.

Click here for the details.

February 2018

15 FREE Google Drawings graphic organizers — and how to make your own

Stacey Walsh shared the following..

Below is a link to a set of graphic organizer templates all created with Google Drawings. Click on the one you want to see, click make a copy (it will save directly to your Google Drive) and it is then yours to use. Check out Google Drawings (drawings.google.com) to make your own...lots of options to create timelines, annotate images, drag and drop activities, etc.

Click here.

February 2018

Favorite Media

I'm often asked about what are some current resources that people are reading or accessing. So, I thought I would start a listing of some of the books, blogs, video and podcasts that I use or that have been recommended.



February 2018

Digital Literacy

Where do I find resources to teach digital literacy.....

February 2018

Tips on Getting Started Using the Iditarod Race With Students

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is scheduled for March 4, 2018. Heidi Sloan is a 5th grade teacher from Virginia who will be the 2018 Teacher on the Trail.


Paw Prints

January 2018

12 Amazingly Creative Book Reports

In some classrooms, the mere mention of the phrase “book report” brings groans of dread. Visions of endless writing and tedious presentations feel overwhelming to students. But reading an awesome book and telling others all about it can be one of the great pleasures in life! Here are 12 creative book report ideas that will be sure to get your students excited about their assignment.

January 2018

65 Digital Tools and Apps to Support Formative Assessment Practices

An extensive list of 65 digital tools, apps, and platforms that can help teachers use formative assessment to elicit evidence of student learning. Click here.

January 2018

Classroom Screen Web Resource

Wanted to share a Web resource that I learned about yesterday. Here’s the URL: https://classroomscreen.com

Check it out. Best to use Chrome. Click on the icon on the bottom of the screen to turn the features on and off.

You can…
- choose a background
- type your instructions in the textbox
- choose a work symbol
- set a timer or show the clock
- use the traffic light
- pick a random name
- display the noise level in your classroom
- draw in-screen or full-screen
- generate a qr-code
- drag and drop the icons in the right place
- use the duo widget option if your class works in two groups on a different assignment

January 2018

The 12 Days of Techmas

Sent the following to BLTs...

Wanted to be sure you were aware of this resource from Eric Curts, The 12 Days of Tech-Mas 2017

Here is the text he posted to one of the listservs…

With the holiday season here, I am excited to share some of my favorite things in educational technology! I will be doing this in a series of blog posts throughout the month of December that I am calling "The 12 Days of Tech-Mas". Each blog post will provide a list of useful resources corresponding to the number of that entry, from 1 through 12. (Not all of them will be Google related, but quite a lot of them will be.)


December 2017


Shared this link that highlights new features with Kahoot! Web page is linked below, too.

November 2017

Engaging Students Through Levels of Questioning

Web-based resources that provide examples/samples of question stems that target higher order thinking skills were shared.

Google's Version of 20-Questions

Google has launched a fun, educational "20-Questions" style game called "Mystery Animal". It is all done through speaking, so no typing or reading is needed, so this works great with little ones as well.

Google's artificial intelligence picks a random animal, and then you and your students ask it "Yes" and "No" question to try to guess the animal. It is a fun way to build critical thinking, questioning, communication, and science skills.

See all the details and the different ways to access the activity here:


As always, feel free to share with others. Take care!

November 2017

What New With Google in October 2017?

Catch up on everything new in G Suite for Education from October 2017, and see great ideas and resources!

6 Halloween Makerspace Paper Circuit Projects

Shared the following Web sites with CCSD educators.

2nd Annual PETE&C Student Inventors’ Competition

Shared info about the 2nd Annual PETE&C Student Inventors’ Competition with the Superintendent via email. Text of the mail message...

I received information about the Student Inventors’ Competition and wondered if you would approve sharing it with the secondary principals. Basically, middle and high school students are invited to come up with an invention. They have to create a 60 second video to “sell” their invention - think shark tank presentation. We (the PETE&C Board) will score the submissions. If selected, the team will bring a prototype of the invention to PETE&C. Attendees vote on their favorite invention.

I’m running this by you for approval…. Thinking what if…. Would the District send the invention team to Hershey if they are selected to present?

Here is the link to the flyer.

October 2017

Expeditions AR Pioneer Program

An application was submitted for elementary schools to participate in the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program. Google has partnered with content providers like the American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian, The Planetary Society, the National Museum of Korea, Frontiers of Flight Museum, Alchemy VR, PBS, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and others to create virtual reality experiences for students. Google is also partnering with Subaru to bring these virtual field trips to schools.

The company says that it plans to bring Expeditions to “thousands” of schools. That’s definitely an ambitious program, especially since it plans to have a team visit every school to show teachers how the system works.

Let's hope that Second District and the other elementary buildings are selected to participate!

October 2017

Monster Project - West End - Grade 5

Students draw a monster according to the teachers's specs (i.e. use all geometric shapes) and then they write a descriptive paragraph describing the creation. Classes exchange descriptive essays. Each student receives an essay from a student in another class and uses this paper to draw the monster described. The event culminates in a Skype call in which students hold up their drawings for the original artist/writer to see how closely they were able to recreate the monster.

October 2017

First In Math

Thanks to Mark Losey for coming to CCSD on October 9th to get us started on the right foot with First In Math.

October 2017