Nov. Tech News

TPS Instructional Technology, 2015-16

MinecraftEDU in Middle School Libraries

MinecraftEDU has been installed in all of our Middle School Libraries. Our Instructional Technology team has a number of lesson plans and ideas on how to use this amazing and engaging educational tool all ready to go including lessons in math, science, social studies and language arts. We are happy to share these ideas and how to use this new tool with you. We have a MinecraftEDU PLC that meets the first teaching Thursday of the month, and we would love to have you join. If you have any questions or ideas please contact rbooth@tacoma.k12.wa.us or dcrump@tacoma.k12.wa.us.

Librarian Professional Development Charter

Kim Williams and Kristie Stanek are working with Hannah Gbenro on the Librarian Project. The mission of Tacoma School District Library Program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users and producers of ideas and information and that students are empowered to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information.

Assessment Resources

Looking for assessment resources that are aligned to standards? Look no further! Access the Digital Library for classroom-based assessment supporting resources. Trouble logging in? Try the password reminder with your TPS email. If that doesn’t work, contact Linda Medford for support.

Review 360 and Rethink

Student Services is utilizing 2 different online systems for many of our students receiving specially designed instruction. Rethink is being used in 12 of our self-contained autism classrooms. This system provides a large library of resources for the teachers, as well as means to collect and maintain data for students individual goals. Review 360 is an online system being used in our LTC classrooms for students with behavior disabilities. This system provides an extremely easy to use means for creating learning plans, collecting and maintaining data as to the students’ progress on behavioral goals. Sherri Desseau oversees both of these systems for Student Services.

Hour of Code: December 7-13, 2015

Bring computer science to your school. Start with an Hour of Code.


Computers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago. Good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you heard about the Hour of Code last year, you might know it made history. In the first Hour of Code, 15 million students tried computer science. Last year, that number increased to 60 million students! The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Sign up to host an Hour of Code this December 7-13 during Computer Science Education Week. To add your school to the map, go to https://hourofcode.com/us

F1 for Help in Microsoft Office

Want to merge labels in a Word document? Need to use a formula in Excel? Wondering how to email a page from OneNote? Help is just a click away with the F1 key!


In any Microsoft Office program (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.), the Help menu is available in the upper right corner with the ? icon, or just press F1 on your keyboard. You can browse topics or use the search box with key words. Step-by-step directions and even some video tutorials are available in the Help menu.

Upcoming Tech Classes

This list contains just some of the TPS technology classes. Review the PD calendar for a full list of upcoming classes. Registration is required at least 48 hours prior to start date.


11/02, The Apprehensive User, Learning the Basics of Microsoft Word

11/02, Microsoft Sway

11/02, OneNote for the Secondary Humanities Classroom

11/05, MinecraftEdu PLC

11/09, Creating Interactive Lessons with SMART Notebook

11/12, OneNote: An Intro to Digital Notebooks (online)

11/12, Outlook: Mail, Ribbon & Quick Steps (online)

11/12, Game Based Lesson Planning PLC

11/16, Excel: Working with Data

11/17, Office 365 to Support Collaboration (online)

11/17, Computer Essentials: Conquering the Fear Factor

11/17, Interactive Projector & SMART Notebook Overview

11/19, Another 20+ Classroom Tools

11/19, Outlook: Contacts & Calendars (online)

12/01, OneNote: An Intro to Digital Notebooks (online)

12/03, The Apprehensive User: Learning the Basics of Microsoft Word

12/03, MinecraftEdu PLC

12/08, Computer Essentials: Conquering the Fear Factor

12/10, Game Based Learning PLC

12/10, Interactive Projector & SMART Notebook Overview

12/10, Excel: Formulas and Functions

12/17, 20+ Classroom Tools You Can Use in Your Classroom Tomorrow



FYI regarding types of classes listed on the PD Calendar:

  • School-based - Registration for a specific building
  • Invitation Only - Registration for a specific group/target audience (ex. Occupational Therapists)


Reminder: There are required District Directed Trainings available online from the SafeSchools Training portal for topics such as Boundary Invasion and Workplace Bullying. Once logged in, you’ll see a list of options and when they are due for you to complete. From the Professional Development website, look for the “SafeSchools” link.