TEACHnology Today

Technology Integration Newsletter-May 4, 2015

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iPad App of the Week: HOWTOSMILE

Need some fun ideas to teach STEM concepts to your students? This website and accompanying app are phenomenal resources for fun hands-on activities that help teach problem-solving skills as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills. The website Howtosmile.org—has consistently won awards for one of the best educational websites online and the best science fun anywhere, any time, and at any age!


The activities included in the website were created by the country’s top science centers and informal educators. The website houses a collection of over 2,000 activities, games, and experiments. You can view the 20 most popular lessons, or search for your own by word or topic. Some are free and some may have a cost associated with them. You can also search by age—from 4 to adult.


For even more ideas and learning approaches, check out the howtosmile.org blog. There you can view educator profiles and connect with those who make science learning cool and exciting, whether they teach in a museum, classroom, an afterschool program, or a kitchen at home.

This website and app are funded by the National Science Foundation and brought to you by the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley.

Using Google Drawing in the Classroom

The link below details some wonderful web-based applications that allow students to showcase their creativity. In my classroom, we use Google Drawing ALL the time! It is a great resource because students do not need to login separately or create an account. All they need to do is login to a Chromebook using their student account! All work they produce is saved automatically to their Google Drive and is easily shared with you either by clicking the blue "Share" button or by submitting in Google Classroom.


When I use Google Drawing in my class, I figure out what I'd like students to visually represent in their drawing. My example below is a project my 6th graders did on the Cold War era for products that could be marketed to the public to instill a sense of safety or security in Minnesotans.


My favorite part of this project is the simplicity of setup! Here are the steps I used to get started:


  1. Go to docs.google.com/drawings to begin creating your drawing! I like to make a template as a starting point for my students. I tell them they are welcome to change anything on the page to their own preferences, but I like them to have a place to begin work.
  2. I create a new text box on the side of the drawing to type in my expectations for the drawing. That way they are visible to students while they work and you don't have to print up a separate handout. (See Steps 1-2 Picture Below)
  3. In Google Classroom, I click new assignment and give it a title and description. At the bottom of the "new assignment," I click the Google Drive triangle and locate my Google Drive template and click "Add."
  4. To the right of the drawing that is now added to your assignment, there is a drop-down menu. You can choose for students to view your drawing, for them to edit your drawing, or to create a copy for each student. I always select the last option because this will allow each student to edit my copy and submit their final draft in their name. Google Classroom will take the assignment and put the student's name behind the copy. (See Steps 3-4 Picture Below)
  5. I will usually add any links or other instructions at the bottom of assignment and then I will click "Assign."
  6. When students login to the Chromebooks, I ask them to navigate to Google Classroom and find my class. They will see the instructions you posted and be able to click into their very own copy of the assignment to begin work.
  7. When students are done, they can click "Turn It In" and the assignment will be locked from editing and available for you to grade in your own Google Classroom page.


If you want to try something like this and have questions, I'd be MORE than happy to help!!

Google Drawing Steps 1-2: Creating Your Template

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Google Drawing Steps 3-4: Creating Assignment In Google Classroom

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New Chromebooks! Chromebooks Cart 3 and Library Check-Out

Thanks to the LP Foundation for Education and the donations received from the Bulldog Bash, we were able to purchase 37 new Chromebooks and cart! The Chromebooks have been entered into our system and 32 are now available for checkout under Chromebooks Cart 3 on your LP Calendar. You should have received a link emailed to you last week, but you can click this link to add the calendar. The Chromebooks are being housed in Ms. Edlund's room through the end of this school year, and you may check them out using the link above or right from your calendar view.


Owing to the fact that our Chrome Cart holds 32 Chromebooks, we took the 5 remaining and organized them in hanging files to be kept in the library! These can be checked out by individual students any hour, and Mrs. Meyer will scan barcodes to check them out when she is in there. If she isn't in there, students can use the sign-out sheet on the desk to check one out. Teachers who need 5 or fewer Chromebooks may also check them out for their classes.

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Past Editions of TEACHnology Today

September 4, 2014: Important Links, About Tech Integration, Chromebook Update and Google Classroom
September 11, 2014: Important Links, Technology Goals, Google Calendar and Chromebook Checkout, the 1-iPad Classroom and Reflector App
September 18, 2014: Important Links, Kahoot.it Tutorial, iPad App: Rhyme to Read
September 25, 2014: Digital Citizenship Image, Chromebook Checkout Refresher, iPad App: Noise Down, Bookmarking Sites: Tizmos and SymbalooEDU (with examples/resources by subject area and grade level)
October 2, 2014: Technology Goal Submission, Tutorial: Remind, Technology Workshop Opportunities, Chromebook Use Update
October 14, 2014: Technology Goal Update, iPad Spectrum, Apps for Every Classroom, Cool Tool: Planboard with Examples
October 23, 2014: Teaching Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety, iPad Reference Card (Printable), Cool Tool: Chatterpix App, Google Classroom, Apps for English and History, Sight Words on iPad, Youtube Channels for Educators
November 10, 2014: Tech Integration Request Form, Reflector and Splashtop (installation and use with your iPad and school computers), Google Calendar Refresher and links to LP School Calendars
November 18, 2014: Technology Mini-Session Poll, iPad App Suggestions with ThingLink, Thankful Turkeys with imagechef.com, Past Editions and Tech Integration Request Form
November 25, 2014: Technology Mini Session 1 Information, Planboard: Unit Planner How-To Guide, Formative Assessment with Socrative

December 4, 2014: Using Apps to Level your Classroom Library, Leveler Websites and Databases, 15 Virtual Field Trip Apps, and a Neat End of Year Activity

December 17, 2014: Survey Tools, Socrative, 30 Best Apps of 2014, WebTools with No Registration Required, Fun Classroom Timers

January 8, 2015: Technology Goal Update, iPad Student Objectives with Apps, iPad App of the Week: Phoster, A Comprehensive Guide to Classroom Blogging

January 30, 2015: Technology Half Day Ideas, Technology Half Day Form and Procedure, TED Ed Writer's Workshop Videos, iPad Volume Apps that LP has available for student or staff iPads

February 3, 2015: iPad App Request Forms, 12 Elementary Apps that Should Be on Every iPad, Learning Objective Maker, Saving Attachments to Google Drive

February 19, 2015: Websites to Teach Keyboarding Skills to Elementary Students, Elementary Math Videos by Level, 40 Reflection Questions, "Did I Plagiarize" Infographic

February 26, 2015: Preparing Students for Online Testing, Website: Shmoop, A Game Website to Help End World Hunger, 8 Formative Assessment Tools, DK in the Classroom Resources, and a List of the Best Music Education Resources

March 13, 2015: 5 Tips for Facilitating an Online Discussion, Digital Learning Day Lessons, Resources and Tools, 5 Games/Apps that Build Math and English Skills, 30 Tips for Using iPad App: Book Creator

March 18, 2015: 1-iPad Classroom Guide, Suggestions for Using Reflector with your iPad, How to Make a Roving White Board, 3 Awesome iPad Creation Apps, A Reflector and Splashtop Refresher, Green Screens in the Classroom with your iPad

April 14, 2015: Google Play for Education: Chrome Apps, Videos and Books, Google For Education Essential Resources Guide, Digital Starter Kit, Bulldog Bash Presentation

May 4, 2015: HOWTOSMILE.org website and app, 4 Google Chrome Apps for Sketches and Drawings, Using Google Drawing in the Classroom, New Chrome Cart and Library Checkout Option