Supporting 21st Century Classrooms in La Canada

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This is your one-stop shop for instructional resources, tech lessons, and an easy way to book collaboration time or digital citizenship lessons. There is a LOT of material on the site that can help you as you design lessons: tech lessons, instructional resources on close reading, writing strategies, DOK, assessment, digital citizenship plans, and a place to start a "collaboration ticket."

Seeing Stars--Your Colleagues in Action!

We all make the most of our connections with our fellow teachers: during collaboration times, at lunch, between periods to ask questions or give heads-ups. But we rarely have the opportunity to see our professional peers during the times when they're teaching, or neck-deep in a tech activity. The potential to learn from each other is the most valuable professional development.

I encourage you take some time to visit colleagues during class time. Perhaps in your conversations, you've heard of an activity you'd like to see in process, or want to learn how another teacher is managing the Chromebooks, or would like just like a rare opportunity to see another class in action. Please contact David Paszkiewicz to cover your classrooms for a period, or even just 10-15 minutes. Let's celebrate great instruction and learning!

Unleash the Power of Google Apps with Add-Ons and Extensions

Google Apps are "good enough" on their own, but sometimes they're lacking some of the features we love about Microsoft Office. And sometimes programmers have ways to add new features never before seen. This is where two software tools come in:

Extensions: Tools added to your Chrome browser that can be used on any site.

Add-Ons: Tools specific to a certain app, such as Docs or Sheets.

Sample extensions:

Share to Classroom

Save time and create a more interactive class with the Share to Classroom extension. The extension allows you to push webpages to your any of your Classroom classes, so they open instantly on your students' computers. With this extension, you can get your students on the right page, quickly and reliably every time. You can also post announcements, create assignments, or save webpages to post to Classroom later.

Screencastify (Screen Video Recorder)

Screencastify is a simple video screen capture software (aka. screencast recorder) for Chrome. It is able to record all screen activity inside a tab, including audio. Just press record and the content of your tab is recorded. So you can easily create a screencast for video tutorials, record presentations etc.

Google Dictionary

View definitions easily as you browse the web.

Google Keep

Found a webpage, image, or quote that you want to save for later? With the Google Keep Chrome Extension, easily save the things you care about to Keep and have them synced across all of the platforms that you use.


Check your spelling and grammar as you type. Boost your credibility everywhere you write!

Sample add-ons:

Orange Slide Teacher Rubrics

Easily and quickly make rubric selections and convert the Analysis or Holistic rubric into a percentage or points grade.

Doc Tools

A set of single-click tools to change case, highlight text, sort tables and lists, change numbers to text, and more.

Google Translate

Use Google Translate to translate text in your document!

Highlight Tool

Highlighting tool for Google Documents. Create and share customized highlighters. Save highlighted text to a separate document.

Rhyme Finder

Rhyme Finder allows you to select words in your document and supplies you with rhyming words in a sidebar.

Pupil Pref (Special Ed tool)

A simple add-on to change the background color and reduce visual stress. The color options are based on the "Intuitive Overlays."

Revision History Analytics (great idea, but may be half-baked)

Automatically creates different charts and summaries in order to visually understand all users' interactions made on the document.


Create graphs (including plotting points) and complex math directly in your Google Doc. Now includes Handwriting & Voice entry!

Split Names

Quickly split full names to several columns with first, middle, last names, titles, and/or post-nominal letters.

Table of Contents

Automatically creates table of contents in the sidebar that can be clicked through, for easy document navigation.

Lucidchart Diagrams

Quickly create and insert flowchart, UML, wireframe, mind map, and more diagrams directly into a Google document.

WARNING: Buyer beware. Some extensions (ones not from well-known companies) can cause your device to glitch. If you find sluggishness or odd behavior with your devices, try trashing the extensions.

Classroom Spotlight: Jenny Franz

Jenny has been putting a new procedure in place in her classroom, and I got a chance to see it in action recently. In the spirit of tilting your screen down to show respect for the speaker, she has simple verbal cues that guide the students. When she says "90," meaning open at 90 degrees, the Chromebook screens are open for business. When she says "45," screens should be tilted down and attention is directed to the teacher. When she says "180," Chromebooks are closed. Very cool!

Twitter Peeps to Follow

Last week, we looked at three people worth following: Will Richardson (@willrich), a writer and big thinker, Matt Vaudrey (@MrVaudrey) a really dynamic math teacher and instructional coach from Bonita in San Dimas, and Jenn Roberts (@jennroberts1), a language arts teacher and published author from San Diego.

Three new people this week!

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EdCamp Azusa

Saturday, Sep. 24th, 8am-12pm

Azusa Pacific University, 701 E Foothill Blvd, Azusa 91702

Want to experience a Professional Learning event unlike anything you've ever seen before? Want to draw upon the knowledge and experience of your peers--and share what you know? EdCamp is just the place to do that, and more.

Register at

Here's what Edutopia has to say about EdCamps:

"What's an Edcamp?

Let’s begin with a definition. In short, Edcamps are:

  • Free: Edcamps should be free to all attendees. This helps ensure that all different types of teachers and educational stakeholders can attend.
  • Non-commercial and with a vendor-free presence: Edcamps should be about learning, not selling. Educators should feel free to express their ideas without being swayed or influenced by sales pitches for educational books or technology.
  • Hosted by any organization or individual: Anyone should be able to host an Edcamp. School districts, educational stakeholders and teams of teachers can host Edcamps.
  • Made up of sessions that are determined on the day of the event:Edcamps should not have pre-scheduled presentations. During the morning of the event, the schedule should be created in conjunction with everyone there. Sessions will be spontaneous, interactive and responsive to participants' needs.
  • Events where anyone who attends can be a presenter: Anyone who attends an Edcamp should be eligible to present. All teachers and educational stakeholders are professionals worthy of sharing their expertise in a collaborative setting.
  • Reliant on the "law of two feet" which encourages participants to find a session that meets their needs: As anyone can host a session, it is critical that participants are encouraged to actively self-select the best content and sessions. Edcampers should leave sessions that do not meet their needs. This provides a uniquely effective way of "weeding out" sessions that are not based on appropriate research or not delivered in an engaging format."