TEACHnology Today

Technology Integration Newsletter- November 18, 2015

Thankful Turkeys with ImageChef.com

Looking for a fun way to utilize technology as you teach about Thanksgiving? One option is to have students create a "Thankful Turkey" using a website that allows for customized word mosaics. Follow the steps below to create your turkey!


  1. Go to www.imagechef.com
  2. Roll Mouse over "Create"
  3. Select "Word Mosaic"
  4. Next to the heart symbol, find the down arrow and click.
  5. In the search box that pops up, have the student type the word "Turkey"
  6. There are two turkey options, but I selected the one in color, as I like the outline better.
  7. Have students click in the text box, and begin typing things they are thankful for. Separate words by a space. They can click the preview button to see their words in the picture.
  8. When they are finished typing words, they can click the text color, background color, and font options at the top to customize their design.
  9. Students can print these designs right from the webpage, or follow the directions below to save an image.


Saving Your Thankful Turkey

Students will have to take a screenshot of the image.

  • Have students touch the "Print Screen" key at the top right side of their keyboard.
  • This copies the screen as an image.
  • Students can then open a Word Document or Google Document and paste the image by using holding down the Ctrl button and pressing the letter V.
  • You can print or save the document, or show students how to click on the image and use the cropping tool.
Thankful Turkey with Image Chef
The teacher that created the video above utilizes blogs, so some of the information at the end of the video will not be relevant regarding how to embed the image into student blog pages. She does have a great short video tutorial of how to create a Thankful Turkey if you happen to get stuck.

Digital Learning Goals for 2015-2016

As you plan lessons that include some form of technology, please consider the following 3 things:


1.Use the Digital Lesson Plan Template below as a guide when constructing digital lessons and learning opportunities.

  • Hutchinson Digital Lesson Template
    • This lesson plan has been developed with one goal in mind--to help you choose a technology tool that enhances what you already do in the classroom and not the other way around. Technology can be a wonderful tool when used in a purposeful way that enhances a lesson.

2. Utilize devices for digital formative assessment.

  • Digital bell ringer activities
    • You can build a bell ringer activity into your classroom culture so that students always know that they will start class with a short self-guided digital activity.
    • This frees up the teacher to take attendance, help students, distribute grades or make-up work, etc. This also ensures that students will be ready to learn, with their device out, on and ready (should you need it for the day’s lesson.) If you don’t need the device for the day’s lesson, tell them to put it away when they are done.
  • Digital exit ticket to formatively assess students at the end of class
    • This can help you to to asses how students understood your learning targets for the day, and can help you to form a plan for how to reteach anything that students may need to revisit. The benefit of doing this digitally is that the results of the ticket are often tallied and summarized for you, giving you a snapshot of each class without any extra work for you.

3. Aim for increased student engagement through the purposeful use of technology.
  • Have students collaborate to create something together.
    • This could be working in small groups to collaborate on a Google Document, Slideshow or Drawing to illustrate a concept, solve a problem, or teach the class about a chosen topic.
    • Have students design a flyer to teach others about a concept learned in class. Try using Smore, as it is free, easy to use and connects to their school Google account. When students are done, they copy the link and paste it into Google Classroom to submit it to you.
  • Bring in a larger audience to view student work.
    • When students create a project for their teacher to view, most will try hard to do well on the assignment. However, you can take this up a notch when students know that their work will be viewed by a larger audience, as students will often feel the pressure to do a better job. That’s the power of audience. How can you harness the power of an audience in your classroom? The easiest way to do this with devices is to publish student work.
    • I used to have my students work collaboratively to create a free Weebly website in groups. We made sure to protect student information (no photos of students or full names were used) as a rule. Students published their sites and then sent them to other teachers, classmates, administrators, friends and family for viewing. It generated a level of excitement for how their work would be viewed and received, as well as a great conversation outside of the classroom as parents and community members commented on the work.

Want to learn more about Google Classroom?

Check out this amazing webinar by Kevin Brookhouser. He delivered this training at Google Apps Bootcamp last October.


Google set out to change the entire way that you manage your classroom. If you haven't been using it yet, you will be amazed by how much of your workflow can be transformed to digital through the use of this tool.

A Deep Dive Into Google Classroom

This Week In The Classroom

Each week, I'd like to take a moment to highlight some of the incredible things happening with technology across the district.

Troy Higgins and Ross Wendling have enhanced their instruction in 6th grade social studies to include digital review games that were created in Quia. They make the games available both at school and at home by posting the links on their Google Classroom page. Students are beginning to understand that they can access Google Classroom from home, which makes it easier for them to find links for review games and other relevant material. Ross and Troy have also dived into digital assessment with Quia, which allows for instant feedback for students on all automatically graded questions (multiple choice, matching and true/false, etc.) while allowing them to spend more focused time grading short answer and essay questions.


Troy also recently differentiated a project by allowing students to choose whether they wanted to create a "Help Wanted" poster on paper or digitally. This allowed for students to choose how they would show their learning on the fur trade. I was able to witness the engagement of his students go up as each learner made a choice about how they would best like to demonstrate their understanding of the various players in the fur trade. Keep up the great work!

Request a Technology Integration Session Here!

Interested in integrating technology but are unsure of what to tackle first? I'd love to come and chat! We can go over your objectives for the lesson or goals for students, and I can help make a technology recommendation.

Google Migration Training Site

This training site contains several smaller 10-minute trainings on Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Chrome and other apps like Slides, Sheets and Forms. Use the self-paced trainings to become proficient, or plan to attend trainings in person.

Not sure of where to start in learning about Google?

Past Editions of TEACHnology Today:

September 24, 2015: Google Calendar Added to Google Classroom—How to Share Yours, Google Chrome Extensions Explained, 4 Great Chrome Extensions—Share to Classroom, Synergyse, Read&Write, and Fluency Tutor

September 30, 2015: Failing Forward and "First Attempt In Learning," Getting Started with Technology Integration by using the TPaCK Model, "In the Classroom" highlight featuring Gloriann Heikes' 21st Century room redesign and a Twitter handle collection form so that we can build an ISD 423 Professional Learning Network!

October 19, 2015: Intro to Quia for Assessment and Review Games, Digital Citizenship Week Educator Guide, Gmail Migration Training Materials, Google Apps for Education for Elementary Students, and This Week in the Classroom with Nesha Withers and Rochelle Drahos

November 1, 2015: Getting Started with Google, Working With Google and Outlook Calendars, Using Newsela for Current Events and Literacy, and This Week in the Classroom with Krista Picha

November 18, 2015: Thankful Turkeys with ImageChef.com, 3 Digital Learning Goals for 2015-16, A Google Classroom Webinar, and This Week in the Classroom with Troy Higgins and Ross Wendling