Monday, March 30, 2020

A few first-hand experiences when embarking into virtual learning from a teacher and student point of view.

Below are some "experiences" that my family has had this week with virtual learning (my wife is a 4th grade teacher, my daughter is in 5th grade, and my son is in 2nd). I included a video as well below.

1. Not everyone is using the same device - Chromebook/iPad/etc. If using iPad - students will need to download Docs, Slides, etc. Make sure to be prepared for this.

2. Possibly leave ability to make comments open for students because they will let you know if something is not working. Example - maybe your settings in a file are off.

3. Take a look at your notifications in Classroom - especially if you are in a number of Classrooms.

4. With assignments in Google Classroom - remind students to check under Classwork. Sometimes items look a bit different if they just select the assignment in the Stream.

5. If you share a PDF - possibly allow the ability for students to write down the answers on a piece of paper and send a picture of it to you. Typing in a PDF can be tough especially if they are on the younger side! Also, remember not everyone has a printer.

6. If students submit an assignment they can unsubmit (as well as you as the teacher can return assignments).

7. Leaving a voice message (or video) is a great way to connect with your students!

7. Screencastify and VidYard are two extensions I use to create short video tutorials. There are of course others - but these are ones that I have found to be the easiest. If at all interested let me know.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

How to use Flipgrid to send out a personalized video to your students/families.

If you are interested in sharing a video with your students/families, a great site to use for this would be Flipgrid. 

You can create a video anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes and while you can use Flipgrid with your class to respond, you do not have to.

A few quick tips.
  • Log in to Flipgrid 
  • Go through the steps of creating your Grid
    • name it whatever works for you
  • You will now need to create your topic
  • Name the topic what you would like
  • Look to the right and select anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes
  • Type in whatever you need for the prompt (in the example below I just used hi because no-one but you will see the information in the Grid or topic)
  • Make sure to then select create topic
  • A pop up will occur letting you know that your topic has been created.
    • You can close that pop-up and scroll down and look for record a response.
    • Choose the green +
  • Record your response
    • click the arrow when previewing the video
    • take a selfie
    • rename your name (if applicable)
  • Select Submit video and then complete
  • You will now see the ability to send the video (look for a rocket - see below)

  • Choose the rocket, copy the URL, I recommend openning an Incognito Window and pasting it in there (this shows what the video would look like for someone like a family member).
  • You are now ready to share the video where you would like to.
  • Of course there are so many uses for Flipgrid, but this is a great way to start! 

  • Embedded below is a 2 minute and 5 second YouTube tutorial.

    Take care,

Google Classroom - Share your Contact Information as well as how to leave a voice message.

In the district where I work we have been asked to included our contact information into our Google Classrooms. This is a great idea as families and students would have access to this necessary information.

In the tutorial below I show how you can add this under the Classwork section as material (as well as add the topic of Contact Information).

In the tutorial I also show two ways you can add your voice directly into your classroom. This would be extremely beneficial if you need to clarify any directions, or you just want to say hi to your students!

In the past I have used the Talk and Comment Extension (see blog post); however, sometimes your voice may be a bit lower than normal. If this is the case I recommend using the website Online Voice Recorder, upload to Drive, and share the link (remember to check sharing settings).

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 56 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Museum of the American Revolution offering virtual tours, online classes

The Museum of the American Revolution (Philadelphia) is offering a Virtual Museum Tour, Virtual Field Trip, book excerpts, and teacher resource guides.

Embedded below is a Wakelet collection of these resources.

Free Access to News-O-Matic through June 30th

News-O-Matic is a an amazing daily newspaper for kids. In order to have access to this amazing resource, educators can click on this link and then will need to fill out this form -

Take care,

Monday, March 16, 2020

Scholastic (Scholastic is offering free day by day projects) +ABC Mouse (pre-K to 2nd) Reading IQ (pre-school to 6th) and Adventure Academy (3rd-8th) free with code SCHOOL7771

Scholastic is offering  Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing using this link - no sign-up necessary.

ABC Mouse (pre-K to 2nd), Reading IQ (pre-school to 6th) and Adventure Academy (3rd - 8th) available for free by clicking on link and typing in code- SCHOOL7771 

You will then need to fill in the information you see below to create your family account.

Take care,

Take a virtual tour of museums with Google Arts and Culture

Google Arts and Culture offers a lot of amazing resources that you, your students, and children can explore. I would recommend selecting the hamburger (three lines) in the upper left of the site. When you do so, you will see the following options.

  •  British Museum in London
  • The Guggenheim in New York
  • The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
  •  Musee d' Orsay in Paris
  •  National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, 
  • Pergamon Museum, Berlin
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  •  The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  •  Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  •  MASP, São Paulo

Take care,

Saturday, March 14, 2020

EPIC! 40,000 books available all day and night. Share free Remote Student Access with parents. Valid through June 30, 2020

That's right - Epic! has made free Remote Student Access with parents. Valid through June 30, 2020. Click here for Epic's post.

In order to make this happen as a teacher you will need to follow these steps:

  • Access your student roster
  • select send invite under Remote Access Status and type in parent/guardian email address
  • Families will receive an email
    • they will need to create an account
  • They will then need to add their child
  • Then, the parent/guardian will need to select Parent (upper right of account)
  • Choose Connect to Your Teacher
  • Paste the Classroom Code (in their email)
  • As a teacher you will need to go back to your student roster
    • select Approve next to the student(s) 
      • it is green
  • Families will receive an email stating that the request has been granted
  • Students can access the 40,000 books and videos free of charge 24 hours a day (until June 30, 2020)
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 50 second YouTube tutorial showing all the steps. Teacher, parent/guardian, and student point-of-view.

Take care and thank you Epic!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Prodigy - What it looks like from a student point-of-view as well as how to create assignments (including test prep for standardized tests).

In the 2 minute and 52 second video below you will see what the site looks like when your students first log on to Prodigy. You may want to remind your students to have headphones as they are "exploring" a world and answering questions along the way.

Also included in the video above is where to find the section to align your class as you would like to. It is under assessments and then selecting the green create button.

Take care,