Math Icon Board

In my job, I am always looking for new ideas to share, whether it is a new activity or a new twist on an established one. Recently I got an email from Matt Miller at Ditch That Textbook with this idea -  an icon board for visual thinking. I really got me thinking about how it could be used... and what other icon boards could be created.

Since I am a former math teacher, that is where my mind heads - to math.  I started looking at the icons in the Insert Icons for Slides add-on, and sure enough, I found plenty that apply to math. So I started adding them, and thus creating my Math Icon Board

My goal was to add icons that could be utilized in a variety of math and science classes. Obviously I do not have everything, partly because I couldn't find it or it didn't come to mind during my creation.

When students use this, my suggestion is that they copy the icon (either by right-clicking and choosing copy OR hitting ctrl and C keys at the same time) and then pasting it. They may hav…

Tips and Tricks Volume 1

I get asked a lot about any tips or tricks that I use to be productive in my role as an Instructional Technology Specialist. I made a list and tried to group them... but it was hard to categorize some - so those are the ones I included.

I use tons of keyboard shortcuts. Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, and Ctrl+Z (the undo shortcut) are some of my favorites, as is Ctrl+Shift+V (paste without formatting). My favorite is probably Ctrl+Shift+T, because I am constantly closing a tab and then realizing I need it again - and this opens it right back up!

I have two extensions that I love and use all the time:

Anyone can view by Alice Keeler - makes my life so easy with the one-click change of sharing settings; and 

Keep - this is where I store all my to do lists and my 'for later' stuff

My Favorites Bar - no (or very little) words

Like it?  Here are instructions on how to do it.

If you are in a GSuite school, learn how to use the chat feature in Google Hangouts.  For my ITS group, it is the way we communi…

Reflection on Goals for the 2018-19 School Year in December

So way back in August, I started a post on my goals for the new school year.

My goals:
blog once a weekbetter website skills  So how am I doing with these?  (insert laughter here)

Well, if you follow this blog, or follow me on Twitter, you know that I haven't blogged hardly at all since the school year began.. so we know where I am in that goal. 
My goal of better website skills ... well.. that became a different goal - the goal of communication. And it sharpened into 2 goals - better communication with the staff at my school and with our community. 
My first goal stemmed from some complaints that information was hard to find, since it could be housed in a variety of places, based on who created it or its content. Also, there were a lot of files on our school server, but those are not reachable when you are at home and you can't open them if someone else is editing them.  One of my assistant principals floated the idea of a staff Google Site. I loved the idea because it address…

Emoji love

I was searching through my Drive recently and I found a file that mentioned emojis.  Students love emojis and from what I have seen, including them definitely can up the engagement factor.  So I did more digging in my Google Drive to see what else I had saved from amazing educators and below is what I found.  I haven't had the chance to try any of them, but I included some thoughts below where they might work...

MATH - Multiple Step Emoji by Lindsay Foster
  This would be great for any problem solving in a math class, especially when practicing operations with whole numbers.  You could modify it with integer chips for integers or algebra tiles. I have this for algebra tiles - I unfortunately can't find who created it.

Emoji Texting Template by Nadine Gilkison
  This texting template could be great for discussing almost anything! From theme in English class to vocabulary in History to scientific observations! Students could even collaborate to deepen their understanding.

No Talkin…

Kimmy's back... back again

It's been such a long time since I blogged! It was my goal to start blogging more at the beginning of the school year, but we have started a lot of new initiatives on my campus and time got away from me.

Here's what I have learned over the last 3 months.

- One of my goals this year was to increase efficient communication. With the help of the assistant principals, we created a staff-only website. Before, there were lots of places where documents were housed, and for many documents, you had to email someone to request it, and then wait for them to reply. Now it is all housed in one spot. While it still a work in progress, and staff is still learning to check there first prior to email, it is an overall win for our team.

 - Change can be hard.

 - When you believe in something, sometimes you have to give more than you planned in order to make it succeed.

 - It doesn't always pay off to be first. All the middle schools in my district received a 'broadcast' setup so tha…

ISTE 2018 Recap

I attended my first ISTE conference this year and I wrote a few blog posts about it.  Check them out!

Day 1

Day 2

Days 3/4

It's about the context, not the tool

It's all about the context, not the tool

While at ISTE last week, I heard this quite a few times - ‘they use Microsoft Office in business, so that’s what we should be using in schools’.

On the airplane home, multiple people around me are working on their laptops, and most working in PowerPoint. After a few minutes of watching them, and thinking about what I heard at ISTE, here is my two cents....

I prefer Google products - which is obvious based on my Google certifications. But if tomorrow we switched to Office 365, would I be unable to do my job? Would I still be able to support teachers and demonstrate how to use technology in the classroom?

The answer is yes. It doesn’t matter which is used - Microsoft Office or GSuite Apps - the skills are interchangeable. If we switched, I would still use Slides/PowerPoint to create my weekly Tech Tips newsletter. Students can still create fake Instagram posts or BookSnaps in Powerpoint, just like they do in Slides.

Case in point - let’s say I teach a statistics class and my students…