Google Keep - it is a Keeper!

In my current position, I take notes all day long on my phone. With most of them, I need to be able to access them on one of my work devices.  Luckily for me, I live in a GSuite district and I can use Google Keep, which is a note-taking service. Basically, it is digital sticky notes accessible on any device. It has become my lifesaver.

In episode 11 of of #GoogleTeacherTribe podcast, Kasey and Matt talked Kasey's blog post about personalizing your Google Keep.  They talked about using Canva to make pretty pictures to organize Google Keep.  I loved that idea - and used it the same day! I even have a Google Keep Note where I jot down things I want to try from the podcasts I listen to and another one for when I get inspired by more seasoned ITS in my district. 

And all of this has even bled over into my personal life.  I use Google Keep to stay on top of my grocery list. I love the check boxes - I can check off each item as I pick it up! And I can see what I have purchased prior (if…

Digital Notebooking

As I have been learning more and more about technology usage in the classroom, I have become really interested in Digital Notebooking.  I didn't attend TCEA, but many of my colleagues did, and they shared with me Jessica Worley's presentation about Digital Notebooking. This has definitely inspired me a in a lot of ways.

So in order to learn more and share with teachers, I took the first unit I taught last year in 7th Accelerated Math (all 8th grade Math TEKS) and made a digital notebook. I used Google Slides, since we are a GSuite for Education district. Below are some of the steps I took to create the notebook.

I created a basic title page and table of contents (TOC) page. I broke the unit into sections (which we usually do, it is a hodge podge unit) and created slides for those sections, and then hyperlinked to those slides on the TOC page.Since I have my TEKS, I know what students need to be able to do. I started planning how I wanted them to learn/practice.  I created a comp…

Breaking into BreakoutEDU

At one of our ITS team building events, we participated in a Breakout. It was so much fun to problem solve (searching for clues) think critically (finding and deciphering the clues), and collaborate with others in our vertical team.

When I was asked to put something together math-y for our school Teen Tech Week, I jumped at the chance to create a digital BreakoutEDU.  Since I work in a high school and it was right before SXSW (the big music festival here in Austin),  I went with a missing SXSW pass and Algebra I questions. The students had physical boxes but used all the clues online. There is also an all-digital version.

The kids loved it!  They were all engaged, thinking critically, collaborating and communicating. Sounds like something we all should be aiming for, correct?
I had so much fun making them that I have since created two more math-related Breakouts and made my own BreakoutEDU Digital page. 

In a classroom setting, I believe it will be super successful (makes me miss the…

Hyped up about Hyperdocs!

So as part of my new-ish job, I am trying to learn and practice new strategies so that I can share them with teachers.  Since I am a former math teacher, I practice with math lessons I used to teach. One of the new things I have been learning about is Hyperdocs. I highly recommend you click on that link and learn more about them! Also, you should check out this episode of the Google Teacher Tribe podcast where they talk about Hyperdocs!

I am really impressed how they are taking student- directed learning to a whole new level.  I have done something like it before (see my Probability Slides assignment or my Proportional/Non-Proportional slides assignment) but I hadn't ever thought of including all the student work in the same document!

Anyway, I had to start playing.  I started with my Proportional/Non-Proportional assignment and turned it into this Hyperdoc. I was definitely impressed with how much more engaging the hyperdoc looked.  I also really like how the template has a …

Making Standardized Sub Plans Using Google Forms

Even though I am a Level 2 Google Certified Educator, I still want to learn new ways for Google to help me and the teachers I support.  I found this blog post titled "The Magic Automatic Lesson Planner with Google Forms" a while back and finally, last week, had time to try it!

I walked through the process, and while it was great to practice with Autocrat, I didn't know if I would use it as a teacher - or if any of my teachers would.  So I started to think about what I (or others) might need...

And then I realized that substitute plans might be the way to go.  Most of the time is it the same thing over and over, and there are always lots of little details that could get missed. So I started thinking about all the little notes that I added to sub plans, like attendance, collecting papers, and whether or not students can work together.

The form is designed for those that have 3 different preps. Sections can be duplicated or deleted as needed.  (If you add sections, you will…

Starting Small with Google Forms

So how do you get started with Google Apps for Education?

One way to get started is to use Google Forms for a simple formative assessment.  Take a worksheet and turn it in to a Google Form.

Copy the information into each question box and copy the answer choices into the form as well.

Below are pictures of the worksheet and the Google Form.

You can set the form as a quiz and it will grade it for you! 

Once kids are done, Google Forms will give you data about the responses.  You can even open the data in Google Sheets to review! 

Starting Small with Google Docs

Technology can be scary, especially if you are someone who doesn't use it often or it seems like it always has an error when you use it.  But it can be a great teaching tool - it can engage students and possibly make your life a little easier.  
So, if you want to start small, start with Google Docs.  Have students work in Google Docs - whether they are taking notes, typing a paper, or gathering information -  rather than writing on paper or tying in Microsoft Word.  
Here is an example of something my daughter did in 4th grade in Google Docs.