Digital End of Year Memory Books

I have seen a lot of these digital memory books popping up on Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers.  I think they are a great way to use and learn more about Google Slides.  This time of the school year is a great opportunity for students to experiment and get creative.

I also wanted to show my teachers how these “pages” can easily be put together.  I really like the idea that the students can personalize the pages and make them their own.

Also, think of all the paper that you are saving.  I remember when I was a classroom teacher, spending way too much of my time copying and putting together these booklets, only to find them shoved in desks and on the floor after the students had left the last day of school!

This way the students have a copy of their work, they can share a copy with you and/or friends and you didn’t have to go near the copier – woo hoo!  You can also create and link them to a QR code.

Just click the photo above to get a copy of the pages that I have created.  I’ll be adding more as I get more ideas.  Please feel free to use and share with others who might like to use them.

Book Review Number One….of many!

This was the first book on the pile that I picked up from my local library, so this is the first one I’m going to review!
I have to say that I love this book for many reasons….the illustrations, the characters and a story that covers a difficult subject in a simple enough way that young children can understand. Cardell’s parents are no longer together, he has a stepmother and half-brother.  Then his Mom starts dating! I think this book is a great springboard for a discussion about family and that there are lots of different kinds of families.
I also wanted to use these reviews as a way to show ways to incorporate technology into the lessons that can be taught with these great books.  For this book I decided to make a Hyperdoc.   I learned about this awesome teaching tool at our monthly TLC meeting.This is my very first one, so please know there is still a learning curve and I plan to add more to this one as I have time.  We are in the middle of state testing at the moment,so please bear with me.  I hope it’s something that you might find useful or could pass along to someone else to use.


You’re never too old…

Last week I had the opportunity to work with our grandparent support group. We have a wonderful parent educator who does a great job of finding resources and speakers. I was honored when she asked me to be the speaker at this month’s meeting.
We covered a lot of material and they asked some very interesting questions. We all want our students to succeed but recognize that keeping children safe online is just as, if not more challenging than keeping them safe in person!
We talked about the need to know passwords and creative ways to balance screen time with being active and also taking the time to read over the summer.
Such a fun and caring group. I look forward to working with them again in the near future. They had lots of suggestions for things they would like for me to cover with them.


And the award goes to….

If you have read my blog before you know that I love,love,love to read….children and adult books.  When I was classroom teacher, I worked with an absolutely awesome media specialist.  She did a wonderful job of using the South Carolina award books to encourage the students to read and try new authors.
I would read aloud the chapter books to my 5th graders – they loved them!  They were also great books for small literature circles.  I remember my students using Animoto to make book trailers for their favorite ones.
So I have really missed reading the award books and this weekend decided to do something about it!  I went online and started finding titles at my library.  I also decided that I would read the picture books because I work with K-5 now.  Today on my way home, I picked up my first batch of books.
I am looking forward to finding ways to integrate these titles into the work I do with my classes. I am also looking at some grant ideas, so I can have a set of the books to go with these activities.

As I read the books, I will be doing reviews and sharing the ideas that I have for activities to go with each one… stay tuned!!

Now to pick which one to read first….decisions….decisions….

March Madness of Add-Ons

I was lucky enough to be part of a presentation last week at R2i2 for TLCs and Media Specialists.

We covered apps, extensions and add-ons.  I have to admit that my experience with add-ons has been very limited up until now.  My TIS Pam is the official “Add-On Queen”!!!  She shared with us so many great choices for Google Docs, Sheets and Forms.

I didn’t want to overwhelm my teachers, so I am breaking it down to sharing one a day with them.  I thought this way they can pick and choose the ones that will be the most helpful to them.  The first ones are for Google Docs.  I can really see these add-ons being very effective in ELA instruction.

I hope you also find a useful tool that you might have known about!!

Over the rainbow….

Happy Friday Eve everyone!  Sorry for so long between posts but life was a little cRaZy lately and there just weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything on my to do list completed.  Unfortunately, updating my blog kept getting pushed further down the list.

Well, I just knew I needed to carve out a little time to post this creation and brag on my awesome K-2 teachers.  They all went 1 to 1 at the beginning of this school year with Chromebooks.  I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and just how much and how well the students would be able to use their devices.

They have blown me out of the water with what they have been able to accomplish.  Each grade level has embraced and really run with Google Classroom.  It is so fun to go into their classrooms and see how seriously the students take logging in and checking their assignments.

Now does that mean it’s all been a bucket of roses??  Ummmm….no!  As a former 5th grade teacher, working with kindergarten was a new experience.  We decided not to even pull out the Chromebooks until the 2nd nine weeks of school.  The teachers wanted to work on procedures and routines before we added this new layer to the K sandwich.

When a little girl burst into tears because she couldn’t find the letter Q I was afraid that this might be too hard for them.  Never fear. a buddy came and showed her where it was and she dried up her tears and was logged in by the time I got over to her.

I have been working closely with my teachers to design engaging activities that will help them practice technology skills (especially with Google Apps) while they are also practicing learning standards.

It has been wonderful to see how quickly the students have adapted and learned new skills.  On one file, I had forgotten to insert a text box for the answer.  By the time I realized it, the teacher told me that one of her students had already done it and was showing the rest of the class how to fix it too!  True discovery learning and teaching for understanding.

I am excited to see just how much further we can go on this 1 to 1 adventure.  If you click the image above, it will share a copy of the file with you.  Feel free to share it with anyone who you think could use it.

Google Fonts

Hi!  My name is Jakki and I’m a fontaholic!  I live for downloading and adding more fonts to my drop down list.  In my opinion, it isn’t a completed document/project until the font(s) are perfect.
So I have to admit that when I first made the switch to Google Apps, I was just a tad disappointed that you can’t import more fonts.  What I didn’t realize until a couple of months into my first school year as a technology coach, is that you can add more fonts than the standard list you see on your screen.  Moment on truth – a 5th grader showed me that!  She was so tickled when I told her that she had taught me something new.
Well, here’s something new that I just stumbled across that you might not know about.  There’s a place you can go to see all 809, yes I said 809 fonts that Google has to offer and you can use on your docs and slides.
You just need to go to……

On the side of the screen you can sort by font type and what I really love is that every font is featured in a complete sentence,so you can really see what the font looks like. I don’t think just a word written in a font gives you a complete idea. Have fun hunting through all those fonts!