Customized email newsletters for every kid with Google Forms

Make solid connections with families by creating custom email newsletters for every student. It's easy with Google Docs, Sheets and Forms. (Public domain image via Pixabay.com)

Classroom newsletters are kind of hit and miss. If you’re sending photocopies of them home in students’ backpacks, I’ll bet your success rate is less than 50 percent. (And that’s being generous.) There’s a big reason I believe that these newsletters — which could be great parent/teacher communication tools — fall on deaf ears (or […]

10 add-ons to Google Classroom you MUST try

Google Classroom's basic features are powerful. Take it to the next level with some add-ons created just for teachers and students.

The basic functions of Google Drive and Google Classroom are only the starting point for the innovative and creative uses one can use in the classroom. Alice Keeler, my co-author in our upcoming book Ditch That Homework, proves that again and again. Alice is one of the only people I know personally who codes for […]

My blogging voyage, and how I do it (step by step)

IMG_0790

Three years ago I embarked on the voyage “Ss Blogging” in my fifth grade classroom. (It’s a take on the “SS” abbreviation for “Steam Ship.” Remember the “SS Minnow” from Gilligan’s Island? In this case, Ss is the Twitter abbreviation for “students” … very fitting!) It has evolved into a learning adventure, where I am […]

10 ways to create interactive multimedia in any grade/subject

Video. Audio. Images. Text. Interactive questions. Great student-centered learning can happen at their intersection. Here are some ideas. (Public domain image via Pixabay.com)

Watch a video. Move definitions around to match their term. Jump to an article online. Get instant feedback to a multiple choice question. Student-centered learning lets kids get right to work and take control. It also lets the teacher connect and help with students one on one. That student-centered learning is at the heart of […]

NEW Google Sites: 10 things teachers must know

Google Sites has been overhauled, and you're going to like the changes! Here's what you need to know. (Public domain image via Pixabay.com)

I have a confession to make. I’m heavily invested in Google, being a Google Certified Innovator, using Google tools all the time and suggesting them to teachers. (No, that’s not the confession yet …) I’ve had great things to say about so many Google products over the years. Except one: Google Sites. I think “despise” […]

5 ideas for using Google Classroom’s new differentiation and grouping feature

IMG_0762

One huge drawback of using Google Classroom has been the inflexibility of creating assignments. Everything you assigned had to go to every student. Deliver assignments to small groups? Ha! Differentiate to subsets of students? Nah. Until now. Google announced a few changes to Google Classroom, and this one was the bombshell: assign activities to small […]