Customize your Clever Teacher Page

Customize your Clever Teacher Page
Now that you have had a chance to get familiar with the basics of the new Clever Portal, let's learn how to get even more out of this new awesome resource! 
As you know, Clever is available for your students at home, which makes it a fantastic place to add apps, websites, google docs, and other resources your students may need to assist them with their schoolwork.
Clever Portal /Home directions - English Clever Portal /Home directions - Spanish
Your teacher page is a great place to keep a class syllabus, project requirement documents, announcements or specific video links.

Once you create your teacher page, (AND TOGGLE THE VISIBILITY SWITCH ON) your students will see the following icon or multiple icons for multiple teachers) on their Clever Portal.  Students simply click on the teacher page to view the available resources you have added for them.

Click on the video link below to see a step by step process of how to create your own teacher page.


Google that Drawing!

Google Drawings
In this edition I would like to introduce you to a lesser used but powerful Google Application available on all Google Drive accounts.  It's Google Drawings!   The methods we use to access and search information in recent years have changed dramatically.  How many of us turn to YouTube when we want to learn how to do something new? Google Earth and Google Maps take us places we might never be able to visit in person.  Virtual Tours take us on expeditions to the world's greatest wonders.  Simulations and interactive activities allow us to experiment and test hypotheses virtually.  If the way we learn and retrieve new information has changed so dramatically, why are we still asking students to report their learning through outdated methods?  Why not ask our students to report information interactively?   The example below includes links to videos, websites, an annotated image, a written report, an interactive quiz along with video summary notes.  These can be ad…

Be a Screencastify Star!

Screencastify in the Classroom

Many of you have seen our Tutorial Videos on various subjects here in the district.  We use Screencastify to make most of these.  It's a very simple application to use.

Screencastify is a Chrome Extension that is pre-installed on all student Chromebooks.  There are many classroom activities that this cool little program can be used for as well.

I was recently in a 5th Grade Classroom where the teacher is using Screencastify to have her students narrate their Google Slides Book Trailer!  The kids loved learning to use this new tool!

Now is a great time to add this to your students' tool belts as they approach the homestretch of the school year.

Here are just a few ideas on how to incorporate this in your classroom.
Have Students Explain their Understanding using their own wordsWork through a problemExplain the main points of a storyGive a Speech or PresentationMotivates the student to practiceReduces anxiety of a live performance or presentationPr…

Creating Content using the SAMR model of Tech Integration - Activities and Ideas attached!

TLDR?  Skip to bottom to find Higher Level Thinking Tech Activities Vacaville Unified has gone Google for three years now!  It has been a transformative time throughout the district.  Teachers and students have worked on becoming proficient with the tools available to them through many of the G-Suite applications. Many of you are already familiar with the SAMR model of tech integration in Education.  See chart below.  At the highest SAMR level classroom tasks and technology exist not as ends but as supports for learning.  Collaboration becomes necessary and the tech simply facilitates the communication.  Questions and discussion are increasingly student generated. 

I really like Kathy Schrock's integration of the SAMR model and Bloom's taxonomy together.  Now that our students are familiar with the Chromebooks and the basic G-Suite applications the next step is to help our students reach the higher levels of learning.  These higher levels involve Creating, Evaluating, and Anal…

New Year - New Tech!

Add Music to your Google Slides
This is a feature requested by many Google Users.  While it is still not currently built into Google Slides, there is now an Add-On that will accomplish this task for you.  
Watch the video below from Free Tech for Teachers website to learn how to  use this.

As mentioned in the video, the music must first be added to your Google Drive.  Check out this site to learn about several sites where you can legally download music for free.

Safari Montage Upgrade We have a new version of Safari Montage that will now allow your students to access the system as well as teachers.  They will navigate to Safari Montage from their school Gateway page just like you do.  When they are confronted with the Login screen, they MUST select the Sign-in with Google button.  From there they simply sign in with their Google Account.
As the teacher, you also now have the ability to push out a video to students using the  Google Classroom button found on videos in Safari Montage.

Hour of Code / Computer Science Week is Here!

Hour of Code and Computer Science Week begins today!    The goal of this week is not only to introduce our students to coding, but to help our students explore the many ways computers can help us create, collaborate, and innovate! 
I've collected a few awesome resources below that will get students creating and solving problems with their developing computer skills and knowledge.  Give one or two a try this week!
Hour of Code  is the first site most of us think of during this week.  It is indeed a great site to get kids excited about coding.  It offers activities for students broken down by all grade levels including Pre-Readers through High School.  Just click on the grade level tab you are interested in for some great ideas.
A Google a Day  This activity is better suited for older students.  It starts with question.  Students are challenged to find the correct answer using Google Search.  It is often played as a game of who can find the correct answer first.  The questions are tri…

“You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page.” ― Jodi Picoult

Providing students with effective and engaging feedback is critical in helping students improve their writing. Studies have shown that 'feedback is more strongly and consistently related to achievement than any other teaching behavior....Feedback can improve a student's confidence, self-awareness and enthusiasm for learning'. 1
Often, the difficulty is providing this feedback in a timely manner.  Giving effective feedback can be an incredibly time consuming task for the writing instructor.
Enter - CheckMark Extension by EdTechTeam

This extension may quickly become the writing teacher's best friend.  It allows teachers to quickly provide feedback in Google Docs using the most common editing marks such as "Check Spelling", "Details Needed", "Evidence Needed", "Capitalization" etc.

Simply highlight a word or sentence and the following template appears on the page.

Each key represents an editing comment that can be seen when hovering. Wh…