Keeping track of references for a research paper can be a tricky thing for students and educators alike. Making sure you also follow proper MLA or APA format is also no cake walk! Luckily Google Docs has a easy built in citation tool that allows users to insert in-text citations and even create a bibliography. This helpful tool is great for students who are brand new to the idea of references and helps keep those individuals organized who otherwise wouldn't be.
Watch the video below to see a brief example of how to use the Google Docs citation tool. If you need a more step-by-step instruction guide, check out Google's official how-to by visiting this link: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9308832?hl=en.
Spring Break is coming soon, or maybe for you already occurred. Either way, a fun project for students to do is to plan where they are going to go, or maybe show where they yet. My Maps by Google allows people to create an interactive map showing locations that can include detailed information and/or pictures. Creating a map is really easy as you can see from watching the tutorial video below, and maps can be shared via a link, so making it into a Google Classroom assignment is also a piece of cake!
If you are looking for some destinations to get kids ideas flowing, here are two websites that curated some interesting tourist traps from around the USA: 20 American tourist traps that are actually worth your time and money and The worst tourist trap in every state.
Today we are looking at two Chrome Extensions, Auto Highlight (Chrome Web Store) and Talk & Comment (Chrome Web Store). Auto Highlight can help students who are struggling readers to find the main ideas in a long article on a website. Students can adjust the amount highlighted by simply clicking the extension. Talk & Comment allows a student to record their thoughts and then to share the recording via a link.
While both of these extensions are great separately, but them together and you have an awesome resource for students to gather information and then share their findings via the learning management system of your choice!
Spring is almost here...well...hopefully almost here, so it may be a good time for an egg hunt! Unfortunately for many in my neck of the woods we will probably have snow on the ground until July, but that is no problem when you do a virtual egg hunt!
Using Google Draw you can challenge students to create a scene using only the shapes available and their own creativity. You can see an example I created here: Find Ten Eggs - Google Draw. If you make a copy of the file for yourself you can see the variety of shapes I used to created things like the barn and the sheep. Below you can see the finished product:
This project can be adapted and expanded in several ways. One easy way is to also have students create an answer key. They can create a copy of their Google Drawing by going to File -> Make a Copy and then adding markers to show where the eggs can be found. I'll place an example of the answer key at the bottom of this post. This could also be adapted to fit other subject material and/or holidays just by using your own creativity :-)
I have to admit, this may not be the most educational of resources, but it sure is fun! Emoji Scavenger Hunt challenges players by showing them an emoji and them having them try to find the real life version of it. As long as the player keeps finding the emoji the game continues on. Once the player is unable to find a certain emoji, the game is over. At that point the website shows pictures of all the items they found, which in itself can be pretty humorous!
The Emoji Scavenger Hunt works on iOS (using Safari), Android (using Chrome), Chromebooks, MacOS, & Windows. Using a smart phone or tablet would be easiest, but I did find I could use a Chromebook to complete most of the challenges.
The Emoji Scavenger Hunt could make a great rainy day activity, team building activity, or even an ice-breaker.
A couple weeks ago we lost the 'View Image' button while using Google Images due to pressure from photographers & stock photo companies (source). Now you can bring back that button by using certain Chrome Extensions like View Image. Watch the tutorial below to see this extension in action (View Image YouTube Tutorial)!
Just in time for Halloween, we have a Google Halloween Special. Check out the ThingLink below to find five Halloween themed templates that challenge students to use Google Drawing, Docs, Slides, and even Sheets!
Having trouble viewing the ThingLink? Here is just the information and links :-)
Build a Jack-O-Lantern with Google Slides - This template lets students use Google Slides to create their very own customized pumpkin! This was created by Eric Curts, @ericcurts.
Free Google Slides or Powerpoint template for Halloween: dark and scary! - This awesome Google Slides template from SlidesCarnival can be used from anything from Halloween fact collection to creative writing. This was created by Slides Carnival, @slidescarnival.
Google Docs Format Pumpkin Poem - This great resource teaches students to format text in Google Docs to create a pumpkin. It also contains a tutorial video! This was created by Mrs. Derita, http://mrsderita.weebly.com/.
Halloween Magnetic Poetry with Google Drawings! - Turn Google Drawings into a Halloween themed magnetic board! This was created by Kasey Bell, @shakeuplearning.
Perler Beads via Google Sheets - Have students create a Halloween scene using Google Sheets. This was created by Justin Cowen, @cowen_rocks.
If you are still looking for more resources, you can view last years Halloween Special here: Halloween Activities 2016.
A favorite craft of young children is perler beads. Don't remember perler beads? Those were those little tiny cylinder shaped beads that you arranged on a little peg board. Once arranged you broke out the clothes iron and melted the beads a tad to keep them together.
Breaking out an iron in a middle of clothes though may not be the best idea, or having books of perler beads spilled across your floor may not make you to happy. So to still get the creativity of perler beads without the mess try using the Perler Beads Google Sheet template here: Perler Beads - Halloween.
Learners can use the different editing formatting tools inside Google Sheets to create the amazing scenes. You can see a synopsis of the different tools below:
Take control of your screen with Tab Resize! Tab Resize allows you to automatically split your Chrome tabs across your screen in the arrangement of your choosing quickly and easily. This can allow students to easily read information on one part of the screen and type their thoughts on the other side. This is a super handy extension to have in your toolkit of resources!
If you have never heard the term TL;DR before, it stands for "too long; didn't read." It is a common phrase you can find on message posts around the internet but now it can also be used in your web browser. There are a couple of different Chrome Extensions that can provide your learners with the ability to TL;DR a website. These extensions have several benefits to help those in your classroom and assist those that need a little extra assistance. TL;DR extensions can help students judge a website quickly while researching to see if it contains information they need. The extensions can also remove districting images from the text and help keep the learners on task. Lastly, TL;DR extensions can also help the struggling reader in your classrooms. Instead of being overwhelmed by giant articles, a student with reading disabilities can be presented with a summary of the text.
There are two awesome Chrome Extensions that you and your students can use to bring TL;DR into your learning environment. In the video below you can see the comparison of different TL;DR Chrome extensions, tlda and TLDR:. Give it a watch and then leave a comment with which one you prefer best!
This blog contains information on Google Apps, Chrome, Chromebooks, and anything else Google related!