Halloween is my second favorite season. 

I'm so ready for the cooler temperatures (not that it gets much cooler here 😂😂😂) but also for all things Halloween. 

I've made these Google Classroom headers to swap out for October. 

Grab you a set HERE!!!

Have a great month! 

 Hello! Happy Tuesday :)

I wanted to share with you what I'm teaching my 2nd through 5th graders. Pixel Art! 

I work at a Visual and Performing Arts Magnet school, and my kiddos are surrounded with the arts every single second of every day. As many other schools are doing, we've gone completely virtual. We are doing Hybrid now, but we still have many virtual kiddos. But this means that every student now has a device. The kids need to learn how to properly use their device to get the most out of school, so I've been given them lessons on all of the Google Suite. These past two weeks, it's been on Google Sheets creating Pixel Art. 

It's super simple. I know many people are intimidated by Google Sheets, but it's become one of my favorite tools. I've made videos for the kids to follow, broken up into four steps. The trick is to use Conditional Formatting. I've used this tool for years to collect and color code data for my classroom. It's also great for when you want to keep track of different things, lists, who has turned in what, etc. Conditional formatting is when you set conditions (rules) for the computer to follow when you've input something. In this case, when you enter a number the cell turns a color. 

For my 2nd and 3rd graders, I gave them a template with the rainbow colors already set up. I've given them a Slide deck with some example pictures they can recreate. I do teach them how to change the colors if they want to. 

For my 4th and 5th graders I've taught them how to create a new Google Sheet and resize the columns and set up the conditional formatting. They also get to find an example of Pixel Art to try to recreate. 

Here are the videos: 

Step 1: 4th and 5th Grade                                Step 1: 2nd and 3rd Grade

Step 2: 4th and 5th Grade                                Step 2: 2nd and 3rd Grade

Step 3: All grades

Step 4 All grades

Here is a copy of the 2nd and 3rd grade Template, already set up! Click HERE!

And a copy of the Examples slide deck: Click HERE!

After they are finished, I teach them how to take a screen shot snippet on the Chromebook (CTRL + Shift + the windows key, which is the key above the 6 on the keyboard, looks like a square and two lines). Their mouse turns into a crosshair and they click and drag around the pixel art they want to take a screenshot of. For Windows computers, it's usually Shift + Windows + S. I make a slide deck, with a slide for every student with their name on it. They go and insert their picture on their slide. 

I am so proud of my kiddos and their artwork. Take a look at some of the slideshows: 

Slideshow 1

Slideshow 2

Slideshow 3

Slideshow 4

Have fun! 

 Hey guys! I wanted to share what I've been doing with my Kindergarteners during this crazy weird alternate reality version of the world we are living in right now. 

We are in the middle of our Hybrid learning phase in my district. Half the kids (who didn't opt for 100% virtual) come on Monday and Tuesday, the other half Thursday and Friday. So there's only like 10-13 students in each class. 

I'm teaching Tech Tips to all of them! So with my virtual Kinders, I've had to be creative because I don't want to put too much on the parents to do. I made this simple drag and drop activity for them to create their own robot. 

I also post a video to show how to do this, so the parents can understand and the kids. Here is the video if you'd like to watch! 

Here are some of their wonderful creations!

Grab a copy of this activity HERE.

For my face to face kiddos, we are using the LEGO WeDo Robots. They get to build with their hands and then we will begin coding once their tablets come back to school. Each student has their own WeDo kit, so there's no worry about sharing materials. This past week I just let them build whatever they wanted. We talked a little about the "brain" of a robot, and I showed them Milo the Science Rover and how we code him to move around. They were super excited! 

We start on October 5th going all five days with alllllll of our face to face kids. How are you handling this school year so far? Know that I'm praying for all of you! Have a great weekend!

 Hey guys! Just wanted to quickly write and share with you my new headers for my Google Classroom! 

I've been updating my Google Classroom Headers to reflect the seasons. Here is my Fall header!

I have made one for every grade level! 

Grab a copy for yourself at the link below!

Thanks for visiting and Happy Teaching! 

 Hey guys! 

So today I wanted to talk to you about Autocrat, a Google Sheets Add on that has saved us major amounts of time and energy!! Autocrat creates PDFs and shared documents using spreadsheet data. This is a very powerful tool! Essentially, you'll create a template with <<merge tags>>, then use information from a spreadsheet to create individual PDFs or shared files. It's so great!

I first learned of Autocrat about three years ago when I needed to send 120 middle schoolers their course schedules during July, since it was the first time they got to choose their electives and we wanted to make sure that the schedules worked for everyone. It was amazing! I was able to merge the files at the touch of a button AND it emailed to the parent quickly and easily. Perfect. 

Soooooo when we were told our kiddos had to take their diagnostic tests, EACH with a DIFFERENT username and password, we were concerned. How would we accomplish this? Would we make every teacher do it? They are already overworked and stressed!! 

We are 100% virtual right now. Which means everything is done via Google Classroom and Google Meet. Some poor friends of mine screenshot each student's login cards and individually set up Google Classroom assignments FOR EACH ONE. I'm talking upwards of 25 kids per class, with three different logins. INSANE. And I feel so bad that I didn't remember Autocrat at the time she was telling me about this. 😬😬😬

I think they will forgive me though! I've offered to help them next time! 

I've created a video tutorial, that I will upload to YouTube, but I've also written out the steps to using Autocrat here. Let's get started!

Okay! So first you'll have to gather the data you will be using. This can be really simple if your software offers CSV or Excel exports of student data. For example, we use DRC Insight for our Diagnostic Testing. Once you set up the testing sessions, random usernames and passwords are generated. Then, you can download a CSV file containing all of that information (and more). You may need to remove a bunch of columns and reformat your spreadsheet until you have it the way you want it. We also use IO Assessment (formerly EADMs), which unfortunately doesn't offer an Excel export (that I could find!) but we were able to export the necessary information from our SIS, JCampus and create the needed information. 

So my spreadsheet for this tutorial looks something like this: 

We are giving four assessments, two of which use different logins, and the other two will use the same login for each part (Science and SS). So I've named them Assessment A, B, and C. 

IMPORTANT: Make sure you have a column in your spreadsheet titled Email Address. This is where you will put your parent email addresses! 

Your spreadsheet can contain as much data as you would like. If you need to be more specific you can be. It totally depends on your needs! 

So after you have all the data you need, you will now need to create the template that will merge with all your information and create your PDF or other shared file. 

I like to use Google Slides. It's easier to manipulate the text boxes and other items you place on the template.

Setting up your template is easy. All you have to do is include all necessary information you want your students or parents to know. So in the example I've made above, I've included the student name, grade, and the names of all three assessments and their login credentials. 

Then, I've added the <<merge tags>>. These MUST MATCH the headers of the columns on your spreadsheet. They are case sensitive, and you must include any spaces. 

You do not have to use EVERY SINGLE header from your spreadsheet; you only include the ones you want. 

Format your template however you want, change the font, font size, color, etc. 

Go back to your Google Sheet, and install the Autocrat Add-on. 

Click on Add-ons, then Get Add-ons, then search for Autocrat.