KEEPing up with Students!

 

If you find your desk, planner, and/or computer covered in sticky notes, you may want to check out Google Keep. Google Keep is a note-taking, list-making, memory-saving application that is part of our G Suite.  Recently, Mrs. Betley developed a way to use Google Keep to help the teachers she works with work efficiently with students.

Like most teachers, Mrs. Betley has the privilege of working with co-teachers, educational coaches, and specialists every day in her classes.  However, these people see many students each day and remembering names, faces, classes, and educational information about each student can be challenging.

To make it easier for all, Mrs. Betley first made a note in Google Keep for each student. She then added a picture of each student on their note.  Finally, she colored coded her notes by class period.  From there, she shared each note with her co-teachers. By simply adding these three elements, her co-teachers can now quickly sort students by the class and put a face to a name.

But, that’s not where this ends. Now that each teacher who works with these students has access, they can add information that is good for the other teachers to see directly on the note.  Not only does this help keep track of what interventions are currently in place, but it also is a nice resource that can be shared with that student’s future teachers.

Wait, there is more!  When a student still needs help with a certain concept, Mrs. Betley and her co-teachers hashtag the term (example: #theme).  Why do this?  Now, the teachers who have access to these notes in Keep can type that hashtag directly into the search bar, and only the students who have this information added to their notes will appear.

Help yourself and your coworkers stay updated and check out Keep!

 

How to Get Started with Nested IF Statements in Google Sheets

We got this email from Dan Stitzel today:

Good morning!

Dan Frost asked me a great question, but I didn’t have a quick answer, but I know there has to be a way. The question is below:

Is there a way in conditional formatting or data validation that a color or text will automatically enter text into a separate cell? For example, 3-5 is low, 6-8 is average, ad 9-10 is above. Is there a way to type “3” in cell b8 and the word “low” appears in cell c9?

If this does not make sense, let me know!

Thanks!
Dan

Solution

Doing this kind of work is pretty easy with a nested IF statement in Google Sheets, but you have to mind your ps and qs so the statement doesn’t get super crazy…

Essentially, IF this is TRUE, then do THAT…

Works like this:

=IF(A1=3,"THREE",IF(A1=5,"FIVE",IF(A1=8,"EIGHT","TRY ANOTHER NUMBER")))

Using < for ranges, would look something like this, structuring the formula from low to high:

=IF(A6<5,"LOW",IF(A6<8,"MEDIUM","HIGH"))

You can of course make use of > or < symbols as well… The last argument “TRY ANOTHER…” is the error, or ELSE, as in if none of the nested IF statements are true, then what? Remember, all text needs to be in double quotes…

Then, you could always conditionally format on the words, if needed…

Here’s the sheet above: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13jokc_BOaehnhQgiCWAaNz0ARBQrnEH8dTQ2AvC79Mo/copy

Want more? Head here: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/3093364?hl=en

Getting to Know Google!

Do you find yourself confused from time-to-time when someone uses a Google-related term in a conversation?  Do you know what some applications do, but wouldn’t know where to start with others?  You are not alone.

Click here for an introduction to the basic functions of just a few of the applications you have access to in your G-Suite! Moreover, please reach out to one of our district tech coaches (Dan Stitzel and Molly Kloder) if you want to dive deeper into launching these amazing tools!

Empowering Our Students with the New Ohio Strategic Plan

via Ohio Department of Education, written by Jonathan Juravich.

Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education, Each Child, Our Future, specifically speaks to what teachers already know — that each and every student in our classrooms is important and valuable. Their individual success is our priority. It is our role as educators to be sure they are continually challenged, prepared and empowered. This is what encourages me about the new strategic plan — a plan that supports and highlights the excellent work already happening in countless classrooms throughout our state. Continue reading “Empowering Our Students with the New Ohio Strategic Plan”

Using Google Slides to tell a “Story!”

It is not uncommon to hear a student ask a friend, “Did you see my story last night?” Chances are, they are not talking about a published book of their life. Rather they are likely referring to their Snapchat or Instagram story in which they posted pictures and captions to let others in on their actions and thoughts. So, why not use this in the classroom?

By simply adjusting the page layout and adding a few text boxes, you can create templates in Google Slides that mirror those of the social media stories that students know so well.  While students read a text or learn about new lands, they can add to their stories to show important events and concepts rather than just adding the information to a traditional slideshow.

Below are just a few ways this could be used in classrooms:

ELA: Have students assume the role of a character and “snap” or add to their “Insta-story” during conflicts, important plot events, or to show a lesson learned. Students can then comment and hashtag to show the feelings of the character during this event.

Social Studies: While learning about an ancient civilization or exploration of a new land, students can travel back in time to add to their stories to show and describe the battles, discoveries, architecture, or roles of the people.

Math: Students can personify a mathematical operation (+,-, x, ÷) and create a story in their perspective.  Examples: Division is always separating people/things, addition can’t get enough, etc.  Comments and hashtags can be used to really show the amount of work these operations go through daily.

Science: Students can create a story to show the scientific method of a lab that includes hashtags to show their understanding (or modifications made) of each step.

Music/Band/Choir: Students can create a story from the perspective of a composer or songwriter that shows the steps of the composition process. To take it a step further, students could add real videos to show how this is not a one-step process.

Art: Students could create a story of a gallery walk in which they add pictures and captions of different art movements or of a specific artist.

Living Skills: Students can create a story to show the steps of cooking a dish or meal.  Students would start with images to show the planning/shopping stage all the way to the finished product!

There are so many ways the format of social media stories can be added into all classes to show understanding of a concept. Rather than assigning students to one more traditional slideshow, why not give them the opportunity to show their creative side in a “story?”


And, I promise they are very enjoyable to grade!

What do Molly and Dan do?

You’ve seen the emails about the two new tech coaches in the district. But, what can they do for you?  As instructional coaches, our job is to facilitate the integration of technology in your classroom.  Our job is NOT to give you more work.  Rather, we are there to help you take what you have already created and enhance it with technology or show you technology that will engage your students and make your life easier!

Found something on Facebook or Twitter that another teacher is doing, but you don’t know how? Reach out to us! Do you want to try something that the teacher down the hall is doing, but you just aren’t sure where to begin? Email us! Have you heard that Google has many awesome tools for education, but you just don’t know what they are? Call us! We want to help you, so let us!

When can we work together?  We are available every day to work one-on-one or in a group setting.  We can be reached via email, or you can select an appointment slot on our coaching calendar.  To do that, click here!

We hope to hear from you soon!

-Molly and Dan

Read&Write Reads PDFs

Maybe you’ve been using Read&Write since last February. Maybe you’re just picking up steam with Read&Write this school year. But you might have noticed that some PDFs you scan in don’t read with Read&Write. That’s because the optical character recognition (OCR) isn’t just right. But it’s an easy fix! Follow the steps below to get the best results:

  1. When scanning in a document from the school copiers, click “Scan and Send”
  2. On the right-hand side, select “PDF (compact)”
  3. Select OCR (Text Searchable)
  4. Click OK
  5. Now scan the document and send to yourself!

Once you’ve received the email, add the document to your Drive and post it for your students to use! For best use, students should download the PDF Reader extension.

On the students’ end, they will open the PDF in a new window (screenshot below). Then they’ll select “Open With” at the top of the screen and select Read&Write with Google Chrome.

save image

I know that seems like a lot of steps, but once it’s habit I hope it’ll be very easy. Stay tuned here for more information about Read&Write as we plan for District PD on the topic!

Want more help on getting the best results reading a PDF? Check out the link here.

Want help with tech coaches Dan or Molly? Sign up for an appointment!

Hanging Out with an Artist in 2nd Grade

2nd grade students chat with artist

When Amy Eibler,  2nd grade teacher at SES, wanted to teach her students about critical thinking, she turned to apples.

Mrs. Eibler’s students studied apples to attempt to look at them differently. Over the course of the first few weeks of school, her class studied different artists who create with different perspectives. Then she asked her students to draw an apple from the perspective of that artist. They drew Picasso apples, Monet apples, Matisse apples, and Kandinsky apples. Mrs. Eibler wanted to teach her class that there are a lot of unique ways to solve a problem, just like there are a lot of unique ways to look at an apple.

To cap off her study of apples and perspective, she asked her friend, artist Beck Seashols to video in her class to talk about art with her students. Mrs. Eibler and a technology coach used her document camera and Google Hangouts to meet with the artist, who lives in Virginia. The students met with the artist for about 30 minutes, where they were able to see some of her art and ask questions about being an artist.

Mrs. Eibler hopes to reference this lesson throughout the school year.  She hopes that students will remember the apples when they have to solve a complex math problem or interpret the meaning in a story. This lesson on critical thinking and problem solving was a great way to encourage students to reach out of their comfort zones and think abstractly.

2nd grade students chat with an artist

Do you want some help integrating technology in your classroom? Reach out to Dan Stitzel or Molly Klodor or sign up for us to come to you!