the read deal- writing for an audience

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 2.40.54 PMAs a former fourth grade teacher (in Texas that means writing test writing test writing test) and as a sometimes school newspaper editor, I have always valued authentic writing opportunities as far more valuable for students than out of touch exercises meant to help us pass a test.  When I searched for others who were doing just that- providing data and examples of authentic audience, I found fuel to pursue more real writing goals for kids. This presentation centers on using GSuite tools to help students produce pieces that are intrinsically motivating to publish because they are engaging and they can be shared with people OUTSIDE of the classroom for a real-world feedback session. Have a suggestion? Drop me a note (look, real-world writing). Click the image below to access the slide deck.

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a little keep upkeep

Copy of keep label slides here, make your own!

Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 12.30.35 AMI often extoll the virtues of google keep for those who haven’t dedicated far too much time included keep in their daily or weekly routines. I use keep professionally and personally for to-do lists, collaborative notes, bookmarking important things on the go, grocery lists, and notes from my son. I’ve seen some great googley ideas about adding headers to keep notes to further organize and teacherfy the whole thing. They certainly have their appeal- but ultimately for me the power of keep is the labels and color categorization I have done for a few years. I did however delve into some labels today encouraged by two of my favorite things to waste time play with, Harry Potter and bitmojis.

I added headers to my pinned keep notes with a few Harry Potter faves. It was important to me to have a clear, easy to read font. I know many times we love an interesting, swirly cursive to change things up, but if I am in a hurry I want my images to be read easily.  If I choose to share a note with a student, as I was thinking about with some of my bimoji templates, I must have a simple print.  Here are some examples I might share with a student or colleague- unless they are a Potterhead, too. I’ll share one of my Mad-Eye Moody versions. To create a “header” just format the slides and save as an image. Upload to your keep as an image, and you can still add notes or a checklist at the bottom. Adding other images will shrink your header, so these are for text keep notes.
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back to school bee news template

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Those back to school newsletters might arrive differently this year. When I started teaching we mailed out newsletters with meet the teacher information and supply requests.  This year teachers may send them inside our LMS along with those paper copies (still nice to hang on the fridge). I made a newsletter template with a bee theme because Honey Bee Day is in August! Click to make a copy. I think including a QR code with a video of you saying a quick hello would be awesome, too! Flipgrid would be a great choice for this because it could be a mini-introduction to that tool if you plan to use it more- or could even include a request to respond to the newsletter on a grid.

Stuck on getting started? Here are some ideas and resources for building a back to school newsletter. I used Euphorigenic from a font generator to make a couple of these font titles and google slides for the template along with the fun bee bitmojis available! Bee productive with those slides, y’all.