Google Sheets Teacher Planbook

Digital planbooks have gained popularity throughout the years as they allow educators to access, share and collaborate on their lesson plans from any device or location. Over the years, I have created my digital lesson plans using a variety of different Google Workspace applications- but Google Sheets is my FAVORITE!

Why Google Sheets?

While most people primarily use Sheets to manipulate and share data, I have found a variety of innovative uses for the application through exemplars posted on social media and during my own exploration. Sheets allows your to create and customize a template that may be duplicated each week as you complete your plans. If interested, you may color code Sheet Tabs and also add calendars, links, text, Emojis and images. Educators may share and collaborate with colleagues, substitute teachers or administrators while assigning different editing permissions.

If you understand the basic functionalities of Sheets such as how to add, hide and merge cells then it easy to create a nice template for your lesson plans! Or, click here to make your own copy of my Google Sheets Planbook Template. Pro Tip: I use the Crop Sheet Addon to remove extra columns and rows.

Screenshot of Template (Click to Access)

Example Template created in Sheets (Click to access)

Video Tutorial

What application do you use to create your digital planbook?

Curate and Collaborate on a YouTube Channel by Adding User Access Permissions

Many educators are creating and curating content on their YouTube channels. But, did you know that YouTube Studio allows you to INVITE other Gmail users to your channel and assign different access permissions?

Here’s how!

  • Go to Studio.YouTube.com
  • Click on the gear to access the SETTINGS
  • Select PERMISSIONS
  • Select INVITE
  • Type in user’s Gmail address (they must have a Gmail account)
  • Select ACCESS permissions for each user

What access permissions are available?

After you enter the Gmail address of the user that you wish to invite to your channel, you may then select from the following permissions:

Manager: Can add and remove others, edit everything. Can’t delete channel.

Editor: Can edit everything. Can’t add or remove others, delete videos or the channel, or enter into contracts.

Editor (Limited): Can edit everything. Can’t add or remove others, delete videos or the channel, enter into contracts or see revenue information.

Viewer: Can see everything. Can’t edit anything.

Viewer Limited: Can see everything except revenue information. Can’t edit anything.

Once the user accepts the invitation they have access to add, edit and/or view your channel!

How could inviting users and assigning permissions be helpful in education?

There are so many ways this feature is helpful in education. Here are a few examples:

  • Invite Users as Viewers: Teachers could invite students (13+), colleagues, families, and/or administrators to their channel as a viewer. This is a great way to let people know your channel exists and there is content there for class or general information.
  • Curate content as a school, team or district with Editors or Managers: Participants could be assigned either as Editors or Managers to curate content and also help monitor users and submissions. This would be a nice way to streamline the curation process and also empower other users to participate in the channel. For example, I recently added a colleague as a Manager for our new Google Educator Group New England YouTube Channel. Now we can collaborate on content for our Group!

Do you collaborate with your YouTube channel? I’d love to hear about it!

10 Google Chrome Tips and Tricks

I use Google Chrome every single day so I’m always excited to learn and share tips and tricks! In this blog, I hope to share some ideas for Chrome that you may find extremely useful!

Today’s topics: Utlizing your Omnibox, searching Drive and Gmail from within your Omnibox, pinning tabs, creating Groups for your tabs, reopening a closed tab, muting tabs, two of my favorite Chrome Flags, the new QR code generator, and video play settings!

Utilize Your Omnibox

The Omnibox is the address bar where you type in the URLs. But, it can do more than many users realize! The Omnibox works just like the Google search bar so you may type in questions such as “What is the weather”, type in math problems, or even set a timer!

Omnibox

Search Google Drive or Gmail from Onmibox

I like to set up my Omnibox to search my Drive and Gmail. Here’s how:

  1. Right-click in your Omnibox and select “Manage Search Engines” or go into your Settings.
  2. Add Gmail and/or Drive as search engines by copying and pasting the following URLs

Type in the keyword you will use to activate the search Omnibox. Note: The keywords are case sensitive.

Create keywords to activate the search

Now, when you access the Omnibox and type in the keyword it will start the search and locate items that match your search in your Drive or Gmail! I love it!

You may actually search any site as long as you add it as a search engine.

Pin Tabs

If you pin your tabs you can make sure you won’t easily exit out of them. All you do is right-click on the tab and select “Pin”. Now the tab will appear as a smaller version in Chrome. To unpin, simply right-click and select “unpin”.

Right-click and select “Pin”

Tab Groups

The tab Groups feature allows users to right click on a tab and then add the tab to a Group. Once established, Groups may be expanded and collapsed. In this example, I added a tab to a new group titled “Joli’s Websites”.

Right Click on a Tab and Select Add Tab to New Group

Next, I color coded the Group by selecting the color purple.

Color Code Groups

Lastly, I added other websites to the Group by right-clicking and selecting “Add Tab to Group”.

Add websites to Groups as needed

You may then collapse and expand the group of tabs as needed.

Reopen your last closed Tab

Whoops! You accidentally closed a tab. No worries! If you are using a Chromebook press Control+Shift+T. If you are using a Mac try Command+Shift+T.

Clientmoji
Control+Shift+T reopens last closed Tab.

Mute Tabs

If I’m helping a students in a Goole Meet and another student is recording in another tab they may end up recording me. To solve this, show students how to mute a site open in a tab. If you mute the tab,it will remain open but the background noise will be eliminated. Simply right-click on the tab and select “Mute” and do the same to unmute.

Right-click and select “mute site”.

Flags

If you are looking to speed up your browser and enhancing your overall Chrome experience, you may want to check out Google’s Flags. Flags are still in development mode and experimental so there is a note of caution informing you to enable Flags at your own risk before. If you want to check Flags you may find them here.

Hover Cards

One Flag I have enjoyed is the Hover Card which provides you with thumbnail images of the tabs in your browser. To enable Hover Cards visit chrome://flags/#tab-hover-cards and enable the setting. Then, relaunch Chrome! I find this very useful as I gain access to a quick thumbnail images of the website.

Enable Hover Card Images
Example of a Hover Card for a Tab

OmniBox Google Drive Suggestions

If you have already set Google as your default search engines, you may now enable on #omnibox-drive-suggestions to search your Google Drive for items matching the keyword you type in the omnibox.

In this example, you will notice that I start to type in Valentine, Google will locate items in my drive that may match what I am searching for.

Screenshot of Omnibox Searching My Drive

QR Code Generator

QR codes are scannable barcodes that allow users to access information quickly. In my last blog, I discussed the new QR code generator in Google Chrome along with 20 integration ideas! Make sure to checkout the blog here!

New QR code reader in Chrome

Video Play Settings

Did you know you have video play settings built into Chrome? When you have a video playing you will notice the music notes appear in your brower. Click on the notes and you will have access to video play settings!

Video Play Settings

What are your favorite Chrome tips? I’d love to hear from you!

Google Chrome Has a New QR Code Generator! Tutorial and 20 Integration Ideas

What is a QR code?

QR codes are scannable barcodes that allow users to gain access to information quickly. Users may use their device’s camera (if scanning QR codes are supported) or download different QR code apps and extensions such as The QR Code Extension to either scan or create codes. The QR codes may link to videos, websites, games, documents, slideshows, and more!

Google has made it easy for teachers to create QR codes as there is now a QR code generator built into Google Chrome! Once users are at the desired destination, they may click on the generator (located in the Omnibox) and immediately have access to download a QR code.

Screenshot: Chrome QR Code generator

How may educators use QR codes in education?

You may be wondering how educators may use these codes during their instruction. Over the years, I have used QR codes quite frequently. Whether you use the QR code generator in Chrome or generate codes using other popular edtech apps such as Seesaw and Flipgrid, there most certainly are dozens of ways to enhance your instruction with QR codes!

Here are 20 ideas for using QR codes in the classroom:

  1. Self-publishing: Allow students to publish and share their work by creating QR Codes. The codes may link to slide-decks, movies, published writing, artwork and more!
  2. Share Thinking: Allow students to share their thoughts, questions, and connections by posting QR codes along with published work. For example, if students display their artwork they may share their artist statement via QR code! Or, they may posts QR codes linking to audio comments, questions and connections.
  3. Access Read Alouds: Generate QR codes linking to students, staff, and authors sharing read alouds.
  4. Resource lists: Create a QR code for students to place in their folders or agendas so they may quickly access important sites and documents.Or, have students generate QR codes to resources they used during research projects.
  5. Revisiting Anchor Charts: Display QR codes showcasing important anchor charts students may need to revisit throughout the year.
  6. Book Reviews: Place QR codes on books or display in the classroom or school Library. The codes may provide quick access to student and staff book reviews and recommendations.
  7. Displaying Exemplars: Share examples of different exemplars for students to explore prior to starting a project. Or, after projects have been completed.
  8. Scavenger Hunts: Post QR codes around the building for students to participate in a scavenger hunt!
  9. News: Create a bulletin board with QR codes providing quick access to important school information and news updates.
  10. Tutorials: Empower students by allowing them to create their own tutorials for other students to reference via QR codes. And, of course teachers may share their tutorials too!
  11. Quick Access to Assignment: Generate QR codes students students may quickly access assignments.
  12. Pre-filled Forms: Use QR codes to link to Forms such as surveys, exit tickets and digital hall-passes.
  13. Presentations: Add the QR code onto your presentation slide so students and staff may quickly access your resource.
  14. Differentiate Instruction: Provide different QR codes for different flexible groups to access assignments, games and resources.
  15. Self-correcting stations: Allow students to self-correct by creating solutions and sharing via QR codes.
  16. Double-dose of Directions: Do your students often forget the directions to the assignments? Use QR codes to add audio or video directions to worksheets and rotation stations!
  17. Portfolios- Students may quickly generate QR codes to add completed work to their portfolios. Students may take photographs and videos of experiments, posters, and other non-digital activities and upload the files to their Drive. Now, they may create the QR codes!
  18. Digital Contact Card: Share a digital contact card with students and parents by printing out QR codes with links to your contact information.
  19. Newsletters/Yearbooks- Add QR codes to the hardcopies of your newsletters or yearbooks to quickly access videos and presentations you wish to share.
  20. Clever Badges- Ok. This has nothing to do with Google Chrome. But I had to mention how the Clever app makes it so easy for even our youngest learners to login to their devices and different websites simply by using QR codes.

How are you using QR codes in your classroom?

I’d love to hear your ideas!!

Valentine’s Day: Sheets Coding Game

Last week, I opened up a Google Sheet and all I could see was a fun coding game waiting to be designed for kids! I had a blast creating the game and decided to give it a Valentine’s Day theme due to the upcoming holiday!

Since posting a link to this Sheets coding game on Twitter (www.tinyurl.com/ValentinesCoding), I’ve had quite a few inquiries asking about the process. So, here are the steps for those that are interested! And, here’s the game Template if you want to check it out!

Step 1: Create a Cover Image for Your Game

I knew I wanted the first Tab to be the cover of my game. So, I merged the cells in the Sheet to create a space for the image. I created a basic image with Word Art and shapes by using Google Drawings. Once finished, I downloaded the image as a PNG File. Then, I went back into Sheets and selected Insert-Image to place the image into the cells in the Sheet. I cropped out all the extra cells by using The Crop Sheet Add-on but you could also crop the Sheet cells out manually.

You may insert an image inside or over a cell.

Step 2: Design the First Level

The paint bucket allowed me to fill in the different cells with color. I eliminated the cell borders in each Sheet except for the area where the coding challenge would be located. Titles and directions were added by merging cells in order to make room for text. I used OpenMoji.com to add decorations and characters into the game.

Select the boarders for your cell grid lines.
Example level with and without grid lines

Step 3: Data Validation

The Data Validation tool in Sheets made it simple to add the different answer choice into a dropdown list for each level of the game. This feature also allowed me to make the correct answer choices fill with green paint while the incorrect answers remained red. This would make it easy for students to self-correct!

Go to Data and select Validation to provide a list of choices to complete each level.

Step 4: Adding Coding Block Images

I decided I wanted a corresponding coding block images to appear once students selected answers. To do this, I created the images in Google Drawings and then went to File-Publish to get a direct URL to the image. I created a Sheet Tab with links to all the images and posted the URLs in there. (You could HIDE this Tab.)

The VLookup formula allowed me to have the spreadsheet insert the images that match the student answer choices. (If you open the Template you can see all the formulas underneath the answer choices and modify as you wish. And, if you don’t know a lot about formulas, you could just modify my Sheet as you will most likely see the patterns. I don’t know too much about advanced formulas myself.)

Step 5: Create a Congratulatory Image

To show students they completed the level, I decided I wanted an image to appear in the Sheet stating they completed the level. To do this, I assigned each correct answer choice a point value by using an IF statement such =IF(O3=”East”,1,0). I placed this formula in the cell below the data validation choices. I merged the cells below the coding choices to allow room for the image and inserted another IF statement to make the image appear only if a student gained enough points by selecting the correct answers.

Use an IF statement to have a celebratory image appear!
Example of VLook Images Appearing

Step 6: Duplicate Tabs to Create New Levels

Once I had my first level completed, I then right clicked on the tab and duplicated the level. I then created new levels by changing colors, directions, data validation choices, and images! Then, I had my 10 year old give the game a test run! He loved it! So…..now I share with you!

Have you created any coding games with Sheets? Can you modify and edit this game to make it even better? I’d love to hear from you!

Pump Up the Jam(board)

What is Jamboard?

Jamboard is a FREE collaborative whiteboard application that is part of the G Suite for Education. Educators have found Jamboard extremely beneficial for increasing engagement and opportunities for collaboration. Students may collaborate in real-time while using the drawing, text, image, sticky notes, shapes, and laser tools. Users with access to a PC or Chromebook may use the web application at Jamboard.google.com or Jam.new. But, if you have access to a phone or tablet, the FREE app allows users to add files from their Google Drive. Activities created using the Jamboard app or website are frequently referred to as “Jams”.

In the market for a new hardware? There is also a touch-screen whiteboard available for purchase as well. The physical Jamboard device allows students to pull information from websites, access the handwriting recognition feature and draw with a stylus.

Note: Jamboard must be turn-on by the domain administrator.

Are you already using Jamboard in your classroom?

If you are already using Jamboard in your classroom, I hope this blog post provides you with some new ideas, tips, and templates to “Pump Up the Jam” in your classroom!

Needs some integration ideas?

Educators are constantly finding new and innovative ways to enhance their daily instruction during both onsite and online instruction with Jamboard.

Here are some ideas:

General and SEL

  • Daily Checkins
  • Attendance
  • “Bucket Filling” or kindness walls
  • “Motivational Monday”
  • 2nd Step Reflections
  • Brainstorming behavior expectations during remote learning activities
  • Sharing examples of respect
  • Goal setting
  • Picture of the day

Math

  • Sharing problem solving strategies
  • Collaborating on a problem
  • Using the whiteboard to demonstrate solutions
  • Collaborating while posting examples of 2D and 3D shapes
  • Sharing learning and reflections
  • Correcting errors

ELA

  • Annotating text
  • Sharing predictions, inferences, connections
  • Book Recommendations
  • Demonstrating revisions and edits
  • Locating evidence
  • Sharing example images of writer’s craft
  • Sharing reflections, questions, and learning
  • Locating and sharing examples of the parts of speech
  • Book talks
  • Reviewing sight words

Social Studies

  • Sharing examples of the 5 themes of geography for states, countries, and regions
  • Labeling maps
  • Collaborating while researching locations
  • Sharing examples of what students notice and wonder
  • Sharing thoughts on current events
  • Discussing educational videos

Science

  • Sharing hypothesis
  • Locating and sharing evidence
  • Sharing results from experiments
  • Collaborating while researching
  • Brainstorming and collaborating on ideas supporting animal adaptations, habitats, and ecosystems
  • Sharing examples of what students notice and wonder

What would that look like?

Check out this Wakelet collection to see some fabulous examples of completed activities from educators on Twitter. (You do not need to have a Twitter account to click on the links in the Tweets.)

Templates Galore!!

I have curated dozens of templates from amazing educators on Twitter. Simply click on the Tweet that interests you and “Make a Copy” of the Jamboard activity. Click here to view the collection. I’ll continue to add to this collection throughout the year so make sure to bookmark it for later 🙂

Jamboard Templates https://wakelet.com/wake/0rNgNdoVw5kt6qDnXhhxp

Want to Pump Up the Jam even more?

Check out this collection of curated tips as well! In this curated collection, you will find posts explaining how to insert animated GIFs, create a scratch ticket effect, create a mystery spot, play Bingo, and access more blogs and webinars!

How do you share Jams?

Since Jamboard is part of the G Suite for Education, it’s super easy to share your Jams by clicking the Share button and inviting specific collaborators or posting the link. You may also add your Jamboard activity in Google Classroom or create a Jam on the fly during your Google Meet!

Generate a Jam on the fly in Google Meet

How have you used Jamboard in your classroom? I’d love to hear from you!

Consolidate Assignments by Using Google Sheets

Are you creating beautiful daily lesson plans for students using Google Slides? Are your assignments posted into Google Classroom along with links, tasks, and templates and followed with a detailed checklist created in Docs? I’m sure you spent a lot of time creating these resources! But, are we creating too MANY resources and links for our students?

Last week, I watched my 10 year old son attempt to complete all his assignments in Google Classroom. My son is relatively tech-savvy and loves working digitally, but he was LOST. There were too many links, too many Classroom topics, and too many places to “go”. In fact, I had difficulty helping him locate some of the resources!

The Problem

Sometimes less is more. Creating multiple resources, Classroom topics, links, and Docs to help our students stay organized could possibly be counter-productive especially while helping our youngest learners. Could we be making it even more challenging for students to locate and access assignments by providing too many guiding Docs?

To streamline resources in Google Classroom many edtech gurus have recommended:

1. Classroom Topics named “Today’s Links”: If you name a Google Classroom topic “Today’s Links” students will know where to find all the materials for that day! Teachers may choose to move the links under the correct subject Topic headings later.

2. Numbering Assignments: Numbering assignments makes it easy to refer to an assignment later. Also, students may be able to recall which number assignment they should work on today.

But, once you add on all the amazing Google Slides daily/weekly learning plans and Google Docs checklists it may still get a little confusing.

How could we simplify our assignments and make it easier for students?

The first solution that came to me is Google Sheets!

Google Sheets allows you to create a “one-stop-shop” for objectives, tasks, checklists, links, and more!

This daily lesson template for students allows you to add all your assignments along with a checklist for each task. Template available TinyUrl.com/SheetsRemotePlans

Template available TinyUrl.com/SheetsRemotePlans

Also, you can link to the specific Google Classroom Assignment in the Sheet by clicking on the 3 dots in the right-hand corner of the assignment while in Google Classroom. Then, add that link to the template.

Click the 3 dots and select “Copy-Link”

Finally, you may add a checkbox for students to complete once they have “Turned-In” each assignment.

Duplicate the template by clicking on the TAB below and selecting “dupicate”. You may rename each TAB using dates.

Duplicate Tabs by right clicking and selecting “duplicate”.

How do you streamline your assignments?

Digital Hall Passes using QR Codes

Flipped Tech Coaching

This Fall, educators are doing everything they can to provide sanitized materials for our students. But what about those old, laminated bathroom passes or sign-out notebooks? If your students have access to a device that can scan QR codes you may want to consider using digital hall passes. Most all newer model SMARTphones, tablets and laptops are able to scan QR codes.

Why QR Code Hall Passes?

If students have access to a device with a QR code scanner, the codes allow students to quickly scan the code whenever they need to leave the classroom without touching a shared bathroom pass or notebook. This also creates a record system for the teacher by recording student activity using a spreadsheet. The information may then be sorted and shared with parents, co-teachers or administrators as needed. This blog post also explains how to create a pre-filled link so even our youngest learners…

View original post 606 more words

Google Slides Yearbook

No one can say this school year wasn’t interesting. Can you believe it’s almost over? As we approach the end of the school year you may be wondering how you may collaborate on a digital yearbook. The answer is simple….Google Slides!

Template: TinyUrl.com/Yearbook4Slides

This yearbook was designed for elementary students but you can find more ideas for older students at Jennifer Scott’s SlidesYearbook.com!

Directions: Click the link above and “Make a Copy” of the template. Now, you may edit and revise as your heart desires. I have included animated GIFs that help explain each activity and how to edit the Doc.

Activity 1: All About Me

Activity one starts on Slide 4. This activity allows students to share their interests and goals with classmates.

Step 1: For the first activity you are going to share Slide 4 in Google Classroom as “Make a Copy” for each student. To do this you could just copy and paste the Slide into a new deck. This will allow all students to edit their own Slide.

Step 2: Next, you will share the yearbook in Google Classroom as “Anyone with a Link May Edit”. Once students have finished editing their Slides, they may now go to the collaborative deck and select File-Import Slide and add their Slide.

Alternate Route: Another way you could share this activity with students is to make a copy of Slide 4 for each student. Add each student’s name to the top so they know which Slide to edit. However, I have found this method to be confusing and more cumbersome as students end up accidentally editing the wrong Slides.

Example All About Me Slide

Activity 2: Class Pictures

Activity two allows students to take a selfie or upload a photograph for the classroom picture. Students will go to Slide 7, click on the red rectangle, and go to Replace- Image. Now, students may select the camera and take a selfie!

Activity 3: Photographs

This activity was remixed from the fabulous SlidesYearbook.com! Students and teachers may collaborate by adding photographs of past field trips, events, projects, and lessons. Once again users would click on the image and select Replace-Image in the toolbar. If you share these Slides with parents and co-workers they could add images as well! This collaborative approach really helps streamline the process of creating a yearbook!

Example collaborative photo Slide.

Activity 4: Class Memories

Slides 16-20 allow users to share their favorite memories by clicking and dragging and editable cloud textbox! Change the background colors, fonts, and headers yourself or allow your students to customize themselves!

Have you already started your class yearbook? I’d love to see an example!

Enjoy the rest of your year!

Snap Camera! Engage Students During a Virtual Meet

What is Snap Camera?

Snap Camera is a FREE application that allows you to use different lenses on your computer while recording videos, taking photographs or participating in video chats using Google Meet, Zoom or Skype. There are thousands of lenses or filters to choose from including the traditional Snapchat filters as well as designs from Lens Creator.

Could SnapCamera be used for educational purposes? Absolutely! There are so many ways educators could use this app with students. However, this app may not be appropriate for younger students to use as it is intended for an older audience.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Reading– Locate a filter and appear as a character from a favorite book. Or, use a background that relates to the setting in the story you are reading.

2. Math– Appear as a chef using recipes for a lesson on fractions. Or, pick a fun math themed background!

3. Science– Use an animal filter during a discussion about animal adaptations or teach a lesson straight from a science lab!

4. Social Studies– It’s easy to travel around the world using Snap Camera! Teach a lesson in front of a pyramid or turn yourself into a pilgrim while discussing Plimoth Plantation!

How does Snap Camera work?

  • Install the app: Go to https://snapcamera.snapchat.com and download the FREE app.
  • Open the app: Open the app on the computer and search through all the different lenses.
  • Locate the lense you want to use: Play around with all the different filters until you find one you like.
  • Take a picture or video: You may record your videos or take photographs with Snap Camera and then download to your device. Then, simply upload the video or photographs to the platform you are using with students.
  • Open video conferencing platform: If you are using this filter during synchronous instruction you can open up Google Meet and the filter will now be on your camera!
  • Have fun! Once you see the possibilities of using Snap Camera in the classroom you will have a lot of fun.

Do you have any ideas how educators could use Snap Camera with their students? Feel free to comment below.