Saturday, September 26, 2020

Long time - no write. It's not because I have stopped producing, rather I have basically moved over to YouTube for most of my tutorials. However since some people prefer to have instructions written, as well, I will try to include my YouTube tutorials here, in my written blogposts, more often. 

I have started making tutorials I call "It's a Quickie" for little things that make all the difference and require only a few seconds to explain. This one takes 3 minutes. It's an extension to Chrome called Sir Links a Lot. What it does, basically, is it changes the URL of your Googe doc, Sheet, Form, Slides or Drawings in a way that enables others to make their own copy of it without letting them edit YOURS by mistake. ESPECIALLY in these COVID-19 days when choice boards built on Google Slides and using Forms are becoming more and more popular, it is SO important to know just how to share them properly with your colleagues!

Until now (this week, literally) I have been explaining to teachers to delete the end part of the URL, and instead to write the words "copy" or "template/preview" but not all teachers felt comfortable know EXACTLY which words to delete, and EXACTLY how to share the link. This extension takes all the guess work out of it for you! 

Step 1: Go to your Google Apps Web Store
Step 2: Find the extension Sir Links a Lot
Step 3: Accept and then pin it in your Chrome toolbar
Step 4: Set the sharing settings of your document to "Anyone on the Internet can VIEW"
Step 5: Click on Sir Links a Lot
Step 6: Choose the format in which you want to share (my go to favorite is template preview - it enables the person first to see what it is they will be making their own copy of before clicking on the blue "Use Template" button.

That's all! Now that doc/sheet/form/slideshow/drawing is THEIRS to use as is, or adapt. If it's a form, the responses will go to THEIR account rather than to YOURS by mistake. Easy peasy. Watch and see!

Hope you find that useful!

Digitally yours, 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A little "add-on" that will make spreadsheet work SOOOO much easier!

Do you LOVE Googleforms for collecting data but HATE trying to read the spreadsheets? If so, this is for you!

I use Googleforms for LOTS of purposes - with my students to collect information and feedback, as well as with the teachers I work with, as a counselor. It's GREAT for collecting a lot of information in one place, easily. The problem is that you have to read all those rows of information, which often go right off the screen, and you need to scroll, or hide columns or do all sorts of work-arounds in order to make sense out of that precious data you've collected. Luckily, Googledocs have things that are called "Add-ons" that can help us do that! 

Basically they are scripts added to the docs that use code to make your work easier. And the best thing about them is that you do not have to know code or script writing at all! All you have to know is what the name of the add-on is and what it does!

Watch this tutorial to see how to use the Save as Doc Add-on. It might just as well be called: "Save your sanity" ;-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Starting a new school year

People have traditions and ceremonies ... I guess it's in our DNA to develop and cling on to them. Some up us have a "Waking Up" ceremony before we get our day started, or "Going to Bed" rituals to help us wind down into sleep mode. Others have "Birthday Traditions" that run through the generations. I have a "New School Year" ritual.

I can't start a new school year without it. I learned it many years ago, in one of my first years of teaching from Pippa, who is no longer a teacher in our school, nor does she even live in Israel but blessed me with a ritual that I am now doing for the 33rd time. I used to do it with a pencil and ruler. Then it got a fancy word processing upgrade. For the past few years I have moved it over to Googledocs, which enables me to share it easily, print it out or just use it online so it can expand or shrink as need be.

Basically, the idea is to map out your entire year on both sides of one page (now that it's a Googledoc, it's less of an issue because the page is virtual). It has a line for each week of the school year, and columns according to the main skills and tasks that I will need to get done or achieve in each class I teach. I divide what I plan to get done in my text book over the year, I put in the test dates and dates for things like book reports or when I plan to complete a project. And even if I get carried away with one unit of work or another,  at least I know that there is a basic "game plan" to go back to, to adjust, to be sure that I fit in everything that needs to get done for that year. 

I am happy to be sharing it with you, here. Click here to duplicate the file, and make it yours. Do what you like with it. Add columns or topics. Delete topics. Make it yours. It's served me well - maybe it will be of use to you! If you have any helpful alterations, please feel free to share them in the comments!

So, enjoy the last few weeks of August and have a great new shool year!

Digitally yours,


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Hyperdocs ...Sounds complicated but isn't really

Sometimes you need to share a bunch of links with someone on a specific topic. There are different ways you could do that, but the easiest way is by collecting them all in a hyperdoc.


Here: Check out the YouTube! Because showing and telling is more effective than just describing in writing!

My first but I am SURE not my last posting about hyperdocs - because they have SOOO much potential - especially for differentiated learning!  I made this tutorial expeically for a team of teachers with whom I am working and need to share the digital products of their students, but I discovered such a useful tool, that this is just the start!

Digitally yours!

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Bridging Text and Context - Digitalized

Before you digitalize a worksheet, ask yourself: "What added extra value will I get from digitalization?" Here's an example of something I felt gave me more bang for my buck regarding the time used in the classroom, and out, as well as the ability to get the message across in a more meaningful manner than I could have before.

As part of our literature program, students need to get background information about the culture within which the literature is set, in order to help them understand the text better. When you understand where a person "comes from" (period of history, place) it's easier to understand what motivates the characters you are reading about. 

For the play All My Sons by Arthur Miller, I have, for years, used an activity I originally learned from an former colleague (HT Barry Solomon) who is no longer teaching. The activity has the students learning about the posters that were used in the United States during the period of World War II to whip up patriotism and convince people to enlist or help in the war effort in other ways. Originally it was a challenge finding these posters, even digitally, sharing them with our students (we would have to get a comptuer room expecially so they could see the digital materials). Happily, these days, it has become even easier to share posters, songs and clips with the students, to make the subject really come alive. 

I had digitalized the activity to some extent in the past, using Barcode readers and augmented reality. (I thought this would be really cool, but my students complained about having to install programs that they didn't want.... they love their phones - but have a hard time with me hijacking them for educational purposes sometimes). 

This year, I have taken the worksheets and digitalized them completely by putting them in Googleforms. Watch this webcast to see!  (In the description section of the YouTube you can access some of the links I used, as well as make a copy of the form if you wish.)

If you found this helpful, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you don't miss anything! (I still blog here occassionally, but most of my "blogging" has morphed into "vlogging" ;-) So - hit the bell, Click "Subscribe" and join me in my quest to leave no teacher behind in the digital age!

Digitally yours!


Sunday, October 29, 2017

A useful Googledoc Trick: Force "Copy Document"

Sharing a Googledoc or Googleside in order to have your students work collaboratively is magical. But sometimes, you need them to make a copy of their own, of the document or the slide, to save in their Drive, share with you, and work on, on their own.

You COULD give them very CLEAR instructions for how to make a copy:

...and maybe most students will do it right.... aside from the 1 or 2 who don't read that carefully or don't really understand how to make a copy or WHATEVER.....

        ....and then they fill in your master file and other students copy it and - in short - a big mess.

So in THIS blogpost I want to teach you how to AVOID that.

It's easy.

In one sentence, you copy the link you want to force people to make a copy of, and replace the word in the link that says: "edit", with the word "copy".

This works for Googledocs and slides!

Need more of an explanation? Here is my DOUBLEHEADER tutorial for this week!

And if you are still not sure of how to handle those messages which force you to Copy Document, watch the tutorial that follows.

Hope you find that helpful!

Still got questions? Write me!
And don't forget to subscribe! Here AND to my YouTube Channel!

Digitally yours, 


Friday, September 1, 2017

Getting Back into Step for the New School Year!

As usual, the summer has slip-slided away before I could say "Jack Robinson" and I now find myself in September which means that it's time to hit the ground running! My first lessons are always a combination of becoming aquainted with each other while at the same time getting right to business. Especially in the 12th grade where we REALLY have NO time to lose! So I am sharing what I am doing in our first lesson with them, this coming Monday.

I have recycled a Prezi that I prepared a few years ago, inserting the main information that my students need to know for our first day. If you have been following my blog this summer, you'll know that I am now a fledgling YouTuber, so instead of ending it off with an inspirational talk from Ashton Kutcher, as I did last year, I have made a YouTube of MYSELF! 

A few days ago our Education Ministry and CEO of the MoE held a press conference, about the importance of strengthening English language learning, in general, with an emphasis on speaking, in our schools. Many of us already DO a lot of oral activities to encourage the kids to talk, but hopefully their official statement and all the initiatives that are flowing into the field as backwash, will make it even more wide spread. Since we are all aware of the importance of producing digitally savvy citizens of the world, I intend to incorporate the making of YouTube movies into my lessons this  year whenever I can! I have no doubt whatsoever that, among my students, there will be those who can teach us ALL how to make effective YouTubes! I am aiming to turn my classroom into  an English "Maker Space", encouraging my students to come out as "makers".  And what way better to get kids talking in English and making YouTubes, than by leading the way with my own example, right?

The Prezi is embedded in the front page of my class website, so all I will have to do next Monday when I walk into the classroom will be to throw it up on the board, and it's all there!  (Want to learn how to make a Googlesite for YOUR class? Check THIS out!)

Wishing you all an inspiring, creative, challenging new school year, for you and your students! If you want ANY ideas for your classroom (Back-to-School, or otherwise) remember to make your first stop in our new Portal ! Do you have a great Back-to-School activity to share? Please share it HERE!

Oh... and Ashton Kutcher get outta my way!

Digitally yours!



Please subscribe here, to my blog, and to my YouTube channel, which is growing all the time, with (at least one) new movie each week including digital help and ideas you'll find useful! If there is anything YOU want me to blog or YouTube about, let me know in the comments!