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!