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Category: technology

The Monsterator Retellings

Posted in apps, holiday, picture book lesson, reading skills, and technology

Last week in the Jackson Library, third graders used Google’s Toontastic app to retell the story, The Monsterator by Keith Graves.  This app is great because it is free, it allows them to draw their own setting and characters, it offers them options to customize their music and record their voice, and it even adds scrolling movie credits.  Check out their creations!

Click for more


Keith Graves’ Art Site

Boo Haikus! 2021

Posted in displays and deco, holiday, picture book lesson, and technology

Last week, in the Jackson Library, fifth graders had fun writing spooky haikus! This idea is from the book, Boo! Haiku. To get our brains warmed up, I showed the kids some student samples from a couple of years ago and then had them draw a spooky scene.  Thinking about how to describe the scene helped the kids to get ideas for their haiku. The bilingual classes chose to write in English or Spanish. Other helpful tips:  scatter SPOOKY words1spookywords2 on the tables as vocabulary enhancers, don’t ‘require’ use of the form/template- many kids wanted to write their poem rough draft right next to their drawing… Check out their spoooky creations! 

boo haiku

5th grade boo haikus 2021

Eng. stu sheet
Student sheet- Eng.




Stu Sheet Spanish
Stu Sheet Spanish

Spa haiku sample


stu boo haikus 2021
More books by Deanna Caswell
Note on how to embed a Google Doc popout:
Share your Google Doc.
Go to the three dots at the top.
Choose ‘open in new window’- this used to be called ‘pop out’
open goo doc in new window
Then choose: embed item
choose pop out
Copy the embed code URL
embed code
Change the ‘height’ to a larger number so more of the document can be viewed at once:
I think I made the height of this one 3000

How to Make a Running Banner/Ticker in Slides

Posted in technology


 I follow A. Colwell on Twitter and loved her running announcement ticker/banner. When I looked up how to do it, I found a great video by The Techy Coach!  A link to Audrey’s website is at the bottom of this post. 

The Techy Coach

Here are instructions I’m making for myself for when I forget how to do this next year!


These instructions are what I wrote down for myself after watching The Techy Coach’s video. It is not exactly like he says to do it  (oops). 

  1. Create a new Google Slides presentation.
  2. Go to the top menu bar: FILE – Page Setup
  3. Change from (Standard) to: CUSTOM
  4. Enter (size) – example: 10 x 1 – I messed w this further in the HTML after mine was finished (width 700, height 125) see HTML below
  5. Type your message
  6. Click TRANSITION button on top menu bar.
  7. Select text box – click ADD ANIMATION
  8.  Add first animation:  FLY IN FROM RIGHT (change to WITH PREVIOUS) – use slider to slow down  (the one above I didn’t do correctly because mine is ‘AFTER previous’) oops 🙂
  9. Add second animation: OUT TO LEFT (change to AFTER PREVIOUS) – use slider to slow down (move it almost all the way to the left)



10. Click PLAY to test your animations

11. Now go to your side view in the left panel and right click- COPY

banner The Techy Coach
from The Techy Coach

12. Paste it about 10 more times (CTRL-V)

banner 10-12 Techy Coach
from the Techy Coach

13. Choose FILE: Publish to the Web and adjust the settings as follows-

This is so it will “automatically launch in kiosk mode” (The Techy Coach).


how tyo


14. I further adjusted the HTML to change the size parameters a bit for mine because it looked weird with the font I chose:

 Embed code: 
<p style=”text-align: center;”><iframe src=”;loop=true&amp;delayms=1000″ width=”700″ height=”125″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe></p>

15. Copy the embed code and paste it into your site. Edublogs (add media button), Insert Embed Code, (add <center> first in the HTML), and paste, SAVE

(Google Sites)- Embed from Web button, check Preview, INSERT, resize box, center, adjust within frame, PUBLISH (from the Techy Coach)

Here are the video instructions from The Techy Coach

techy coach

Also check out Audrey Colwell’s (McKinney ISD) Slaughter Elementary Learning Commons page! This is where I saw the ticker idea! 

Martin’s Big Words 2021

Posted in apps, character education, holiday, and technology

Last week in the Jackson Library, I read excerpts of the Martin’s Big Words book to third and fourth graders. We discussed the power of his peaceful, persuasive words and how Martin’s use of words caused laws to change to promote equal rights in America. They used the augmented reality app, WeirdType to use some of Martin’s words as art.  Check out more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the WeirdType/Pokemon Go app designer below!

martin's big words book
Study Guide

How To

weird type app


Student Work

Our Big Words: MLK 2021 safeshare
Safeshare link to stu work

MLK WeirdType
YouTube link
More Samples
About the app designer
Zach Lieberman
Martin’s Big Words – Rappaport
love conquers weird type

Make A Digital Name Plate

Posted in remote learning, and technology

Thanks to Spark Creativity, Betsy Mork, for her digital name tent idea and Google Drive template! The fourth and fifth graders are loving it during remote learning! Just post in your Google Drive, share it with your students, and share the link to it in your Google Classroom! The kids love it. Check out their creativity! 

STEPS to post this assignment to your Google Classroom:

  1. Download the zip file to your C Drive
  2. Choose the Google Drive Editable Printable file
  3. Click the ENABLE EDITING button
  4. Right click on the assignment link
  5. Choose OPEN LINK
  6. It will ask: Would you like to make a copy? Click the blue MAKE A COPY BUTTON of Hi My Name Is
  7. The template will open. Click on the name of the file and rename it for your class
  8. Go to your Google Classroom
  9. Click the black +CREATE button
  10. Choose ASSIGNMENT
  11. Create the title and type the instructions
  12. Click ADD LINK
  13. Paste the link to the renamed assignment in your Google Drive. If you can’t find the link, click SHARE again on the assignment in Google Drive to get it, copy it, and go to ADD (paperclip) under your assignment description and paste the link. 
  14. When you add the assignment link, be sure to use the drop down menu next to it to choose EACH STUDENT WILL GET A COPY
  15. each stu gets copy
  16. Change the menu settings on the right: 
  17. TOPIC: Is Week (1): August 17-21
  19. STUDENTS ASSIGNED – I don’t assign it to certain stu
  20. AT THE TOP: Click black ASSIGN button to get the pull-down menu
  21. assign menu button
  22. Choose SCHEDULE and set the date you want the students to receive the assignment
  23. schedule
  24. If you change your mind when you want it to be assigned, you can go back to the black ASSIGN button and go to SCHEDULE and change the date.

betsy mork name tent

name tent
name tent
name tent
name plate

Check out Betsy’s awesome blog!

spark creativity blog


Make a ‘Thinglink’ with Google Drawings and Slides

Posted in PD, and technology

Best purchase this summer? Eric Curts’ Control Alt Achieve professional book! In part 27, he shows how to make Googlink Interactive Images. I did this incorrectly several times before producing something acceptable so I will share some tips! I made an ‘about me‘ one for our new principal and new staff members. 

Eric Curts' CTRL ALT ACHIEVE book

about me Googlink
Click to view
  1. Go to your drive and NEW + (on the right)- go to MORE and locate Google Drawings. I tried to find Drawings in the 9 dot menu on the right and didn’t see it there. goo drawings2. Open drawings and begin building your picture. Be sure to locate copyright-free pictures from a reputable source. I like to use Pixabay. Insert pictures by using the toolbar menu: INSERT: image. You can add pictures-on-pictures. Plan out everything you want to add. I’m making an ‘about me’ so I added the Twitter icon, blog icon, etc. 
  2. When finished, Go to FILE – download – as JPG
  3. Open a new blank Google Slide document
  4. IMPORTANT: Go to insert BACKGROUND and find your jpg-insert img as bckgnd drawingsDo not, do not just insert the picture – the sizing will be all wrong. I tried it.  It will also just move around when anyone tries to click on anything. It is a mess.
  5. Now find an image you want to link. Go to INSERT text box and make it transparent: transparent text box
  6. Right click and choose INSERT – LINK. Paste the link you want there.
  7. paste link for googlink
  8. Click on this symbol to make the border color of the text box transparent. make border of text box transparentI forgot to do this at first and you could see the little boxes around the symbols: text boxes show- ick!Nooooooooo – so make them transparent! You can go back and do this at the very end if you want. 
  9. IMPORTANT: If you are linking to a file in Google Drive, be sure to share it correctly first. I made mine public. Click on the blue words to change with whom you share.sharing settings9. Be sure to adjust the sharing settings of EVERYTHING you share: other Google documents, photos, audio files, etc.
  10. For example, I made this Google Drawing to go in one of the links. After you create it in Drawings, click ‘Download’ and choose as ‘JPG’.  Upload this JPG to your Google Drive. 
  11. ADJUST the sharing settings of this JPG to ‘public’ or ‘only ppl w the link’
  12. updated about me
  13. Note: you can type on the Google Slide to provide instructions if you need to. I added the ‘Click to find out about me.’ 
  14. Now here’s where Eric Curts really helped me out:
    1. This allows it to open in full screen instead of the editing window.
    2. To do this: Click SHARE again and highlight the ‘edit’ part at the end of the line:edit link
    3.  Now change that to ‘preview’
      preview link
    4. Done!  Eric reminds us that when you send someone the link, all of your hotspots will be ready to be clicked. (p. 85, Control Alt Achieve, Eric Curts, Dave Burgess Consulting, 2020)
    5. Double check: Did you share: docs, photos, audio, Google Drawings linked to the Google Slide?  Did you share the Google Slide? Did you change the end of the link to preview or preview/template?

Same tip from Tony Vincent, but added benefit if you want a TEMPLATE:

tony vincent make a template



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