Showing posts from January, 2015

Make a Copy of a Google Doc for Each Student... The Easy Way!

Last week at OC Taylor, three fourth grade classes were going to be completing their Plan, Do, Study, Act goal sheet for this semester.  The teachers wanted the students to complete it digitally using the PDSA template found in the GCISD Template Gallery.  The problem is... the gallery is fairly complicated to access from an iPad.  We decided to use a cool feature in Google Drive that works with any Google Doc, Slides or Sheets file.  Here's how it works:

1.  Every Google document has a unique URL that ends with the word "Edit".

2.  Change the word "edit" to "copy" in the URL bar and press Enter.

3.  When students access this URL, it will ask them if they want to make a copy.  They simply click the blue "Make a Copy" button and a copy will be created in their Google Drive account for them to edit!  (If they're not already logged in to their Google account, they will be asked to login before they get to the screen above.)
Tips for sharing the…

Google Classroom App

There is now a Google Classroom app for iOS and Android devices.

To use all the features of the Classroom app, you will also need the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps installed on the device.

What TEACHERS can do in the Classroom app:
Create a classPost announcements and commentsCheck if assignments have been completed and keep track of who turned in workUsing the Google Drive app, view any attachments that students add to an assignmentCommunicate with students in real time

What STUDENTS can do in the app: Join a class and view their current classesCommunicate with classmates/teachers in real time (using their district email account)Post to the class streamView, complete, and turn in assignmentsView their assignment planner
What CANNOT be done using the Classroom app at this time:
Teachers cannot create or grade assignmentsTeachers cannot change any class settings or permissionsTeachers cannot archive a classStudents and…


Have you tried Blendspace yet?  It's a great way to collect and share lesson resources.  Signing up is easy... just login with your GCISD Google account!  The company has created a great step by step handout for getting started with Blendspace.

Check out some GCISD teacher created examples here:
(I'd love to add your examples!  Send them to me via the form below.)

How can you use Blendspace in your classroom?
To collect all your resources for a particular lesson or unit in one place so that they're easily accessible.To provide students with extra practice or enrichment for specific skills or topics To create choice boards to give students options for personal learning timeTo "flip" your lesson
What kinds of things can be added to Blendspace boxes?
Links to webpages for researchLinks to videosImage…


I originally shared Thinglink in a blog post last year ( but I wanted to remind everyone about this amazing resource that now has a free teacher account that makes it easy to add and manage student accounts.

Things I love about Thinglink:

It can be used in ALL subjects in ALL grades.  It's an easy way for student to "smash" or "layer" products (video or picture) from other apps into one final project.  It's a website and an app ( Perfect for 1:1 or BYOD classrooms.It's a great way to combine paper products with digital.  For example: students can draw/illustrate a diagram of the water cycle on paper and then use a picture of it as the background of a Thinglink with video explanations for each phase.
How To Create a Free Teacher Account:
1.   Go to th…

OpenClipart, Thesaurus, and Easybib: Three Simple Add-Ons to Google Docs

Today's guest post comes to us from Julie Brem, librarian at Colleyville Heritage High School.  You can follow Julie on Twitter @juliebrem Do you find yourself living more and more in Google Drive world, and less and less in Microsoft Office-land?  If so, you probably still reach for features you expect to be in Google Docs that  are part of much-beloved Word.  However, sometimes these features seem to be missing from Google Docs’ relatively pared-down menu.  It may be time to discover that choice nested between “Table” and “Help”--Add-ons.  There you will find a multitude of options bridging the divide between the old school and new, “the ground” and “the cloud”, i.e., Word vs. Google Drive.

Despite recent news that Microsoft is actually abandoning its ClipArt Gallery, we have all become accustomed to putting a little guy in a desk on our handouts, amidst apples, pencils and the usual K-12 fare.  So where is the little guy in the desk in Google Docs--or  

*Gasp*  Where …