Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Google Apps Status Dashboard Lets You Know What's Up

Wouldn't you like to know if there were any problems with Gmail or Google Calendar? Sometimes you think that it just you, but you're wondering if it's a genuine problem for everyone? Easy fix: go to the Google Apps Status Dashboard!

Colored dots indicate if the app is either having no issues, has a service disruption, or a service outage.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

James Patterson's Pledge to Help School Libraries

It's no secret that I love James Patterson's books. I can't even tell you how many of his mysteries I have read, and once he started writing for younger kids, I started ordering them for my school library. Even the kids who didn't like to read became enchanted with his stories. Series books I Funny, Witch and Wizard, Daniel X  and Maximum Ride get checked out on a regular basis.

I met James Patterson at a speaking event at Barnes and Noble, and found him to be funny and at ease with the large audience. He answered questions from us and autographed his latest book.

James Patterson has always believed that every child should be able to have access to books and how important reading is in education. His site, ReadKiddoRead offers book reviews, tips on getting your kids to read, contests to win free books and much more.

James Patterson and his son Jack

When I heard yesterday that James Patterson was pledging $1.25 million to school libraries, I started to think about how I could spruce up this 40+ year old library. (Scholastic is matching dollar-for-dollar with bonus points which can be used to purchase books for the classroom.) What would you do? Applications are being taken HERE until May 31, 2015.

Thank you so much, Mr. Patterson.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hats Off to Google's Dan Russell!

I am a big fan of Google's Senior Research Scientist Daniel M. Russell. As per his own job description, "I write. I analyze. I experiment. I do field studies and I try to understand what makes Google users tick.  Why do they sometimes query Google for [ first ], and then not click on anything?  Why do some Google users only ask one query, while  others can go on and on?  What's different about their search experiences? Why? " Dr. Russell's blog, SearchReSearch offers readers searching challenges which go way beyond the typical Google search. You are thrown into advanced searches and learn so much beyond what you thought you could do. What a great way to expand your knowledge so you can teach your students about REAL searching on the web!

Sites involving Dr. Russell's instruction include Google Search EducationPower Searching and Advanced Power Searching online classes, and Live Training videos. Dan Russell is an engaging and interesting teacher. He is soft-spoken and obviously passionate about his work. Upon completion of each of his courses, you can download a certificate for PD credit. A Google a Day challenges students to practice their searching skills by answering a posed question, i.e. GEOGRAPHY: "What two northernmost territories of India lie 1,100 km southeast of Calcutta? (in alphabetical order) The longer it takes to answer a question, the fewer points are awarded. Kids love competition, so this could be a cool game to play every day.

I love being challenged, don't you? I highly recommend that all teacher-librarians take a look at SearchReSearch and Power Searching and Advanced Power Searching. Knowledge is after all, power.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Printing Multiple PowerPoint Slides on One Sheet

Let's save some paper, everyone. My students have been printing PowerPoint presentations (some with as many as 50 slides) and wasting a lot of paper. There is a very simple way to control how many sheets you print, and in PowerPoint it's called "handouts". Just follow the instructions below for an easy transition. NOTE: Instructions are for MS Office 2013.

This is what your screen looks like right before you print:

You have the option to print from 1-9 slides on one page. Voila! Easy, right?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

All About Google Classroom in 22 Clicks!

If you already have Google Apps for Education at your school, you are one step closer to using Google Classroom. Google Apps for Education (GAFE) has been such a wonderful addition to our school district, and now that Google Classroom has been added, teachers have so many ways to manage their students and assignments. Just go HERE and choose "teacher". You must use your school Gmail account and Chrome as your browser for this to work.

Google For Classroom Android App

Google for Classroom iPhone App- also works on the iPad

10 Additional Things You Can Do With Google Classroom- Alice Keeler

Google Classroom Adds Five New Improvements for Teachers- Education World

Google Classroom iPad App User Guide for

How to Integrate iPads With the New Google Classroom- Edudemic

Star Wars Guide to Google Classroom

Google Classroom Help Center

Official Google Classroom Page


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Free Online PD Infographic

Thank you, Joyce Valenza, for creating this lovely infographic for teacher-librarians.

The 100th Day of School! Hundreds of Resources Packed into 32 Sites!

Since we are all on different schedules for the school year, some of you have already passed the 100th day. My district will hit that number this coming week. You can always bookmark this link so you can return next year....

10 Read Alouds for the 100th Day of School

75 Clever Ideas for 100 Days of School- art projects

100 Days of School Activities and Ideas- from the Busy Teacher's Cafe

100 Snowballs- interactive from ABCya!

100 Ways to Celebrate the 100th Day of School With The Times

100th Day- lessons, printables, worksheets from A to Z Teacher Stuff

100th Day of School Activities- from K-5 Math Teaching Resources

100th Day of School Activities- from Enchanted Learning

100th Day of School Freebie Printables

100th Day of School Ideas for Kindergarten

100th Day of School Images- Google Search

100th Day of School Free Writing Activity- 2 printables: If I Had One Hundred Dollars,  If I Were 100 Years Old

100th Day of School Poems

100th Day of School Printables- Google Search

100th Day of School Worksheets- from Super Teacher Worksheets

100 Days of School Color- printables

Celebrate the 100th Day of School- from Scholastic's Teach Now

Descriptive Writing and the 100th Day of School- from ReadWriteThink

Gamequarium's 100th Day of School Activities

Hundredth Day of School- Starfall's counting interactive

In Honor of the 100th Day of School- crossword puzzle from the NY Time Learning Network; answers are HERE.

Jan Brett Printable

Joan Holub's The 100th Day of School- 300 Celebration Ideas for Educators

Mathwire's 100th Day of School Lessons

Montessori-Inspired 100th Day of School Activities

Oriental Trading- items to purchase for 100th day of school

Really Good Stuff- items to purchase for your classroom

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