Friday, December 8, 2017


picture of the quizizz search bar

Quizizz is an online quiz system, that lets you search for existing quizzes or create your own from scratch.  It is a web based program that so it will work on any mobile device that is connected to the Internet.  Students enter a code to join, and you can even share the link through Google Classroom to make it that even faster to join.

picture of the quizizz main screen

In many ways, Quizizz is similar to Kahoot! and other online quizzes, but there are a few differences that make it stand out.

First, you don't have to give the quiz to all students at once, you can create it like an assignment and have students complete it at their convenience.

Second, there is no leaderboard, and therefore the quiz is much less of a competition to answer quickly.  Students don't have to rush to answer, and they can focus on getting the question correct!

Third, and my favorite, you can create your own memes for the correct and incorrect messages that students see when they submit and answer!

You are correct!   Nice work!

Check it out here:


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Breaking News Generator

It's the end of the year--lots of things are happening.

Want to share today's top story?
This resource allows you to go live to the scene!

It only takes a few moments to type in your
information and upload a picture!

Check out this resource from


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Google Locked Bags- Jazz Up Your Review

Looking to jazz up your end of the year review activities?  How about turning them into a treasure hunt of sorts...learn the lock combination by answering questions and unlock a prize!  All you need is your review sheet, a Google form, some pencil bags filled with prizes, and some locks (or lock boxes if you want to get fancy).
First, put prizes in the pencil bags and lock securely.  Combination locks work best for this activity but you could use keyed locks instead (students have to tell you the combination in order to receive the key).

Next, have the students complete the review activity and enter their answers into a Google form.  If the answers are correct, the form will reveal the combination to the lock.  Once the students have learned the combination, they can unlock the bag to access the prize within!
How does the Google form check student answers?  Use the "Response validation" feature.

One of the great things about this activity is that you can use it at any grade level for any content area.  You can make it as easy or difficult or as long or short as your want.  Plus, differentiating the activity is easy!

You can find lessons, templates, directions, and more by clicking here.  Ready to give it a try but need support or materials?  Just contact your friendly ITRT!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Twitter for Teachers - Something for Everyone

Where did you hear about that?

I am often asked that question when sharing a new and hopefully awesome resource.  If it's not something from a fellow ITRT or teacher, my answer is almost always Twitter. I love Twitter for small pieces of PD on my schedule. I like that I get fresh ideas, different perspectives, and a peek inside other teachers' classrooms. I also like that I can engage when I want to and forget about it when I am overwhelmed.

As the school years comes quickly to an end, I always start to think about next year. If you are like me, now is a great time to check out Twitter. If you are already on Twitter, you can create a separate account for work related topics and use Tweet Deck to see both accounts. ( Thanks @MathInTheMiddle for sharing this resource with me!)

Creating an account is easy.

Then start by following a few people that relate to your grade level and subject/ interest area. We have many accounts you can follow just in HCPS. We have an ITRT account - @HCPS_ITRTS.   You can also look for people that you work with, Google people to follow, or you can ask me!  Start small and once you get the hang of it you can follow more people and organizations.

Hashtags are a large part of Twitter. They allow you to search for content. #edchat and #vachat are great places to start! If you see a tweet that is relevant and useful to you, follow the person who tweeted it! If you follow blogs or like certain websites, look to see if they use Twitter.

If you sign up, say hi @love_to_read!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Show What You Know

Your SOL test is over and you are thinking what to do now to engage your students.  How about trying a Show What You Know Hyper Doc?  This type of Hyper Doc is project based activities using iPad apps.  Your class will also need access to 3-4 computers for the Hyper Doc.  Small group rotations fit this just perfect.

Below is a link to a Show What You Know Hyper Doc.   There is an Activity Sheet telling the student what you want them to do and a How To Video on how to use the app.  All you need to do is download the document (so you can create your activities and/or make changes).  Make sure you have the sharing option as "Anyone who has the link can view"   and then the easiest way for students would be to put the Activity Sheet in Google Classroom and give everyone a copy or you could put the link on your web page or portaportal. 

You can also create your own Show What You Know.  I've included the folder that has many of the apps that schools use for productivity (please check to make sure your school has the app first) and the videos of the How To Use (some how to videos are still in the making so keep checking back as I will keep adding new videos).   Download the blank templates of Fun Bingo, the Activity Worksheet, and the Icons that you want to use,  so you can create your own.  Then link the activity sheet and how to movies to whichever apps you used.  There is also a storyboard sheet for students to plan out their ideas on paper first.  The link for the entire folder is below.

Fun Bingo Originals (folder of all icons, how to videos, and activity sheets plus the blank templates)

Once students are finished with an activity, they click the Free Space to fill out the form, telling you what they did.  You will also need to make a copy of the form so you will have just your students' activities and information.

If you have any questions, your friendly ITRT will be glad to help you with this activity.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Google Earth - Reloaded!

If you know me, you know that Google Earth is my JAM!  I think it is a great educational tool for lots of different content, and it integrates spacial thinking along the way!
In Math you can find geometric shapes all over the planet, you can use it to measure distances, and students can even use it to figure out area and perimeter.
In Language Arts, you can fly to the settings of books and stories
In Social Studies, you can explore geographic features and famous historical sites.
In Science, you can visualize geology, weather, and animal habitats.

So your saying to yourself, I already know about Google Earth, why are you telling me about it again...  well, here's why...  there is now a Web-based version of Google Earth that will work without downloading the program...  so you can use Google Earth on a Chromebook!
Now, it is really new, and it is not as full-featured as the full program, but you know how Google is...  they add cool new things all the time, so you can expect new features will be added often.
The interface is simple, and the available data layers are limited at this point, but the navigation is familiar as you fly from one location to another.  Check it out at


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Google Keep for creating Digital Copies of Paper Based documents

Since my classroom has gone largely digital and paperless over the last two years, I have spent a lot time retyping old worksheets and assignments that I didn't have digital copies of into a Google Doc that students could edit and submit online.  Recently, I discovered that Google Keep offers a way to convert a paper file into an editable digital document without retyping everything. Simply take a photo of the document and Keep can import the text for you!

Google Keep is a newer app you may have read about in a recent Play of the Week.  Keep is an organization app that allows you easily share notes or lists in any format, but it also has a "Grab Text" functionality makes it the easiest way to transfer text from a paper document into a digital one.  This makes transferring old worksheets into digital ones super fast and easy.  

To use Google Keep to grab text from a paper copy and make it digital you need to first install the "Google Keep" app onto your smartphone or tablet device (Keep is free and available on both Android & iPhone app stores).   After installing the app and logging in with your Google account follow these easy steps.

1. Open the Keep app and "Take a note" using the Camera icon

2. Take a photo of the document you want to use

3. On your computer, go to ""

4. The picture you just took will be in your Google Keep notes. Clicking on the picture will give you several options across the bottom.  Click on the "Three Dots" for more choices and you will see two options that will allow you to access the text on the paper.

    1. One option is "Grab Text".  You can then copy this text into whatever format you want
    2. After grabbing the text, a second option is "Copy to Google Docs". This is creates a brand new Google Doc of whatever text is on the paper you took a picture of.

5.  With some easy formatting (adding proper spacing, checking capitalization, etc) your paper based document is now digital!

I prefer the "Copy to Google Docs" option because with one snap of a photo and a couple clicks on a computer, I have an editable copy of an old worksheet that a student can now complete online.  Super fast, super easy.  Time saved!

If you need help transferring paper based items to digital copies using Google Keep or other application, see the ITRT at your building!