New Kid’s Search Engine: Kiddle

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Thank you. Honestly. Kiddle. If you could see my standing ovation right now it would bring tears to your eyes.

I really like to give things a whirl before I write about them and share them out in the crowd. So I went to work. I played with the site for myself and tested it with the students- so far I am highly impressed.

Can I tell you that it is sometimes a nail biting endeavor to conduct searches online with children? Sometimes, with all the best efforts (and Google Safe Search, and Web content filtering, etc.) somethings manage to slip through the cracks. In any event, teaching your students about Internet Safety and the proper procedures about reporting inappropriate material (for example, turn off the screen, tell an adult) is your number one defense to protect your students! Check out additional Internet Safety Tips from Kiddle here.

Thank you to all who made this search engine possible!

I had to ask: Why and not .com? And wouldn’t you know it, they had an answer. From their site “Why does Kiddle use a .co instead of a .com domain?: In Kiddle’s case “co” stands for “children only” – our focus and vision for Kiddle.” Source.


This is a must! Check it out here 

Google Sites Hack- From a 5th Grader!

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I will be the first person to admit…

I don’t know everything. 

No really I don’t…. and honestly, I don’t want to either. It means that I have nothing left to learn.

That, to me, is scary.

My role as a teacher has put me in the position as one who is viewed as “all knowing” or “with knowledge.” I believe that I have humanized my role as an educator and professional by confessing that  I don’t know everything, and that I yearn for information.

My students fully get it when I announce “Kids, I found this great piece of technology…XYZ…. I have NEVER used it before. I think it would be really great to use in this project! Let’s figure it out together!”

It gets me out of my seat- It disrupts the authoritative nature of being an educator, and being in front of the class- it puts me in the chair next to the student. Learning with them.

My room at any given time is much like organized chaos. My students are out of their seats. They are talking. To some, my classroom may seem very overwhelming. But they are excited. They are sharing. And most of all, they are in control of their learning process.

{A little side note, a back story before I fast forward to what I am trying to show you: A while back, I showed my students how you can access Websites “code source” on any given Website. Like, I mean a while ago….. Who knew it would come in handy for the lesson I have been working with them on?}

One of my 5th grade lessons that I am proud of is on the parts of the computer. In this lesson, students dissect and pull a part desktop computers, take photographs, edit them, and create a collaborative Website using Google Sites. This is out first year using the new Google Sites. I love the feel of the of it, but I still find it very limiting when it comes to creatively changing the appearance. I am an artist by trade. It bugs me.

My 5th grade students discovered a “hack” on how to change the look and feel of Google Sites. I was schooled. They taught me something that I cannot believe I didn’t think of myself!

Way to go 5th grade. Way. To. Go.

Without further ado: a 5th Graders Google Site Hack


Upon publishing the site we have determined that the code does not stick. Much attempts by my 5th grade students have erred this post to be only partially awesome. After many attempts and trying ctrl+alt+s, we still cannot get the code to stay. Rest assured- a class pizza party is at stake for the first student who can find (if one exists) workaround. Still, you have to admit that it is pretty cool that they discovered this. My students found this forum regarding this change. Do your part and make a suggestion to Google. This is going to my next lesson!

Google Classroom for ALL!

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Just announced today is the availability to access Google Classroom through your Google Account!

Why is this awesome?

What a great way to create study groups outside of the G Suite Edu Domain. For instance, I will be teaching Google to the community starting in April. It would be an amazing way for me to share all of my resources in one valuable location.

Did somebody say MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) and the possibilities using Google Classroom?

Read more on Google’s Blog here.

Anyway, just passing this along.

Keep Calm and Tech On!

Digital Literacy: Padlet Tutorial and Global

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Technology is changing the way our students learn, read, and obtain information. We need to create a curriculum that nurtures this way of learning.

We need to help our students to learn how to close read both digital and print as well as close read video and imagery.
We need to teach students how to connect and collaborate on a global scale to create effective multi-media pieces that reflect the world in which we live.
Padlet is a great, free (with paid subscription) tool to enhance collaboration and communication by creating a digital wall of ideas to reflect about a particular topic.
For example, I have used Padlet with my 4th grade students and have connected with classrooms around the world to create a collaborative project. 
How do you connect with classrooms around the world? 
Sites such as ePals, Edmodo, Google+ are just some ways to connect! Or you can contact me personally- I am always up for a collaborative project!
Not familiar with Padlet. Help yourself to my tutorial here: Padlet Tutorial.

Certified BrainPOP Educator of March 2017

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Can I tell you how excited I am? It is such a great honor that I have been selected the Certified BrainPOP Educator of the month for March 2017!

If you have been following me on Twitter or this blog, then you probably already know how passionate I am about using BrainPOP! I love the many features, like Make-a-Map, Quizzes, the ability to assign movies, and so on that it provides. I am now in love with BrainPOP’s new feature, Make-a-Movie. {I will be demonstrating that feature for you shortly, as well as provide you with a lesson plan}

For my complete interview, hop on over to BrainPOP here.

Happy teaching!

Locate Google Keep within Google Docs and GSuite- Awesome!

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If you are an avid lover of Google Keep like myself, then you are really going to appreciate the fact that Google has embedded this note-taking app into their GSuite products! You can access Keep right from the “Tools Menu” of your Google Doc….

and easily embed your Google Keep notes and images.
Keep is now also available as part of the GSuite products and can now be found in the Google Apps menu.
This feature would be great to use with your students- especially if they are on a field-trip and they are using handheld devices to take notes and images about what they have learned using the Keep app. Later, they can document their adventure in a Google Doc!
Install the Google Keep extension and use as part of a students research project to bookmark various Websites and have them easily refer to Websites as they are typing their report!
What else could you use this tool for in the classroom?


Free Student Google Login Cards

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Hello! Just a really quick and simple post that I wanted to share. I created the above Google Login Cards for the students at my school from Google Slides. Grab a copy for yourself and edit the information to fit your class needs!
Grab your copy here!


Toontastic is Fantastic! Free Storyboard Included.

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If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a huge fan of project-based learning; and anyway you can incorporate an easy-to-use app that is applicable across the board- I. Am. In!

Toontastic from Google is one of those tools! And best part of it all it is free! Use this 3D story-based app to have you or your students draw, animate and narrate their way to the top of the class. Equipped with an idea lab to help your students begin the journey or have them create a 3 or 5 part guided story or 5 part science report. Did I mention this was free?

I love how the creators at Google prompt their users throughout the story but explaining the different elements in a fun and exciting way.

Personally, my children have been glued to my cell phone creating stories on how much I need to go on vacation… I was even able to download it to keep for a future reference!

Anyway, any great story always should start with good planning. The last thing you want (or need) is having your students come up to the Toontastic bat without an idea of where to begin. I created these storyboard printable for my class, and of course I would love to share them with you all.

Happy creating- and please feel free to share!

Download the free Toontastic Storyboard here.


I can see myself using this to discuss netiquette, Internet Safety, or creating an introduction to the Computer Lab for my students.

Check out more digital storytelling apps here.

Math Resources From Around the Web

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Math. I have to be the first one to admit that it is not my strong suit. I only could wish that they had math applications like the ones listed below for me as I was growing up. Who knows- maybe I could of been a mathematician? Who am I kidding? My right side of my brain is a little bit more dominant.

Anyway- here are some tried and true math games that you can bring into your classroom (or home). Most are free with paid versions.

Splash Math– Is a great game based math site for students in grades K-5. With fun, interactive customizable math games, what kid wouldn’t want to practice their math facts to improve their score? They also have apps available for free and to purchase in iTunes.

Prodigy– I was first introduced to Prodigy at a NYSCATE conference back in 2015. I was handed a flier and spoke to the representative for a matter of 15 minutes. I went back to my hotel that night, logged in and played math (yes, me) for about an hour. I was hooked. Prodigy is great for students K-8 and is a completely free (with paid subscriptions) game based learning system. Have your students battle each other as they go head to head in the same world to answer math facts that are on his/her level. Love. This.

BrainPOP’s Slice Fractions– You want to talk about a fun way to teach children about fractions and logic? Then you must try BrainPOP’s Slice Fractions! Yet another math game that I could spend hours playing. I truly believe that BrainPOP got this one right- although, don’t get me wrong, they have a pretty extensive list of excellent math games that you can check out here as well.

Math Playground- This site was my go-to site when I used to help out as an enrichment teacher. Since 2002, Math Playgrounds has been a promising place on the Web to find free, educational math games to help your students enhance or sharpen their math skills!


PBS Math–  Math mixed with the PBS characters that we all love. Who doesn’t love that? Whether your students learn to “Dress up Time” or measure all the “silly things” with Curious George- this Website is sure to be a hit!

What’s your favorite math place to go to on the Web?

Bloom Into EdTech Alert: Google Releases Insert Video from Drive for Google Slides

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Omigoodness- no way! The moment that I have been waiting for: you can now insert videos from your Google Drive into Google Slides!!!

Why is this so exciting? 

For starters, say your students spent hours creating a “how to video” or they created a video just in general, and they do not have the ability to have a YouTube Channel, this is a great way to embed their videos into Google Slides!

For educators or trainers like myself this is also a great way to share information with your faculty and staff. I often create videos that specifically pertain to my fellow educators at my school. Inserting videos from Google Drive into Google Slides would be a fabulous way for me to create a library of my “in-house” videos for an easy one-stop location.

How would you use this new feature?