I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!
I’m counting down to summer with SIMPLE Spring Tech Tips because, let’s face it, we still need to engage our students right up to the bitter end, but none of us need anything complicated in our lives at this point.


So far, I’ve talked about using Learningapps for quick reviews, making your PowerPoint presentations interactive with Poll Everywhere and typing in present mode, transforming film clips into learning tools with EdPuzzle, and grabbing the students’ attention by customizing your Google Classroom theme.


Today I want to discuss Super Teacher Tools. Super Teacher Tools is a free, easy-to-use website that enables you to customize games for your classroom and play (online or off). The site does utilize Flash (sorry Apple peeps, but a paid app will enable you access). If you need to know how to enable Flash on student Chromebooks, check out this tutorial.


Here are some of the things you can do with Super Teacher Tools:
I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!

I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!
At first glance, the game aspect seems a lot like Learningapps, but it does not track student progress, so this is best for whole class review or for sharing a link in Google Classroom for small group play (a Google Classroom button does pop up for some of the features).


Here are a few fun ways to use the tools on the site:
  1. To improve attendance at the end (especially on review days with seniors), use the random name generator to pick a name for a prize each day. They have to be there to claim it.
  2. Use the wheel to mix up review. If you have an arsenal of games like I do, put one on each part of the wheel. Spin it to decide which one the students will play.
  3. Select review groups randomly with the Group Maker tool.
  4. Use the timer or the countdown tool to time students in quick group reviews with flashcards.
  5. Use the dice if students are “caught” doing the right thing. They can roll and whatever number they get, you give them that answer on their study guide (or roll for extra credit points as a reward).


If you want to create a game, or use the spinner/ dice/ random name selector/ seating chart tools, simply go to the website and start creating. You will enter your email address and a password (no need to create an account--it’s automatic) so the site will send you a link to access the game.

This is how I created a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Game:
I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!
I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!

I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!

I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!

I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!

You can also download the game once you’ve created it, so you can play offline.
I'm back with Spring Tech Tip #2, which is all about Super Teacher Tools! This resource allows teachers to customize games for classroom use and has some integration with Google Classroom. Learn some fun ways to use Super Teacher Tools and about how to use it in this blog post!

Here at the end, my students and I are playing the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire game in kind of a different way. The school has already collected their Chromebooks for the summer, so individual and small group review with the link are off the table.

But the Millionaire game works best with one or two players going the whole 15 questions alone. So everyday for review, I randomly select two students to come to the board. If they make it through all 15 questions, the whole class (present on that day) gets a couple of extra points added to their exam. If they don't make it through all the rounds, then two more have to come up and try until they do.

This keeps the students engaged and collaborating--they are actively cheering for the students who are "up" (and paying attention to the review).

A word of caution about this method--you have to be very careful when explaining it to your class. They need to understand that everybody is on the same side and if one pair gets one wrong, the rest of the students cannot be mean about it or the game has to stop, and that means no extra credit for anyone.

This encourages individuals to study their study guides, as well, because they don't know when they will be selected (and the rest of the class is counting on them).


I love gems like this site for quick go-tos and mixing things up. I always have a backup plan, like these reliable game templates, especially since Flash sites can be finicky. But for variety (especially when you can just search for and use an already created game), Super Teacher Tools is a lot of fun.

How do you get creative with tech and keep students engaged at the end? Leave a comment below, and let me know!


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We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.
Three. More. Weeks. We can do this. But it's difficult to keep the students engaged here at the end. So I'm counting down to summer break with simple spring tech tips that will help you mix things up for the students but still be easy for you to implement.

So far I've discussed creating LearningApps, adding Poll Everywhere to your PowerPoint Presentations, typing in present mode in PowerPoint, and using Edpuzzle to teach with film clips.

This week, I want to share a crazy, simple trick that even my seniors get excited over. So here it is...

Spring Tech Tip 3: Customize your Google Classroom Theme

As useful as I've found Google Classroom, if it always looks the same, the students get bored with it and don't check the feed as often as they should. So I personalize it for them by changing the pictures in the header on the theme--if you're not already doing this, it makes all the difference.

We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.I take pictures of students working in class and add them. They like to check and see which pictures made the cut. Everybody wants to see themselves on the screen (even if it's just a Chromebook screen).

But if you just snap a picture and upload it to the header, it will be stretched out and distorted. So there are a couple of steps you need to take before loading a picture if you want to avoid this.

If you are familiar with making digital collages and adjusting image sizes, these are the sizes you'll need:

800 x 200 pixels or
8.3333 x 2.0833 inches

If you have no idea what this means, stick around for the tutorial, and be sure to download the free cheat sheets that you can print and have right in front of you the first time you give it a try.

You could use several programs to adjust your images, but I'm going to talk about how to do it in PowerPoint (super easy, and most of us have it) and Google Drawings (free, we all have it on Google, and it's what I use if I'm doing it from my Chromebook).

Here's How It Works


We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.


We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.
Grab the PowerPoint Cheat Sheet HERE.
We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.

We're counting down to the end of the school year with spring tech tips, and Spring Tech Tip 3 is to customize your Google Classroom theme! Students can get bored with Google Classroom, but changing the header to pictures of your students working in class helps keep their attention! Click through to read this tutorial.
Grab the Google Drawings Cheat Sheet HERE.

It's the small things that count here at the end. If you try this, let me know how it goes. If you already do it, how does it work out for you? Leave a comment below, and be sure to check back in next week for Spring Tech Tip 2!

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My fourth Spring Tech Tip is all about getting started with EDpuzzle, a free app that integrates with Google Classroom! With EDpuzzle, you can shorten clips, insert questions into the clips, and track whether students actually watch the clips. Click through to learn more and get a tutorial for setting it up!
Here at the end, when we’re racing to fit everything in and the students are actively resisting, mixing it up becomes even more important. One of my favorite ways to do that is with the video webquest.


The video webquest enables students to learn a lot in a short amount of time, and it does not require direct instruction from the teacher--something that quickly gets tiresome for the students--especially in the spring.


My fourth Spring Tech Tip is all about getting started with EDpuzzle, a free app that integrates with Google Classroom! With EDpuzzle, you can shorten clips, insert questions into the clips, and track whether students actually watch the clips. Click through to learn more and get a tutorial for setting it up!Students watch a series of short film clips and respond to them. It’s a great strategy, but I’ve often thought that it would be great if I could shorten some of the clips I want to use, insert the questions directly into the point of the film where the answers come, and track whether or not students actually view the clip.


You can easily do all of these things with EDpuzzle, a FREE app that integrates with Google Classroom.

There are so many seriously amazing apps out there. I often feel that I am behind on trying them out--it can certainly be overwhelming. I try many, but I have three criteria for actually implementing a new one in my classroom:


  1. It has to be easy to use.
  2. It has to truly save me time.
  3. It has to engage my students.


I'm just being honest when I put the first two reasons first--this teaching gig is quite involved. The EDpuzzle app made my cut, and I am really liking it so far. And setting it up is unbelievably simple.

Here's How to Get Started with EDpuzzle:


My fourth Spring Tech Tip is all about getting started with EDpuzzle, a free app that integrates with Google Classroom! With EDpuzzle, you can shorten clips, insert questions into the clips, and track whether students actually watch the clips. Click through to learn more and get a tutorial for setting it up!

My fourth Spring Tech Tip is all about getting started with EDpuzzle, a free app that integrates with Google Classroom! With EDpuzzle, you can shorten clips, insert questions into the clips, and track whether students actually watch the clips. Click through to learn more and get a tutorial for setting it up!

My fourth Spring Tech Tip is all about getting started with EDpuzzle, a free app that integrates with Google Classroom! With EDpuzzle, you can shorten clips, insert questions into the clips, and track whether students actually watch the clips. Click through to learn more and get a tutorial for setting it up!

My fourth Spring Tech Tip is all about getting started with EDpuzzle, a free app that integrates with Google Classroom! With EDpuzzle, you can shorten clips, insert questions into the clips, and track whether students actually watch the clips. Click through to learn more and get a tutorial for setting it up!

My fourth Spring Tech Tip is all about getting started with EDpuzzle, a free app that integrates with Google Classroom! With EDpuzzle, you can shorten clips, insert questions into the clips, and track whether students actually watch the clips. Click through to learn more and get a tutorial for setting it up!



I especially like that it keeps track of who watched the film and who didn’t and who submitted on time and who didn’t. So how am I using this?

  1. As a bellringer (warm-up)
  2. To review a concept before a quiz.
  3. As a quick assignment to break up a lecture.
  4. As an exit ticket to both review what we learned and to check for understanding.

EDpuzzle provides a user-friendly platform for short and engaging formative assessment. I will not give up my video webquests for the more involved lessons (like Trench Warfare or the Holocaust), but EDpuzzle is invaluable for breaking up a long lesson, introducing short bursts of content, and assessing what students have learned so far.


How do you use EDpuzzle? Is there an app you can’t live without? Leave a comment below to let me know. And be sure to check out my other quick and easy Spring Tech Tips.

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Did you know that you can type in present mode in PowerPoint? No? Well, you're in luck, because this post gives you a tutorial of how to do that! Click through to read the steps, look at graphics, AND watch a video showing you how to type in present mode in PowerPoint!
I'm counting down to summer break with SIMPLE spring tech tips. Here at the end, we want to mix things up and engage the students, but amid review season, we don't want to throw anything too complicated into that mix.

Did you know that you can type in present mode in PowerPoint? No? Well, you're in luck, because this post gives you a tutorial of how to do that! Click through to read the steps, look at graphics, AND watch a video showing you how to type in present mode in PowerPoint!I've written about a simple website called Learning Apps to engage your students in review and how to insert Poll Everywhere into your presentations to make the dreaded lecture more interactive. This week I'm talking about a very simple trick you can use to type on PowerPoint Slides WHILE you are presenting.

I use this trick for a few different things:
1. Keeping score as part of a review game
2. Filling out graphic organizers during a lecture
3. Categorizing information for test review

I'm sure there are many more ways you can find to use this. But for now, here is Spring Tech Tip 5--

Type in Present Mode in PowerPoint

It's just a couple of simple steps. I've listed them here, or you can download the cheat sheet and watch the tutorial below.

Did you know that you can type in present mode in PowerPoint? No? Well, you're in luck, because this post gives you a tutorial of how to do that! Click through to read the steps, look at graphics, AND watch a video showing you how to type in present mode in PowerPoint!

Did you know that you can type in present mode in PowerPoint? No? Well, you're in luck, because this post gives you a tutorial of how to do that! Click through to read the steps, look at graphics, AND watch a video showing you how to type in present mode in PowerPoint!
Download the Cheat Sheet
Now, put it in slide show mode, and type away! It's as easy as that! And be sure to check out the video below.
You can get the game I used as a demo HERE, or as part of a money-saving bundle HERE.

This week, I've linked up with some other teachers who are also sharing great end-of-the-year survival tips. Thanks to Education with DocRunning for organizing!


An InLinkz Link-up

What are you doing to keep your students engaged right up to the end? Leave a comment below, and let me know!



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Even at the end of the school year, sometimes a lecture can't be avoided in the secondary classroom. However, you can make that lecture more interesting and engaging by using Poll Everywhere. I give a quick tutorial about how to use Poll Everywhere in this blog post.
The irony of spring is that while it's the time of year that arguably matters most (photo finish with the curriculum, not to mention testing season), it's also the time of year that is the most difficult to engage our students.The seniors have their caps and gowns and the underclassmen have their summer daydreams.

But we still have to teach them. And more often than not, we have a lot to teach them. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the classroom knows that's no easy task once the flowers are blooming.

So I'm counting down to summer break with Spring Tech Tips that are guaranteed(ish) to engage your most reluctant spring-time learners (uh-hem...everyone). Last week I wrote about learningapps.com, a super awesome, free platform that allows you to create fun activities for your classroom. If you missed it, don't worry, you can check it out HERE.

This week, I'm going to talk about something that I try to avoid. It's a thing that I don't like and that students HATE. I've written about avoiding it HERE. It's none other than the the dreaded lecture....

But sometimes it just can't be avoided. And we all know that finishing a content-heavy course can be like stuffing your entire wardrobe into a carry-on. You want to do engaging activities for everything, but it just won't all fit in. When this happens, you have to crumple topics up into the tiniest possible bits and just hand them to your students. The trouble is, they don't want to take them.

So that leads us to Spring Tech Tip # 6

Even at the end of the school year, sometimes a lecture can't be avoided in the secondary classroom. However, you can make that lecture more interesting and engaging by using Poll Everywhere. I give a quick tutorial about how to use Poll Everywhere in this blog post.Wake Up Presentations with Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere is nothing new. It's an app/website that enables you to create polls or even interactive word clouds. Your students text a code or visit a special web address, and they can respond to the poll and see the results in real time.

That alone is pretty cool, but you can add the app to PowerPoint Presentations and Google Slides in order to make your presentations interactive. Below is a How-To for PowerPoint and Google Slides (it works the same in both). 
Even at the end of the school year, sometimes a lecture can't be avoided in the secondary classroom. However, you can make that lecture more interesting and engaging by using Poll Everywhere. I give a quick tutorial about how to use Poll Everywhere in this blog post.
Download the Cheat Sheet!
If you opt for the free version, then you can only poll 40 people at a time, but I find that is fine for most classrooms. The word cloud option (and the tax write-off) is the main reason I'd shell out the $50 a year. 

With the word cloud, students type in words from your prompt. I've always started topics with these on the whiteboard. So if we're discussing the Industrial Revolution, I might write, "Consumer," and students would create a word cloud with ideas that came to mind when they thought of that word (shopping, buying, taking, money...). With Poll Everywhere, students can type the words on their devices, and they appear in your presentation as a nice word cloud graphic.

Now, the word cloud does come with the free option, but the paid version allows the presenter to, uh-hem, make an undesirable word disappear with a click--quite often a necessity with secondary students.

Whether you use the free or the paid version, Poll Everywhere is super useful for encouraging your students to be more than passive viewers at your lecture--it enables them to become participants.

What are your best spring tech tips? leave a comment below to let me know. Oh, and don't forget to check back next week for Spring Tech Tip 5.

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LearningApps is a free website that teachers can use to engage their students in interactive reviews, games, and quizzes. I'm sharing more about how LearningApps works and how you can get the most of out of it in my new Spring Tech Tip series post!
The school year is winding down, the natives (teachers and students) are getting restless, and it’s time for my annual countdown to summer vacation. In the past, I’ve written about Spring Survival Tips and Google Classroom Hacks to help us all survive the heady springtime. 

This year, I’m moving in a different direction. I want to discuss technology, but I want to branch out from only Google Classroom (although one Classroom tip has made the cut, and I am an avid Google Classroom user), and discuss technology in general that will help you hold your students’ interest right until the bitter, bitter end. There is so much available out there for technology that is truly innovative and engaging. 

My goal with this series is to bring you the seven most innovative and engaging (oh, yes, and easy to use) technology tools out there to keep your students' minds off the beach and on their class work as we count down to the holy grail of holidays--summer break. 

I’ll be bringing you seven weeks of Spring Technology Tips. Some are technological marvels that I’ve used in my own classroom and some are technology that my colleagues swear by. 
LearningApps is a free website that teachers can use to engage their students in interactive reviews, games, and quizzes. I'm sharing more about how LearningApps works and how you can get the most of out of it in my new Spring Tech Tip series post!

So here is Spring Tech Tip #7: 

Add Variety with LearningApps

LearningApps is a free website that allows you to create interactive reviews, games, and quizzes to share with your students by link, or you can create a classroom within learning apps for your students to join via a special link (once they have created a free account for themselves). 

The site itself is German, but there are TONS of resources in English. You can search the site by grade range and subject for already created activities or easily generate activities of your own. It is very simple to create these apps--you decide the format you want to use, click the app template, and fill in the information.

Here's How to Get Started with LearningAppsLearningApps is a free website that teachers can use to engage their students in interactive reviews, games, and quizzes. I'm sharing more about how LearningApps works and how you can get the most of out of it in my new Spring Tech Tip series post!


LearningApps is a free website that teachers can use to engage their students in interactive reviews, games, and quizzes. I'm sharing more about how LearningApps works and how you can get the most of out of it in my new Spring Tech Tip series post!

LearningApps is a free website that teachers can use to engage their students in interactive reviews, games, and quizzes. I'm sharing more about how LearningApps works and how you can get the most of out of it in my new Spring Tech Tip series post!
Click HERE to Download the Free Cheat Sheet

Watch Me Make An App with LearningApps

Tomorrow, I'm giving notes over the Industrial Revolution in my world history class. The tenth graders are freshly back from spring break, it's a full moon, and this can be a dry topic, but it's an extremely important one. I'm creating this app to share in Google Classroom. Students will play in pairs as an alternative to a note quiz for a review. I'll also embed it right here for you to try.



Try It Out!


What is your favorite classroom technology? Leave a comment below and let me know!

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