Digital Escape Rooms, formative assessment, Game Based Learning, Google Drawing, Google Slides, Stop Motion

Magic Squares Puzzle

I stumbled upon this post on Twitter this past week about an Escape Room puzzle idea. You know how much I LOVE making escape rooms so I thought I give it a try. WOW! What a cool idea.

His name is Jason Pullano and you should give him a follow on (my favorite social media) Twitter. I didn’t alter this in any way other than to change colors to match my theme. His template is FIRE (to quote my daughter) and his video is very helpful if you are not sure what to do.

This is the link to the template he shared on Twitter.

Here is the link to MY puzzle.

click to open

Yep, I hope you caught that message! 12 Days of Techmas is coming soon!!!!

If you use this, please tag us both. Let Jason know how you used it! It makes people happy to see that what they share is beneficial!

Fonts, Google Drawing, Google Slides

Fun with Fonts

If you are at all like me then you LOVE fonts. On my mac I have downloaded WAAAAAY too many fonts. I even have an “unused” fonts folder I created for those fonts I want to keep but just don’t need very often.

My favorite GO TO font source to use with Keynote, PowerPoint, Word, etc. is dafont.com. You can download them for Mac or Windows machines. Double click to unzip the downloaded file (if it’s zipped). The instructions for each platform are below. You will need to restart you applications if they are open before you can see the new fonts.

Mac

Once the downloaded file is unzipped, double click on the file. FontBook will open. Click install.

Windows

I don’t have a windows machine, but here are the instructions I’ve found:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Select Appearance and Personalization.
  3. At the bottom, select Fonts. …
  4. To add a font, simply drag the font file into the font window.

While these fonts on my computer are AMAZING, my usual place of creation is in Google. These downloaded fonts are not available in Google but fear not, here are some tips and websites to make your fonts GREAT.

TextGiraffe has predesigned fonts. Select one you like and download. You can also just drag it to your Google Slide or Google Doc that’s open.

Magic Rainbow Unicorn is a Google Slides extension. You can click the add-ons tab at the top, search for it, and install. Click on the add-ons button again and launch the add-on. You can select the colors and if you want just the text or to highlight. Magic Rainbow Unicorns will change your fonts to rainbow.

Extensis Fonts add on doesn’t “ADD” fonts to the Google Font collection but it does made selecting a font easier. Go to add-ons and search for extensis fonts. Install the add-on. Click on the add-on button again and the font panel will open. Select the text you want to change and then select the font.

You can also make creative titles inside Google Slides, Docs, and Drawing. Here are a few using Word Art. Click through the slide to see the different examples.

I hope you also have a love of fonts and found some new ideas in this post.

Bitmoji, Google Drawing

Create Custom Items in Google Drawing

Let me set the stage: You are creating a custom Bitmoji classroom scene (Tutorial here) or digital escape room scene and you find the PERFECT image, but SAD, it’s not free to use. What do you do? Well, you don’t illegally use it. PLEASE DON’T DO THAT! Instead, you make your own in Google Drawing.

Here is an image I found that is clearly not free because it has a watermark. But I really like the way this desk is situated and I want one like it.

Untitled drawing - 2020-05-14T123017.398

 

 

 

 

 

 

Untitled drawing - 2020-05-14T123451.486Open Drawing and Paste in Clipart

In a new Google Drawing file, paste in the not free to use clipart. Don’t worry, we will delete it later.

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Bitmoji StepsUse Shape Tools to Create Image

Bitmoji Steps (2)Delete, Shrink Canvas, Save

Now that your image is complete, delete the clipart.

Select all by using command (or control) A or click and drag your cursor from top left top bottom right. Move your image to the upper left corner.

Drag the handle in the bottom right corner and shrink your canvas to fit your image.

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Now you can go to file and download as a .png to keep the background transparent or .jpg if you want the background to be white. If you plan to use this image in your custom scene then you want a transparent background.

Here are a few images I have drawn using Google Drawing. You can use the polyline tool or the curve tool, both under the line tool menu and make custom shapes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have fun and please share if you create your own custom images.

Google Drawing, technology, Tutorial

Google Drawing Tutorial

I LOVE GOOGLE DRAWING!!! If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know how much I use Drawing or Drawing features in slides. That’s right, Google Slides uses many of the same features as Google Drawing. WIN!

Google Drawing will download as a transparent .PNG image. It’s vector based, so if you make a large image it will scale without much degradation of the image. I once create panels for a tri-fold display board, printed them and glued them to the board. The images were crisp and looked professional.Google Drawing examples

This is a little tutorial to help you get started with Google Drawing.

Come back soon and we do something FUN with Google Drawing and Google Slides.

BreakoutEDU, Google Drawing, Google Sites, Google Slides

Create a digital Breakout

I love Breakout games and watching students interact with each other to solve problems. What I don’t like about physical breakout games is students missing out on some of the puzzles. The collaboration is great, but when using it as a review, not all students experience the same things. Digital breakouts can be done in groups of 2 or individually and allow the students to experience all of the puzzles.

I created a tutorial for digital breakouts a few years ago, but with the changes to Google sites, the process is sooooo much easier now.

Here is an image that outlines the basic steps.

Digital Breakout Infographic

  1. I try to write my prompts and story ahead of time. This saves me time when I’m putting everything in a Google Site. For the Christmas Breakout I recently wrote, my story line was kind of lame ūüė¶ but it went along with the 12 days of Techmas I created for my school.

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2 and 3. I create my clues in Google Drawing or Google Slides, and I use outside sources like jigsawplanet.com and Snotes. The more creative you are the more fun your breakout will be. I was provided a document from Charles (I wish I knew your last name) at the EdTech Team Summit in Topeka. His crowd-sourced document is loaded with great ideas for digital breakouts.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Er-YHzLAzezTBliy6OUB9Wq5TqyR15sqx2wKsKbCCME/edit?usp=sharing

This first image of the gnome I uploaded into jigsaw planet and created a puzzle, and the second one has a clue hidden in the music notes. You can also overlay transparent images on a Google Drawing so it makes an area clickable. See the animation below.

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You can add more images for visual appeal or as fake clues. You also want your background and titles to be fun. I created some fun graphics in my TrianglesOnly.com breakout.

4. You will use a Google Form to create your locks. I sometimes embed a countdown timer from youtube. BreakoutEDU has a great one that is free to use.Screen Shot 2018-10-27 at 10.49.18 PM

You can also use images of locks to visually represent what lock they are looking for.  You want to click the 3 dots in the bottom right corner and select response validation. Set the lock code to what you want. Remember, they are case sensitive so tell your audience how to type it.Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 2.46.05 PM

5. Now we will put it all together. I use Google Sites (sites.google.com) and house everything there. You can pull directly from your Google Drive to embed your Google Drawings (with transparent links), Google Forms, and any images you have stored in your drive. Word of caution, if you plan to use multiple pages (which I sometimes do) have participants open the Google Form in a new tab so they don’t lose the combinations they have already entered when they click on a new link in the site. If you are not familiar with Google Sites, Matt Miller has a walk-through on Ditch That Textbook that will help.

Here is a link to a Christmas Breakout I made to follow-up our 12 Days of Techmas.

And another Breakout for Geometry called TrianglesOnly.com

Hopefully you will find creating Digital Breakouts as fun as I do. I know my students love them.

Bitmoji, custom headers, Google Classroom, Google Drawing

Custom Google Classroom Headers

I love to customize my Google Classroom banners. I mean, the ones provided by Google are super cute, but if you can add a Bitmoji then it’s better I say. I also sometimes include some icons for the content area. I create my own to avoid copyright issues, but noun project is another great resource to use.

Header example

Google Classroom Header.png

You will create these in Google Drawing. Google Drawing is located in your Drive under more Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 9.55.37 PM  or in your Google waffle.Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 9.54.00 PM

Now we want to go to page set-up under file, select custom, change inches to pixels and create an 800 x 200 pixel canvas.2018-12-04_21-58-27

Now the fun can begin. If you right click (or control click) on the canvas it will allow you to change the background of the canvas. I like to use the gradient feature so the middle is a little lighter.

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I’ve you know ANYTHING about me, you know I like to use the Bitmoji extension. You can learn about how to use the extension in this blog post. Now remember, you don’t want to put words in the middle of you banner because Google Classroom will put the class label in the middle. You also want to leave a little room on the outside edges so it fits your browser configuration.

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I added the words Happy Holidays too. Word Art is another fun tool to use if you want to play around with it.

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Now you are ready to download your creation. I like .png, but you can also use .jpg

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Now that you have your image in your downloads folder or whatever location you send your downloads. Now let’s put this into Google Classroom. Click on the upload photo link in the bottom right corner. Select or drag your image in. TAH DAH, you have a new custom header.

2018-12-04_22-28-47You can see my previous custom header and the new holiday header I just created. Notice the color does get a little darker when you upload. You might also play around with the location of your images. I move mine more towards the top than centered so it looks centered once inside of Classroom.

Now, let’s take this a step further. How about you let students create custom headers and each week you display a new one? Evan Mosier is having one of his classes do this and he has shared a site will the headers created by his students. They are free for anyone to use.

If you make one of your own, let me know @MandiTolenEDU on Twitter. If you use a banner from one of Evan’s students, give them a shout-out on Twitter.

#mathsnaps, Bitmoji, Desmos, Google Drawing, parabolas

Fly Swatters, Parabolas, & MathSnaps

Key features of parabolas are important to understand the why behind quadratic graphs. It seems intuitive, and it is provided an image, but often the situation is represented as a graph with only words to guide students. My students can graph them but seem to struggle with where things are on the graph. We approached quadratics much differently this year, using only Desmos and graphing calculators to graph. We started with an idea from a colleague at another high school in my district. She uses fly swatters on day one to review key features of a parabola. This is not in the context of a situation but a good place to start. Student LOVED this activity.

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This is played relay style (picture was taken on pajama day for homecoming, hence the jammies) and students run up and smack the parabola on the key feature selected.

Fly Swatter Key Features

link to slidedeck

I also gave an exit ticket in Desmos activity builder to see where we still needed to remediate. I really liked this one because it was open-ended. They moved the parabola around to meet each requirement.

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 12.32.11 PM

I’ve included the link to the Desmos activity if you would like to use it as well.

Lastly, we worked with real situations. I gave them an Angry Birds picture and had them label, with their elbow partner, initial height, maximum height, time to max height, and time to the ground. It went pretty well and they got everything but initial height, which led to great discussions.

Our last activity was giving them a situation with an equation, they graphed it in Desmos and used their graph to make #mathsnaps. Bitmoji has updated so it wasn’t as easy to use since the beginning of the year (sad face). Students must now create an account on their app (iOS or Android) then link that to the Chrome extension. For students who didn’t have access to the app, I provided a link to clipart and emojis they could use. Here are a few of the math snaps I received this year.

This is without feedback so some of the information isn’t correct. We’ll be conferencing about it soon.

We learn from mistakes and some of mine will have some learning opportunities. YES!

Bitmoji, Google Drawing, Google Keep

Custom Bitmoji Feedback

I love Bitmojis. I love to show people how easy Bitmoji is to use in Google apps with the Bitmoji Chrome extension. I love to make these Bitmojis custom with your school logo or Google or Ditch That Textbook on the shirt. Here are a few I’ve created and use often.

Algebra 1 CHS Bitmoji (1)

The second one is my Algebra 1 team. We shared a Google Drawing and each dropped in our Bitmojis. We used this for back-to-school documents.

Bitmoji NTI

This one we made as a header for Google Classroom. This was our technology group that presented at our New Teacher Institute this year. We each had our school shirt on. LOVE IT!

Before I get sidetracked by all the fun things we can do with custom Bitmojis, this is really about creating custom FEEDBACK Bitmojis for your students.

Rock Star Work

Before you begin, you will need to download the Bitmoji Chrome Extension. If you haven’t created your Bitmoji, stop, do it now, RIGHT NOW! You are missing out on soooo much fun!

Bitmoji created? Ok, resume the blog post.

This first video is a short tutorial on how to create a custom Bitmoji in Google Drawing. This can be used in ANYTHING, not just Google Keep. I use these in Google Slides and on Twitter all the time.

This alone should make your day. But if you want the awesomeness to continue, place these images in Google Keep for quick feedback in Google Docs. The next video will show you how to do this.

Please share your custom Bitmojis with me on Twitter (@TTmomTT). Here’s a Twitter tip, download your custom Bitmoji as a .jpg so the background turns white. Most of the time you want a transparent background but Twitter will turn that transparent background black and make it more difficult to see.

Hope to see your custom Bitmoji around the Twittersphere.

Geometry, Google Drawing, Google Slides, Trig

Measuring height with Trig

I started to share this project with someone the other day and realized I had never written a blog post for it. We have used this project for quite some time and I love the digital aspect having students label their image and explain their process. We have the students make the clinometers but we give them little guidance as far as the project goes. We want them to problem solve and figure it out. We simply tell them to go measure something bigger than they are. I also limit their travel to school grounds (I did have a student go to the nearby gas station once. You have to be specific!!) I had a group of students last year that forgot their tape measure so they measured in shoe length (yes, I had a one-shoed student outside) and then converted that to inches when they came inside. I love the thought process behind their solution!

Not only does this give purpose to the study of trig, it also gets students outside and working together. It also helps students understand angle of elevation a little better with concrete examples.

I love the first one. She wrote a word problem for her image. Hmm… might have to steal that idea!!

I’ve included my clinometer document (I did steal the image from someone, sorry whoever you are!) and my scoring guide.

Trig Project Scoring Guide

GuideBuild a Clinometer

Happy measuring! Concur Bitmoji

#mathsnaps, Bitmoji, Google Drawing

BookSnaps & MathSnap in Google Drawing

When my students create #mathsnaps in my classroom, they want them to look close to something you would create in SnapChat. I’ve created a little animated¬†gif tutorial below to help with that.

You can screen capture your image or take a picture and upload it to drive. Below explains how to insert your image from drive and resize the page.

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The next piece that makes it look like Snapchat is the partially transparent gray bar with text on it.

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Using the scribble tool you can annotate on your images just like you do in Snapchat.

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Then comes my MOST FAVORITE PART, inserting the Bitmojis. My students have the Bitmoji Chrome Extension installed on their computer so they can drag their Bitmoji to their image.

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The other thing I really like about Snapchat are the “other” sticker options. We can do the same thing if we do an image search within Google Drawing.

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Last but not least, download your image so you can share on Twitter, Instagram or other social media. You wouldn’t need to download if you are submitting to Google Classroom. But… these are more fun when you share!!!

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So here are two images. The first one I created in Snapchat and the second one I created in Google Drawing. They look fairly similar.

Now since I teach math, we do #mathsnaps. Student take images from class and annotate them. Here are a couple of examples we’ve used recently.

Please do #booksnaps and #mathsnaps with your students. They will LOVE them!

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