Freebies, Google Slides, Sorting Cards

Collaborative Group Sorting Cards

Have you ever handed out playing cards at the door to sort your students into groups and then watch as students switch cards to make sure they are in the same group? No? Well maybe it’s just me but it happened often.

To fix this problem, a long time ago (like 10 or 11 years) I created sorting cards using a large index card and glued stickers, playing cards, words, equations, graphs, etc., randomly in groups of 4. I had a deck of 34 so I needed 9 sets of 4 for everything I used. I had 4 sets of 9 equations, 4 sets of 9 graphs, 4 sets of 9 coordinating stickers, and so on.

Once they were laminated, I would stand at the door and had each student an index card. They had NO IDEA what I would choose so there was no point in switching cards with someone. I usually randomly pick a person in the class to pick the sorting theme and then they group up by that theme. If I know I need to put certain students together or keep certain student apart, I will pick the theme beforehand and make sure to give those certain students the card I want them to have.

Yes, I know there are ways to sort digitally, but this is fun, and I can stand at the door and do hall duty while preparing to sort into groups.

Now, here is the sad news. My building had a severe black mold issue at the beginning of the year. Everything I had accumulated in my 20 years of teaching was thrown away. This included my prized sorting cards. Cards that had a lot of time and some money (for stickers and such) invested. We were remote and hybrid for much of the year so I didn’t recreate them.

A few days ago a colleague sent me a tweet from a person asking about these cards. I really thought I had shared this idea via blog post but couldn’t find it anywhere. I also have ZERO pictures of these cards. SAD SAD SAD!!! So I reached out and told the person I would make a digital version that could be personalized, printed, and laminated.

So here you go. OPEN SLIDEDECK TEMPLATE

Print on a color printer (on lightweight cardstock if you can), fold in half and secure with stick glue, laminate, and sort your students. You can change out any of the images, especially the Bitmoji. Mine have a lot of math in them because I’m a math teacher. You may want to change that too. Be caution when adding food if you teach middle and high school. Google the meaning of the food before you use it. Eggplant parm might be a favorite but it will also get you some chuckles at the high school level. And beware when you google pineapple. Geesh!

image of one sorting card

If you use these cards, I would love to hear how it goes!

comics, e-books, Google Slides

e-Book Comics

Did you know you can create a comic book and send it to Kindle or iBooks? You can! And… students LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see their creations in e-book form.

The trick to creating these as e-books it to change Google Slide dimensions to 8.5 x 11. Each type of reader has a slightly different page size and I find this one works the best. It also makes it easy to print if you want to create an actual book.

Step 1

You need a comic template. I have shared my personal template below, as well as a template I altered from Sides Carnival. I have also shared original slide templates from Slides Carnival and Slides Mania. You can always let the students create their own too.

I also have a few non-comic type book templates if you don’t want to create a comic book. I mean, it’s less fun, but sometimes you need a traditional type book 🙂

Step 2

Create your comic. There are many reasons you might create a comic in your classroom. We create them in my math classroom, and if we can use them in math, you can use them ANYWHERE! Image a cartoon in Chemistry where students take an element and write a story about it!

Other ideas could include:

  • Caption This (Laura Steinbrink)
  • Idioms and Figurative Language
  • Political Cartoons
  • Cartoons in a world language
  • Conflict resolution and restorative justice
  • Autobiography
  • Genre study

Here are a few additional resources for creating images for your comics:

  • Bitmoji (this is a 13+)
  • remove.bg (to use their own image in comics)
  • storyboardthat.com (you can create comics here but I really like to use their backgrounds in my own templates)
  • The noun project (for basic icons)
  • Google Drawing Tutorial (to make your own images)
  • Wakelet of free image sites

Step 3

Download your Google Slide as a PDF and place that PDF in your Google Drive folder. On you phone or iPad, go to the file in Drive and click the 3 dots in the corner. Click open in and scroll to the end of your apps where is says more. Once you select more, Kindle and iBooks are both an option. It won’t work with Kindle if the file is too big.

Now you have you e-book on your device. Sit back and watch the excitement on your students faces and know you created an positive memorable learning experience for your students.

If you use any of these resources I would to hear how it worked for you and your students!

Google Slides, Organization

Organization for Students

Students need help with organization. Let me say that again.

STUDENTS NEED HELP WITH ORGANIZATION!

I teach high school and many of my kiddos still need help with organization!

Here are a few things that I have done to help them along the way.

  1. Google Docs Calendar

This is a year-long calendar where I add a new month at the top but students can see all of the previous months. You can also add hyperlinks to Google Classroom assignments or other activities you want students to see.

This is also helpful when you go to plan for next year. You have your whole year to look at. This calendar is easy to embed in Canvas or link to Google Classroom.

2. This week in

I started doing this when we were full remote. On Sunday evening I would post this in Google Classroom so students would have an idea of where we were going for the week. This is a Slides Mania template that I used.

3. Weekly Agendas

Sometimes students needs daily reminders. You can have them complete this or you can complete it in advance.

I know there are many other ways to help keep your students organized. Google Classroom and Canvas both have build in calendars that you can use. You can also teach your students how to use these tools.

Enjoy.

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.

Google Slides, Tutorial, Virtual Learning

Digital FlipBook

A combination of events led to the creation of this digital flip book.

Event 1: Our school ended up with “air quality” issues due to “spores” created from flooding in the school and hot air. Because of this, everything porous is our rooms were thrown in the dumpster. This is 20 years of books, memories, and saved projects, including examples of foldables I do every year. We will be teaching remotely until our building is clean and safe to be in.

Event 2: Covid! When we do return in person, we need to reduce contact with papers. The foldables that I usually make will need to be digital to cut down on paper contact.

Event 3: I saw this digital foldable idea on TikTok from @adungan. I knew this was the solution I’d been looking for.

I created a template to make a five topic foldable. You could easily adapt it to more or less. You can go to View-Master and change the tab names, colors, and adjust the number of tabs.

You can create you own if you want to start from scratch.

  1. Open a new blank Google Slide and go to File-Page Setup. Set the page set-up to 8.5 x 11.

2. Determine how many tabs you want. Let’s make one with 6 tabs this time.

Using the shapes tool, you are going to draw rectangles for the tabs.

You can change the colors to match the color theme you are going for. You can look for color palettes and get the hexidecimal code OR you can intall a Chrome extension color picker like Color Zilla.

3. We are using a color palette that provides us with a hexidecimal code.

We are going to type this code into the custom color paint bucket tool. It’s at the bottom.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have 6 tabs and the last box should cover the remaining space.

You can click on the tabs and go to format then format options and put a drop shadow on it if you want.

5. Now let’s put tabs or words on your flaps. I’ll put a tab, but you could also just put words. To make a tab, go back to the shapes menu and pick the second option, a rounded rectangle.

You can type in the rectangle, just double click on it. You can change your font by clicking on the box that says Arial.

6. Now the magic happens. On the left, right click on the the slide and duplicate slide. You are going to delete the top big box. Then take the next box and drag it to the top, making it the big box.

You will also want to put a home icon or the word home on this slide. We will eventually link this so it goes back to the main slide.

7. Repeat step 6 until you have a slide for each tab.

8. Ok, I said step 6 was where the magic happens, but that’s not really true. This is where the REAL magic happens. We are going to link our slides so when you click on Tab 2 it takes you to Tab 2.

Go back to slide 1. Click on the Topic 1 (whatever you named this), then click the LINK button in the toolbar.

Click the slides in presentation arrow and select slide 2.

Repeat this with each tab, selecting that slide that you want the tab to go to.

You can do this for EVERY slide, OR you can copy all the linked tabs on the first slide and paste them onto the other slides.

You will also click the house (or word home) and link it back to slide 1.

Your template is ready to use. Type in your information OR have your students write on paper and insert a screen capture of their work. This is how I intend to use these.

The five topic template is also available on Slides Mania. Yay! It’s in the By Edu for Edu category. If you use this, let me know. I love to see what people create! You can shout out on Twitter @MandiTolenEDU and use #MMNS and #infinitelyteaching hashtags.

Head over to the Make Math Not Suck Blog to see a flipbook for Geometry in action.

Game Based Learning, Google Forms, Google Slides, Syllabus, Virtual Learning

Syllabus Activity

I have been a fan of John Meehan since he wrote a guest blog post on Ditch That Textbook. His book EdRenaline Rush is also amazing! He is a very helpful, kind, giving educator that you should definitely follow on Twitter.

This is an activity he posted last year and again this year. Many people have taken his idea and put a spin on it. Here is mine, along with some resources I use. Full credit goes to John. I’m so glad he is part of my PLN!!!

We will begin remotely this year, not because of Covid but because of an “air-quality” issue in our building, resulting in a complete gut our our building. All of our books, resources, supplies, decorations, etc. were thrown in the trash. 😦 That was 20 years of memories gone. The good news is when we return, our building will be safe for staff and students (well Covid safety measures will still be in place!!!).

Since I will start virtually, this activity is set up for remote students. John has his set up for in-person OR virtual.

Inside this activity I link to the following:

click to open

This template has additional colors to choose from.

click to open

This is the same about you activity I’ve shared before. I made the header match our theme.

click to open

John has some of this type activity on Twitter if you want to give choices. Choices are good!

Click to open

This is a different syllabus template I’ve used in the past. You can also change the background color.

I know this seems like more work that just printing your syllabus, but imagine the excitement for your students to explore and learn about your class in a fun way and not just listen to you as you explain your syllabus.

If you make one of these, please tweet out to John @MeehanEDU and me @MandiTolenEDU. We would LOVE!!!!! to see them.

Distance Learning, EdPuzzle, Google Forms, Google Slides, Virtual Learning

Interactive Video (Ed-Puzzle Hack)

I LOVE EDPUZZLE! It’s a quick way to help students engage in a video they are watching. It’s also great for virtual learning. What I don’t love about EdPuzzle is the limitations in the free version. You only get 20 free videos. That will get me through, MAYBE, my first 2 units. You can refer people to EdPuzzle to get more, but who has time for that?

If your district will pay for the PRO version of EdPuzzle, DO IT! Most districts, however, are not in a financial situation to do this. So, I’ve created a HACK to have an EdPuzzle like experience. You can use it IN the classroom or during VIRTUAL learning.

Pros and Cons of my Hack–Pro, it’s free! Con, you can’t prevent students from moving ahead a slide to see the answer.

So here we go… I have two different approaches for you.

Google Slides

You can trim videos INSIDE Google Slides. Just insert your video. When you click on it (not the play button, but the video itself) you will get a Format Slide button right above the slide. Click on it and it will open a menu to the right. You can set the start and stop time for this video clip.

Put your question and answer box on the slide.

I duplicate the slide, and set my start time on the next slide exactly where I left off on this one before. The I watch the video and pause when I want to stop. You can click the button “use current time” to set it that point. Change your question for the new slide.

Keep going until you have each slide set for each question you want to ask.

This is the type of slide activity that you use NOT IN PRESENT MODE. You will also want to set it in Google Classroom to make a copy for each student. They will submit their completed Google Slide when they are finished.

Click here to get the template of my activity.

Slides + Forms

The drawback to JUST using the Google Slide is having to open each student to see their responses. I with we could clip videos in Google Forms, but we can’t, so here is my solution.

Create your Google Slide JUST LIKE I DID for OPTION 1. I just left the questions off.

Now, I’m going to create a Google Form to accept the answers.

If you have never used Tab Scissor and Tab Glue, you’ve been missing out. If you have your tabs open side by side and click Tab Scissors, it will open the tabs in two equal windows. When you are finished, click tab glue and it puts it back together.

This way students can see the video and question at the same time. You can also hit present to make it full size and when you hit ESC it goes back to the split screen.

To recap, if you need less than 20 videos, use EdPuzzle. If your district will pay for the Pro version, use EdPuzzle. If neither of those work for you, use this Hack.

Let me know if you use this. Shoutout on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook at tag #MMNS and #infinitelyteaching!!!\

Happy Creating.

Game Based Learning, Google Slides, technology, Uncategorized

Memory Game with Google Slides (UPDATE)

Most of the content in this post is similar to the original post. You can view it here. I’ve learned a little since I created that first post so now the process is better and it’s possible to update the content once you make. If you don’t want to create your own from scratch, Matt Meyer (@54Mr_Meyer) has created templates that are available on Slides Mania.

I REALLY dislike cutting out paper activities. This dislike is what prompted me to create my first activity (drag and drop Geometry Proofs) with technology. When my team found a fun Memory Game activity I CRINGED at the thought of cutting out all of those sets and then finding a place to store them.

memory.ngsversion.1438028331698.adapt.1900.1I went through a few attempts to create a memory game in Google Slides. I thought about linking pages but I needed to see two at a time. I wanted to remove one element “on click” but I could only get them to dissolve in a specific order. I settled on deleting the cards and it worked like a charm.

2017-10-01_17-42-07

I know, you are all wanting to create your own memory game now! You’re in luck, I have a quick tutorial for you!

Memory NumbersWe are going to use the Master Slides to create our content (the back of the cards). This will prevent the movement of the content when players remove the top card. Using the Master Slides will also make editing possible should you wish to change this activity in the future. The way I suggested to do this before would not allow that. 

Here is how to access Master Slides. You will scroll to the bottom and use the blank slide.

I used the basic white background so it didn’t distract from game. Place all of the “back side” of the cards, the part with the content, evenly spaced on your Master Slide. I ended up putting boxes around mine to help me get them spaced. I love that Google Slides give you guide lines as you place your items.

Parallel & Perpendicular Memory Game (4)

You can also use the arrange menu and select horizontal or vertical and align them perfectly.

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 5.18.26 PM.png

Memory Numbers (1)

Now we will close the Master Slides menu by clicking the x in the top right corner.

Once Master Slides closes, you should see your blank slide. You can right click (two finger click) on the blank slide and Apply Layout, selecting the layout with your content. You should now see your content you created earlier displayed in the slide.

Memory Numbers (2)We are ready to make the cards. I used the rectangle shape and held down the SHIFT key to make sure I had perfect squares. Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 5.30.27 PM

I used the gradient tool to select the background and put a ? on it just like the original memory game.

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 5.32.40 PM.pngOne suggestion from my students was to make this an image so the ? wasn’t editable. Sometimes when clicking on the square they got the ? instead.

You could make these cards in Google Drawing and download it as a PNG to use in the game.

You can copy and paste these and use the align tool again to get them close to where you want them. Then move them exactly where you need them.

Memory Numbers (3)Create the rules page. I’ve included the image of my rules page below. It explains how you would “flip” the cards over to play the game.

A question I get a lot is how to flip over the cards. You aren’t REALLY flipping over the cards, you are deleting the cards to reveal the content behind it. You delete 2 cards. If they are a match they remain deleted. If they are NOT a match, you undo twice using control Z or the UNDO arrow and the next person takes their turn.

Parallel & Perpendicular Memory Game (5)

Memory Numbers (4)Play the game!

2017-10-01_17-42-07

I sent this to my students through Google Classroom and said make a copy for each student. They enjoyed it and learned from the activity as well.

If you make a memory game, please share! I love to see how people use my ideas.

Tag me on Twitter @MandiTolenEDU and use the #infinitelyteaching. If you want to use Matt’s template, head over to SlidesMania and snag it.

Digital Escape Rooms, Google Forms, Google Slides, Microsoft, PowerPoint, Sway

Digital Escape Rooms with Microsoft

If you’ve been around the blog for awhile, or follow me on Twitter, you know my love for all things Google. When I created my tutorial for Digital Escape Rooms (posted on Ditch That Textbook) it was using all Google apps.

I know some fellow educators out there are not in a Google school. Other educators are Google schools but they can’t use Google Forms.  Never fear, here is a tutorial to create a digital escape room using Microsoft Sway, PowerPoint (or Google Slides) and Forms.

The process is the same except for the location of the image and the last step and you can even use Matt’s planning template.

Digital Escape Room Infographic - Microsoft  Matt's Creating a digital escape room template

1. Write your prompt

You need a good story to hook the audience. When you go to a physical escape room, they set up the situation with a story or information at the beginning. The purpose of this Halloween themed digital escape room was to share some tech ideas with my staff in a fun way.

So I wrote an introduction to tell my audience what was happening:

“It’s a blast from the past! But when I blasted from the future to my 50’s living room, I lost my copy of Ditch That Textbook. Click on the clues in the room to help me find my signed and treasured copy.”

2. Create your clues

Determine how many and what kind (number, word, etc.) of clues you want. I want this escape room to be a fun activity for teachers to do as stress relief at the end of school and maybe gain some inspiration for next school year. During this step, I also created all of my clues. Some are in PowerPoint, Docs, Excel, Jigsaw Planet, etc. I keep all of these in a folder in One Drive so everything is together.

Here are the clues I used for my digital escape room:
  • Microsoft Training Site through a Sway page – CLUE: VV (1)V (2)which translates to 503 with the pigeon number cypher.
  • Editable PDF hack in Google Slide – CLUE: EDIT with alphabet cypher translates to 761122
  • Choice menus from Kasey Bell – launched from an excel sheet – CLUE: BUFFET
  • Using animated Bitmoji’s from Snapchat – launched from a cypher in Docs – CLUE: DANCE

Here is a Wakelet collection with even more clue making resources.

3. Create your image(s)

I almost always have an interactive image that I create in Google Drawing. But to embed in Sway, you have to use used something with an iframe embed code. I know, what the heck is that. No worries, I’ll walk you through it later. In the mean time, use PowerPoint (or Google Slides) to create your image. We will embed this in our Sway at the end and the links or “hotspots” will remain active.

Open a new PowerPoint (or Google Slide) and start creating your scene. I changed by screen size to 4:3. You do this under the design tab, then select slide size.

Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 2.20.49 PM

It can be as easy as a single image (the reindeer in this Reindeer Games digital escape room), or as fancy as a full scene (like the image below).

Slide1

Once your image is created, you may want to download this and set it as your background. This prevents you from accidentally moving one of your components while setting your hotspots. To download the image, click on the File, then download as images. This will make a zip file. You will have to unzip it (double click usually) to use it. Once you have the image, then click on the Design tab and choose Background, picture from file. Navigate to you photo and upload it. Don’t forget to select all and delete everything from your page (it’s scary, I know, but you have an undo button). You will see your image set as the background.

Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 2.45.29 PMScreen Shot 2020-05-08 at 2.47.31 PM

After your image is created and set as your background, you need to link your clues to each object. I have 5 clues, so I linked it to the clock, phone, tv, coffee table, and pink sofa.

You can make anything you added to your image clickable as a link! PowerPoint 365 is a little different than Google Slides. You can use a shape or textbox for this next step. If you use a shape, set it to no fill and no outline. If using a textbox, delete the text. Double click on the shape or click on the textbox and go to the insert tab and choose link. Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 2.56.22 PMType or paste the URL for the clue you are linking. To prevent the text from showing I use a period and change it to the color of the object it’s over.  If you are using anything cloud based, make sure share settings are set for anyone to be able to view.

If you are using the desktop version of PowerPoint, you can just right-click on the shape you drew and add your link. It’s much easier on the desktop version. You will have to your PowerPoint to the One Drive cloud to get the embed link.

Some breakouts may have more than one image or page. In my trianglesonly.com breakout game, I had multiple pages on the top tab to replicate a dating site, so I repeated the process for each image I created.

4. Create your locks

If all of your clues are numbers and you have the pro version of Microsoft forms will can create your locks in Microsoft. You can create create a cypher for each clue to change it from letters to numbers. I show some examples in this escape room. You can make your Cypher images in any image editing program. You can also use PowerPoint and download the files as .jpg or .png.

I don’t have the pro version of Microsoft Forms so I’m using Google Forms. Create a new Google Form (I keep everything for each escape room in one folder). You want to use response validation (check out this video for a walkthrough on how to add it) so they have to type in the correct clue. You also want to make the question required.

Adding response validation to Google forms.

For number locks, I use the number is equal to setting then type in the number you want. You can also type in a custom response if they get it wrong. For a number, I usually just use “try again”.

Example error message text for digital escape room locks in Google Forms.

For letter locks, you will select text contains. Forms are case sensitive so my clue usually directs them to capital or lowercase letters.

Example help message text for digital escape room locks in Google Forms.

Continue this process until you have all of your clues entered.

I like to include a special message or image once the person “escapes”. To do this, create a new section in your Google Form.

Digital escape room locks: add a section to your Google form.

On this new page, you can post a message or an image congratulating them on escaping.

Digital escape room locks: add an image or message to Google Forms.

 

5. Create your Sway

In my opinion, this is the most exciting part of the process. This is when everything you have created comes together as an escape room.

Got to sway.com and start new. A title card will always be the first card offered. Title your Sway and add any images you wish. There is a design tab if you want to play around.

Now add you image (or images). Click the plus sign, then the media tab, and then embed.

Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 3.08.42 PM

Now let’s go get our embed code. Your image is in PowerPoint (Google Slides instructions will be below). In PowerPoint, click file, share, and embed. Copy the embed code.

Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 3.10.30 PM Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 3.11.47 PM

Head back over to sway and paste the embed code in the card.

Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 3.13.03 PM

Google slides will need to be published to obtain the embed code. Go to File – Publish to Web. When you click publish, an embed code will be available.

Now let’s insert our Form. Whether you use Microsoft or Google, the process is very similar. Click the + in Sway and select Embed again.

Go to your Form. Click Send then the <> tab to get the embed code. Paste this code in the Sway card.

Now you are ready to preview your Digital Escape Room. Click the play button in the top right corner. How does it look?

When you are ready to share with others, you use the share button. You can copy a link or create a QR code.

Whew! You made it to the end. Now you are ready to go create your own Digital Escape Room with Sway.

You can try out the Digital Escape Room created during this post with the link below.

https://sway.office.com/s/2Hvb5Qm4ehy2Mn54/embed