Bitmoji, Digital Escape Rooms, Uncategorized

Bitmoji Scene

If you’ve been around me at all, you know my love for Bitmoji. There are many posts on my blog about using them in the classroom. One way I like to use my  Bitmoji is creating the main image in a digital escape room. You can see an example of it here and here.

During this Covid-19 virtual learning time, I have seen many teachers take this idea and remake their classroom. What a fun way to give convey information to your students. The process to make a virtual classroom is the same as the one I use to make an escape room image.

There are video tutorials available. Here are links to a few that are good.

tutorial 1     tutorial 2

and this website has compiled many posted Bitmoji classroom images for inspiration.

I learn better with step by step instructions and not a video so I thought I would put together a quick tutorial for you.

Before we begin, I want to emphasize the importance to using images with appropriate rights. Do not use images from a normal Google search. You might get images that are not free to use.  In Google Slides, or Drawing you can insert image and do a search. These images are free to use. You can also filter your images in a regular Google search.

Untitled drawing - 2020-05-13T183442.299

labeled for reuse: you are able to use these photos in any way that you’d like whether they be for commercial purposes such as your own website, or noncommercial purposes such as a school project.

reuse with modifications means everything above and you can remove the background, change colors, etc.

noncommercial reuse: you are able to reuse the photo as long as you are doing so in a place that doesn’t represent a commercial entity

Noncommerical reuse should give you the most options but if you plan to crop or change colors, choose with modification

Ok, now that the “Rules” have been covered, let’s make a scene.

Untitled drawing - 2019-09-02T101848.739Open Drawing, Slides, or PowerPoint

For Digital Escape Rooms, I build mine in Google Drawing, but you can also make them in Google Slides or PowerPoint. Google Drawing and Google Slides have the ability to embed them in a website or anything that accepts an embed code. PowerPoint does too if you save it to One Drive. You want something cloud based to keep your links active if you are using it to share information. Google Slides and PowerPoint will embed as an iframe but Google Drawing does not, so make sure you know what type of embed code you need. If you are using Google Sites to house your escape room, Google Drawing is what you want to use.

Untitled drawing - 2019-09-02T102527.467Find a wall and floor

You can search for wall and floor and you will set options together. I will also just design my own sometimes. You can create a solid color flooring, for example gray for a concrete floor and create a pattern on the wall for wall paper. The first example below is a wall and floor created by me, including the baseboard. The second example is using separate wall and floor combinations found on the internet. For the one we make today I’m going to use a combo that I found online.

This link is a Wakelet of image resources. Sometimes a search just doesn’t get you what you want.

Circle Unit Escape Room      Qadrilateral Escape Room Image (1)

This was my search and the first few images that came up from insert – image in Google Drawing. I picked the second one and it wasn’t quite tall enough so I pasted in another and cropped out the floor. This is one of the reasons I like finding the wall and floor separate. You can make the wall and floor meet wherever you want.

Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 8.12.45 PM Classroom Bitmoji   Classroom Bitmoji (1)

Untitled drawing - 2019-09-02T103223.198Add classroom elements and your Bitmoji

Now the fun begins. Using the same search methods or websites, start adding in furniture. Make sure you set the search to transparent or type transparent after the image to try to get transparent backgrounds. You can also make your own (Tutorial). In the two image in step 2, I made the sofa, rug, lamp, and shadows in image 1 and the desk in image 2. I used the shape tools in Google Drawing (Slides) to create them. You don’t have to do this but it is an option if you can’t find what you need.

Using the Bitmoji extension for Google Chrome will make adding your Bitmoji easier, just drag it from the extension to your drawing. If you don’t use Chrome or don’t want the extension, you can always email from the app on your phone. Saving the image from the email will retain the transparent background.

If you want to add in photos of pets, your own furniture, or other personal objects (the yellow mug with pens below), you can use remove.bg to remove the background. This also works for clipart, just make sure it has modification rights.

Making a whiteboard is easy. Draw a white rectangle and then using the trapezoid tool, create a frame. I use a gradient for the color. You can see a metal frame and a wooden frame below. The rug below is just an oval shape.

Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 8.33.37 PM

Classroom Bitmoji (2)    Classroom Bitmoji (3)

Classroom Bitmoji (4)

Untitled drawing - 2019-09-02T104031.085Set Hotlinks

Once you have your image ready, you can set hotlinks on the image. If it is not a grouped imaged you can click the image and the link symbolScreen Shot 2020-05-14 at 11.33.09 AM and type in or paste the URL. If it is a grouped image, you need to put a transparent square or circle using the shape tool and link to that.

Untitled drawing - 2019-09-02T111647.929Use your image

If you are using your image for a digital escape room and you are putting it in Google Sites, just insert the drawing inside Sites.

If you are using Sway or a website, you need publish it (Slides or PowerPoint only) to the web (see Sway tutorial) and get the embed code.

You can also download the image as a .jpg or .png and use it as just an image. You will lose your hotlinks but it’s still super cute for newsletters and Google Classroom headers (set size to 1000 x 250 px before you begin)

Here is my completed image. The books on the shelf are are clickable links.

Wakelet of Resources      Tutorial to Create Your Own Images

 

 

 

 

 

digital whiteboard, Distance Learning, Google Slides, PowerPoint, Uncategorized

Free Collaborative Whiteboard Space

I had a teacher email me earlier this week and ask for free solutions to a collaborative whiteboard he could use with Zoom so students could graph but not have to share their screen. There are some cool apps out there like AWW app and Bitpaper. Both of these are amazing, but they also charge a monthly fee. Most of us can’t do that. So you know the old saying, necessity breeds invention.

Here’s a little Schoolhouse Rock video if you need the inspiration:

Ok, to the real meat and potatoes of this post. I suggested he use a collaborative Google Slide and the scribble and line tools or a collaborative PowerPoint365 and the drawing tools. He can share the collaborative slide on Zoom while the student drawing is accessing the “whiteboard” on their computer. Our students are more familiar with Slides, but PowerPoint (sorry Google) does a better job with drawing tools.

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 12.10.49 PM
Slides Scribble Tool
Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 12.11.28 PM
PowerPoint Drawing Tool

Slides worked very well for graphs, not as easy for writing (I suggest the text tool)! PowerPoint was awesome for writing but there was a big delay with the image appearing on the shared screen.

You can set the graph as the background so it doesn’t move when students are graphing. I’ve included a little infographic on this process for Slides & PowerPoint.

Set an Image as Background infographic SlidesSet an Image as Background infographic PPT

Another colleague of mine likes to send her kids to the whiteboards every day as a warm-up. Well, using this, it would work the same. You could use it over Zoom (or Meet) but you wouldn’t have to. The cool thing is, it serves the same purpose. Students can look around (on other slides) if they need inspiration and the teacher can give immediate feedback.

Just thought I’d share this little hack we discovered this week.

Stay safe friends!

Google Slides, Notability, Planner, Uncategorized

Electronic Planner

Last year I created an electronic bullet journal type calendar/planner and shared it here. This year Slides Mania (@SlidesManiaSM) created a template that is FREE to use. That’s right free and customizable. Head to their site, download the slide, and watch the video to customize your own.

You will want to add as many slides as you want, such as the weekly slides, delete the text you don’t want to see, add dates where you want them to be, and place the slides in the deck where you want them. Once you download this as a PDF, that part is no longer editable. I created my weeks and placed them directly after the monthly view. When I click on January then I can scroll to each week in the month.

Editable Katie_Digital_Planner_Template_SlidesMania.png

You can add links if you want. For instance, you can click on the first week in January and link it to the weekly view. This will take a little more time to edit, but the functionality is nice throughout the year.

2020-01-03_16-31-39

Once you have your planner set up like you want it, go to file, then download as a pdf.

I save this in a folder in my Google Drive so I can access it from Notability. Notability is not a free app, but it is worth the money. I use this app daily in my classroom. To explain all the wonderful things Notability can do would take another blog post 🙂

Once this is saved in Google Drive, open the Notability App. Import the file from your Google Drive. Once it’s loaded, the links will still work, but you can also write in the boxes. It’s the best of both worlds.

The best part, in my opinion, is that the template was already created. I was able to change my theme in less than 10 minutes and now I have a planner to use for 2020.

Thanks Slides Mania for saving me a ton of time.

App, Area, Geometry, Google Slides, Uncategorized

Apps with Google Slides

I stumbled across this post by @micahshippee on Kasey Bell’s website ShakeUpLearning.com. Micah is part of my Google Innovator Cohort and he is amazing.

Micah created an activity where students use Google Slides to create an “app” that you can load on your phone or tablet. I decided to use this wonderful idea to review area formulas. My students created an app where you could click a button and find the formula and an example for each shape. I love when you create a project that students are excited about! This project fits that description.

Bonuses: Students were VERY ENGAGED. They were still working when the bell rang and didn’t really want to stop. They were helping each other, critiquing without being prompted, and giving great advice. I was MORE THAN excited when students came into class the day the assignment was due with the app already loaded on their phone. They were soooo proud!  I think, as an extension of this activity, we will share our apps with lower grade levels, who are learning about area for the first time, and have them give us feedback through Flipgrid.

Here is the activity I gave the students. My instructions are taken directly from Micah’s post because they are so thorough. He is cited in the activity.

Create an App for AREA (1)

I’ve also included some of the apps created by my students. OMGee, they make my heart happy. You should be able to click on the phone below and it will open a Google Drawing file where the links are active. If you use this activity, please share on Twitter and tag me @MandiTolenEDU and @micahshippee.

Imagine what else you could do with this activity!!!

 

Google Slides, technology, Uncategorized

Memory Game with Google Slides

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 NumbersI 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 background. 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)This is probably the most important step. We don’t want the background to be deleted while we are playing the game. Once you have the “back side” set exactly as you want it, go to file – download as – and pick jpg or png. Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 5.23.00 PM

Once it’s downloaded, delete all of your elements. I know, that’s scary. I do go into my history and set that version as editable background, you know, just in case you made a mistake.

Now you will set this as the background. There is a background button on the top middle of the menu bar. Once you click it, select your image and set as the background. Now you can breathe again. All of that work is still there, not gone forever!

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 5.25.22 PM

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 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.

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.

 

Uncategorized

Flashcard Template

I’m not a fan of memorizing content so flashcards don’t usually have a place in my classroom. Recently we were working with area, surface area & volume in Geometry and you do need to use these formulas. I told students they didn’t need to memorize them but they did need to be able to recognize which one you should use. My students were really struggling with this. I turned to the internet to find some flashcards sites where I could enter images. You either had to pay for that particular service or the website was not very user-friendly. I finally turned to Google Slides, where I should have started, and quickly made some there. I created a notecard image in Google Drawing and then added the flip transition. I am sharing the template as well as the area and surface area flashcards for you to use. Enjoy.

flashcard-templatearea-volume-formulas

Google EI, Uncategorized

I’m A Google Innovator

This post has been in draft format for quite some time. Not because I didn’t have a lot to say (this post is crazy long) but because by writing it I feel like my Innovator Academy time comes to an end. I loved spending 3 days with people who share a similar vision and drive to make education better. We encouraged, supported & challenged (and continue to) each other and made connections and friendships that we can always call on. At the end of the 3 days I could say, “I am a Google Innovator,” but those words will never be able to describe the experience.

The Innovator Journey:

On the morning of Oct 5 I got up at 3:15 and headed to KCI. I had a connecting flight in Detroit, and that was the last stop where I had data. I was a little uneasy about landing in Toronto and making my way to the hotel. Luckily, Brian, a fellow innovator, had noticed that we were arriving around the same time and had arranged a ride with Andy, another innovator who lives just north of Toronto. Andy picked us up (after we figured out which terminal we were actually in) and drove us to downtown Toronto.

We arrived at the Hotel and got checked in. I was starving and thankfully Brian and Andy were willing to humor me and search for food. Andy was the only one with data (Brian and I could only use wifi) so he was directing us to a burger place. When we got there, a Poutinerie sign was behind it. We had talked about poutine in our GHO so, of course, we had to eat there. Andy messaged the group and more Innovators showed up. For a group of people who had never met before, we had conversations like we had been life long friends.

After a quick stop at a pop-up Luke’s coffee shop (thanks to Rachel), it was time to head back to the hotel so we could go to Google.

img_3006

I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was very excited. When we arrived at Google, we were greeted with balloons and a table with name tags. We were early because we were all excited.

 

We all grabbed our name tags and were taken upstairs. After visiting with each other, our coaches and program managers introduced themselves and then our Canadian friends had a hilarious dance introduction for us.

We found our groups and headed to our BreakOut rooms. Our fearless coach was Jeff Humphries and since he planned the Breakout, we go to do it first. The JAMMRS (our group name) broke out, of course :-), and then we went to share our own personal Breakouts. This was one of my favorite times, getting to know our group members through their clues and stories. Andy and Marcus ended up having the same answer to two different riddles. It was an amazing moment.

We ate a terrific meal together and hung out on the balcony while we discussed our group cheer and song for graduation. Some decided to go out after we returned to the hotel, but I had been up since 3:15 so I CRASHED.

The next morning we met for breakfast and then hit the ground running. We had so many amazing Sparks and Sprints through out the day to motivate us, inspire us, and focus us with our Innovator project. Our coaches were fantastic as they each brought their own unique gifts with them. We had amazing team building activities that also had an application to our project. Juggling was one of my favorites even though I never mastered it.

We used more sticky notes that I could imagine thanks to Les McBeth and the design thinking process. It really helped me focus my thoughts for my project.

 

All of our coaches were amazing. It was great to meet and sketchnote with Sylvia Duckworth. Donnie Piercey made me laugh with his awkward muffins. Rafranz Davis helped me create my story and Sandra Chow gave me very helpful feedback on my project and encouraged me every day.  Jeff Humphries was the best group leader (maybe I’m a bit biased) and kept our slightly ADD group on track. I didn’t work much with Afzal, but he was an encouraging presence. Our group leaders, Michelle, Wendy, Mark & Becky, were funny and amazing and I loved getting to know them.

When it was over, I was exhausted, my brain hurt a little, and I was sad to be leaving this new family. We are still connecting through GHO and Slack. We are still encouraging each other. I have followed my new family on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and G+. I know I can call on any of these people and they would help. I can’t wait to see how this fantastic group of people change the face of education and I am honored to be counted as one of them.

I AM A GOOGLE INNOVATOR!

ramblings, Uncategorized

That’s a Wrap

That's all folks

Students left my building yesterday for summer. I have last day teacher stuff today then I leave for summer too. This is the first time in 16 years that I haven’t taught summer school, so this summer will look a little different for me. I read a tweet last night (couldn’t find it today of course to give credit) that said start planning for August in May. That’s my goal. I’m putting my list of things to accomplish on this blog to hold myself accountable. We’ll see how well I did come August.

  • Start planning more conceptual/hands-on lessons
  • Find and make some 3-Act math lesson
  • Have practice choices so students always have a choice (thanks @alicekeeler)
  • Make #hyperdocs to support my flipped classroom
  • rethink HOW I do flipped classroom
  • Create more digital #BreakoutEDU to introduce or support learning concepts.
  • Coordinate our #SJSDEdWeek
  • Present at #elevateEDU
  • Meet with some schools to help the utilize tech FOR learning
  • attend #iste2106 (WOOT!)
  • Finish reading: The Classroom Chef
  • Reread: Teach Like A Pirate, Ditch That Textbook, Drive, The Innovator’s Mindset, Fair Isn’t Always Equal
  • Read: On Your Mark, Learn Like A Pirate, Hacking Assessment
  • Enjoy my kids
  • Make a few quilts
  • Paint my bathroom

Wow, that’s a long list. Everything (except for the last 3) on that list stems from my reflection over this year and how I can improve learning for students.

Reflection:

  • Standards Based Learning was a huge success. Student’s mindset towards learning improved SO much, we had more success than ever before (and our students still came to us way below grade level). And as a side note – state scores did go up.
  • I continued the student data tracking and reflection piece and saw student ownership of their learning increase significantly.
  • I increased the amount of activities for students, some tech some not, and saw engagement increase.
  • I stopped giving homework and started allowing students to practice when they needed and how much they needed. Students started asking for more than I would ever have given them.
  • We convinced admin to allow us to continue working on semester 1 standards through semester 2 and had an additional 20 students pass.

Growth Mindset

I call this year a success and look forward to 2016-2017!

Difficulties Doing Something Right

BreakoutEDU, Google Drawing, Google Forms, Google Sites, technology, Uncategorized

Make a Digital #BreakoutEDU

They let me guest moderate a #DitchBook twitter chat last Thursday on #BreakoutEDU. It was A-Mazing! Matt Miller (@jmattmiller), author of Ditch That Textbook, has a tremendous chat at 9 PM each Thursday. The DitchBook team is very supportive and welcomed a newbie like me in without a blink of an eye. Karly Moura (@karlymoura) was so patient and supportive and co-moderated with me to make the experience wonderful. I do hope they will let me do it again sometime.

I love #BreakoutEDU for the problem-solving qualities and for encouraging perseverance. I have a Breakout box that I made. I purchased a wooden treasure chest at Michael’s and my wonderful husband but a locking hasp on it. I purchased all of my locks at Amazon or Wal-Mart, but Lowe’s and Home Depot have many to choose from also. A really awesome Date Lock was shared on #DitchBook that I need to add to my collection.

As I prepared for the chat, I knew I wanted our group to experience a digital Breakout. I had participated in a chat where we got to do one created in Google Forms and it was fun. But then I stumbled upon (thanks Sean Fahey @seanfahey another awesome #DitchBook team member) some digital breakouts created in Google Sites. THIS was what I wanted. So I set out to figure out how to do it. I’m going to share the process below. Talk about Google App Smashing! This uses Sites, Forms, Drawing & YouTube.

Look through the one I created or the links above to see how everything works before you read the tutorial below. Digital Breakout Data Cruncher

You will want to write your story and have an idea (or a list) of the links and resources that you will use. Being prepared ahead of time will make the process go more quickly.

Sites: If you plan to make a lot of these, you could have one digital BreakoutEDU site and each Breakout would be a new page within your site. That what I plan to do next, I just didn’t think through it this first time, just jumped in feet first (as usual).

BReakout Image

You want to set up your page with one column and insert a table with 2 columns. If you choose the site layout with two columns, it won’t leave enough room for your image. You will insert the Google Form into the left column and your Google Drawing in the right column when they are complete.

Layout

Drawing: Now you need to create your Drawing with invisible hotspots. Make sure you use images with Creative Commons License to modify and give credit as per the CC License. Once you have your image, create a shape on top of the image. Set the outline and fill to transparent. You can click on the invisible image and insert a link to the resource you want to use. Repeat this process for all the links in your Breakout.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Forms: Next you need to create the Form so participants can enter their answers. I started by inserting a video into the form with a countdown timer. BreakoutEDU has a timer you can use that’s 45 minutes, the typical breakout time, but I wanted 15 minutes for the chat so I selected one from YouTube. Next you want to set your locks. You need to validate the answer so it will only unlock with the CORRECT answer.  Here is a link to a youtube video from the digital BreakoutEDU experts Justin Birckbichler (@Mr_B_Teacher) and Mari Venturino (@MsVenturino) explaining how to set your locks to validate.

I also wanted a reward for breaking out, so I created a badge in Google Drawing, downloaded it as a .png and put the link to the image in the confirmation page.

Once your drawing and form are complete, embed them into your site. Test the game and have many others test the game to make sure it does what you intend. Once you’ve beta tested, share it with the world (or at least your class) and let them have fun.

I came up with the process on my own, but the experts mentioned above, Justin and Mari, have a page with resources to make your own. I didn’t find that page until after I’d worked through the process.  I did link to two of their videos above but there are many more nuggets of goodness on their page.

If you make a digital BreakoutEDU, please share on our crowdsourced Padlet and/or send the link on Twitter with the #DitchBook hashtag and we can beta-test for you.

Chromebook, Google Slides, online graphing, performance task, Uncategorized

Practicing Online Graphing

I’m sitting here watching my Algebra 1 students take the EOC, hoping that I’ve prepared them for the questions they will encounter on the test. I don’t like that we can’t see the questions to know if we have taught them the right stuff or asked the questions the right way.

One thing I do to get them ready is to have them practice graphing electronically. I created performance event type questions in Google Slides. They practice labeling each axis, dragging the dots to the grid and using the line tool to draw a line. Hopefully our practice will pay off!

I know students want to do well and teachers want to prepare them well. It’s more challenging when you have no idea what the questions will be. Good luck Algebra 1 troopers!

I’ve shared two of my performance events below. They are set to view only so make a copy. If you use it and find them helpful, please let me know.

EOC Performance Event 3       Boat Rentals Perf Event 4