7 Foolproof Tips for Organizing your Drive

Graphic of frustrated teacher at her computer. 1. Color Code your Folders – We can all use a little COLOR in our lives, am I right?! You can add color to your folders by right clicking on the folder, and clicking “change color”.

2. Save to Multiple Folders – Save a file to multiple folders WITHOUT making a copy! These files will be synced and will update at the same time. Click on the file once (so it’s highlighted blue), then press Shift Z, and follow the prompts.

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The Ultimate Guide to an Interactive Google Classroom

Google Slides is so often underrated when it comes to teaching. Typically, Google Slides (or PowerPoint) is used during a whole-group “lecture” setting, pushed to students via Google Classroom in “view only” mode, or during student creation where they’re creating from a blank slide. While these are all great uses of Slides, there is SO MUCH MORE it can offer- especially when it’s used with Google Classroom!

My goal is to use Slides as a platform for students to be interactive with the technology and with the content. This, to me, pushes the concept of Hyperdocs to a whole new level!

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Handwriting Sentence Strips – Google Edition

As we all know, Google Docs can be a little different from Microsoft Word. To add a sentence strip or writing strip for those little ones to practice their handwriting, you’ll follow some similar steps as Word, but there are some differences!

I have three easy-peasy steps to create your very own handwriting sentence strips!

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Self-Paced Learning

I have recently been encouraged to integrate self-paced lessons into my classroom. Honestly, this stemmed from a class full of accommodations that really made it difficult for us to be successful in a whole-group lesson setting. My idea for self-paced note-taking was mostly focused on my inclusion classes, but it turns out that it’s successful for my honors/gifted classes as well, but for different reasons.

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Maximize your Workflow in Follow-Up Support (Coaching Advice)

I’m always a fan of time-savers, and this is a MAJOR time-saver! Providing IMMEDIATE follow-up support after coaching is key in ensuring your teachers know that you are on their side and that you are valuable to them. This can be pretty easy (time-wise) after one-on-one coaching, but can be a bit overwhelming after large group workshops or multi-session workshops. I recently hosted a workshop that consisted of eight different sessions throughout one day in which teachers were required to attend at least one session. Because of other meetings going on during the day (gotta love in-service days!), some teachers were only able to attend certain sessions. I wanted to provide ALL hand-outs and materials for EACH session to everyone, even if they did not attend. I put all of these up on our Google Classroom for PD, but knowing my teachers, I knew I needed to email them also. Here comes my MAJOR time-saver…drumroll, please…

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Google FAQs and Keyboard Shortcuts (Instructional Technology)

Over the last few years, our teachers have been encouraged, or expected in some districts, to integrate digital learning into their classrooms. My role has been to support teachers at my school in this new journey. As you would expect with any new tool, my fellow teachers and I learned a lot! 

I compiled a list of common FAQs from both teachers and students about using Google Classroom, along with a list of my favorite keyboard shortcuts.

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HyperDocs (Instructional Technology)


What is a HyperDoc?

HyperDocs are a way to house multimedia sources in one place for your students. Typically, HyperDocs contain links, images, or videos, or a combination. My favorite aspect of HyperDocs is that we can allow our students to have more CHOICE and COLLABORATION in their assignments in a much easier way than we could have before HyperDocs. 

HyperDoc “Must-Haves”

HyperDocs MUST have a few key elements to avoid being a glorified worksheet your students complete on a Chromebook. An easy way to guide your development of a HyperDoc is to consider…

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Padlet (Instructional Technology)

Padlet is a tool that teachers can use in a hundred million different ways- that’s a lot, I know! Here are three different ways you could use Padlet in your classroom right now! 

  1. As a Resource Hub
  2. Self-Paced To-Do List
  3. Discussion Board

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Needs Assessment (Coaching Advice)

When beginning your journey as an Instructional Technology Coach (or anytime you are coaching a new group of people), it is imperative to assess your colleague’s needs. One thing we, as educators, can agree on is that not all Professional Development (PD) is relevant to our immediate needs. A couple surveys before your first workshop can greatly influence the receptiveness of your colleagues to your ideas. In my experience, I began coaching my fellow teachers (of three years). Wh ile I knew my fellow teachers very well (we’re a small faculty of about 45) and had developed a relationship with most, I still felt the need to reach out with a survey, not only to get a peek into their minds, but also to let them know that I care about their wants and their needs. 

I (along with some of my colleagues) developed two surveys that I think will help you gain a vast amount of insight.

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Embedded Table of Contents (Teacher Websites)

An embedded Table of Contents has been a game-changer in my Interactive Notebook World. This may sound dramatic, but GONE are the days of me printing and re-printing (and, then, re-printing again) mounds of copies of random IN pages and sitting with students during my planning to catch up their missing pages. Absolutely gone! Now, my students go to my website and print missing pages off themselves on their own time. #Accountability 

I chose to embed my Table of Contents rather than making it directly into my website portal because of the simplicity of Google Slides. I made my ToC in Google Slides because it’s much easier to edit, and I don’t have to do as much clicking to get to it. Ain’t nobody got time for extra clicking around!

To keep my ToC up-to-date, I type my entries and then hyperlink the assignment name to the document (image, pdf, answer key, etc.). Hyperlinks are key to making this your game-changer. This may sound like more work than you want to do upfront, but it’s a lot less time than re-printing and copying those random pages and guiding students through their INs. I use the Scannable App to quickly upload a picture (which it converts to pdf) to my Google Drive, which gives me the link to add to my Table of Contents. This definitely increases my workflow with adding links! {Another tip to linking is a keyboard shortcut: in Drive, click on the file (until it’s blue) and press the “period” key to open your Share Settings.}

The link above will lead you to a tutorial video I made for my fellow teachers that will take you step-by-step in embedding your Table of Contents. 

Happy Embedding! 

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