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Technology Tips

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My Classroom Library Makeover: Downsizing & Prioritizing

In my own classroom, the library has never really functioned the way I wanted it to in my dream scenario.  The time, effort, and focus that it takes to truly run the library the way it deserves to be run never really seemed to be worth it. I am already dedicating so much time to other things that the classroom library feels like a chore. That corner of the room is always a disaster.  I never know what’s there -- it seems like all of the good, favorite books disappear and I’ll I’m left with are the random books from garage sales that I’ve never read (and no kids want to read either!).  But when I was a young teacher, I believed that MORE BOOKS meant a BETTER LIBRARY. I have decided that this simply cannot be true.  

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Teaching Annotation with Google Keep

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Teaching Annotation with Google Keep

Over a decade of teaching, I feel like I’ve heard it all!  This year, however, I feel like I’ve found a new and sustainable way of reframing how I look at annotation.   Yes, it does involve some tech, but don’t be intimidated! It’s a low-tech approach and works on multiple devices.

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A Cell Phone Policy that Actually WORKS!

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A Cell Phone Policy that Actually WORKS!

Every school and every teacher has a different philosophy with student cell phones, but with classroom management as a whole.  Whether you are on the FORBIDDEN end of the spectrum or on the “do what you want, it’s your grade” end, I just might have a solution that will help in your classroom.

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EASY Grading with Macros in Google Docs

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EASY Grading with Macros in Google Docs

Macros are little shortcuts that you give to your computer.  When you’re inside a Google doc, simply click “Tools” and then “Preferences”.  Here, you’ll see the macros shortcuts that are already set up.  For example, when you type ( C ) without spaces, your computer will automatically change it to the copyright symbol © .  We want to make these shortcuts work for us as graders!

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Back to School:  Tech Talk Week!

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Back to School: Tech Talk Week!

It's time to head back to school with The Secondary Series!  We are so excited to share a whole entire week of broadcasting with you all.  This Back to School: Tech Talk Week series will focus entirely on edtech tips and tricks for any secondary educator to bring back into his or her classroom.  

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6 Ways to Use Snapchat in the Classroom

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6 Ways to Use Snapchat in the Classroom

I’m a teacher in my 30s, so I’m by no means a “Snapchat native”.  I actually grew up with card catalogs, Dewey Decimals, and World Book Encyclopedias, so no excuses here teachers!  You can learn ANYTHING!  And before you write off Snapchat thinking social media does not belong in the classroom, try to see if there’s value here for your classroom, no matter how intimidating it might feel!  Plus, you'll probably have a lot of fun along the way :-)

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How to Work with Words Without a Workbook

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How to Work with Words Without a Workbook

In order for our students to succeed across subject areas, we must all acknowledge the critical importance of vocabulary instruction.   There are so many best practices out there, so many specialists, and so many approaches, it can feel daunting to choose a streamlined and effective strategy for your classroom.  No matter your favorite method or style, I have a thoughtful yet efficient strategy for you to try in your class this year.

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 The YouTube Scavenger Hunt

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The YouTube Scavenger Hunt

Right about now, everyone's turned to the "leggings only" mentality:  not only have we decided to stop putting together Instagram-worthy outfits and Pinterest-perfect lessons and procedures, but we're starting to cut corners and cover them all up with a nice, flowy dress.

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