The beginning of the school year is such a busy time! It's hard to keep track of everything that needs to be done but so important to start the year off on a positive note! As an Instructional Coach, the more organized and prepared I am at the beginning of the year the better my coaching and support of teachers will be. With that in mind, here is my list of "Must Do's" to help me get ready for an awesome school year.
Instructional Coach's Beginning of Year To Do List:
I created this printable checklist so nothing gets forgotten. Every year I created this list anyway- it's just that I used to write it out on sticky notes and lose it! Perhaps you will find this list useful as well.
Use today to make a difference!
Before I started using a Bullet Planner, I wasted a lot of time, effort and money trying and rejecting various calendars, notebooks and planners. I couldn't seem to find one that really fit my style. They were all too big, too bulky, had too many pages I didn't need, or had page layouts that just didn't work for me.
Last year, when I was coaching at four different elementary schools, my need to find a good planner became more important than ever. With so many administrators, teachers and students to support, I found it harder and harder to keep everything straight. One day, while searching for yet another solution, I Googled "Minimalist Planner" and happened upon a YouTube video (embedded below) describing a Bullet Journal. As is always the case with YouTube, one video quickly led to ten more. One hour and multiple videos later, I was pretty sure I had found the solution to planning I had been looking for. I immediately grabbed an old drugstore notebook and set it up to give it a try.
Here are pictures of my first little notebook bullet planner.
There is certainly nothing fancy or artistic about it, but it was a great way to jump in and give Bullet journaling a try. In a very short period of time knew I had found the planner I was looking for. Who would of thought something so simple could be the best solution of all? With the start of a new school year looming, I am making a few modifications to set up this year's planner. I'm sharing it in hopes other coaches will find it useful as well!
One thing I love about Google Slides is the ability to use images, shapes, hyperlinks and color to create dynamic presentations. With an idea, a little patience, and a lot of trial and error, you can elevate the creativity in projects and presentations to any level! A virtual showcase created in Google Slides is a great way for students to share what they have learned.
A Google Slides virtual exhibit isn't a typical slide presentation. The viewer, not a presenter, is the one who "runs" the show. By clicking on text and hyperlinks in the presentation the viewer is able to navigate from one part of the presentation to another.
Sample Museum Exhibit:
Note: To run the presentation as an exhibit click directly on the slides. Do not use the tools on the bottom left.
Create a Virtual Museum Exhibit:
To create your own museum you will start with a blank slide presentation. You need to know a few simple techniques, including how to insert shapes, fill shapes with color, add images, and insert hyperlinks. Follow this tutorial step-by-step to learn how to build a virtual exhibit. Follow the directions below to learn more about techniques you will need.
1. Insert a Shape into a Google Slide
I was part of an interesting discussion recently concerning teacher's concerns over what they feel are limitations of Google applications on the iPad. Teachers had stopped having students use Google Docs to type assignments because they thought it was not possible to to set up a paper using MLA style on an iPad. Instead they had created a cumbersome workaround which involved students typing documents, emailing them to their teacher, and teachers then printing out document after document for students. Obviously this is more than inefficient! Creating an MLA style heading is a simple process and hopefully for these teachers will quickly lead to less time and paper being wasted!
MLA Format in Google Docs on the iPad
1. Open Google Drive on the iPad and log in.
2. In Drive click the Plus icon in the lower right corner. Choose new Google Doc.
3. In the Google Doc, click the More icon in the upper right corner. Tap the toggle to turn Print Layout mode on.
4. In Docs, tap at the top of the document to reveal the Header. Tap the right align icon to move the cursor to the far right, and type your last name.
5. Tap the Number Pages icon to add the page number. Each page will now include both your last name and page numbers in consecutive order.
6. The last step is to add the four-line, double-spaced heading to your first page. This includes your name, professor's name, class information and the date.
That's it! Each page will now have your last name and page number listed in the upper right corner of the paper. The video below also explains the entire process.
Google is Elementary: Google Drive on the iPad
Google is awesome. It is absolutely my go-to place for all things productivity and creativity. And, I love sharing it with my students and teachers! When I hold a training on Google and they begin to grasp the potential of Google I feel such a sense of satisfaction.
I do have one complaint, however. I don't always like to take the time to create training materials from scratch. First, my schedule is tight and creating materials is time consuming! Second, there is so already so much great material out there created by experts that it doesn't always make sense to create my own.
But here, too, is where the problem lies. Most of the material I find is created for older students and adults. I am a K-5 Instructional Coach and my primary teachers are ready to jump in to using GSuite for EDU with their kids. And why shouldn't they? Why do we wait until students are older to teach them how to use Google? Imagine if our youngest students learn its power when they are in the primary grades. By the time they reach middle and high school, they will be experts, meaning those teachers can move on to deeper and more creative instruction.
My solution? Google is Elementary. Today I plan to start series of posts devoted to our primary teachers and our youngest students. I know these kids can use Google at their age and I hope my teachers find it useful!