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Lesson plans

5 Ways to Personalize Wallpaper on 3 Digital Devices

Personalizing a digital device with unique wallpaper is a great way to encourage students to take responsibility for their iPad, Chromebook, laptop, PC, or another digital device. Choose the one best-suited to your digital devices.

  • Method One: Use your digital device’s organic method of changing wallpaper. Most devices have 1) a wallpaper collection that’s available to users, and 2) a method of using images from user Pictures folder (or camera roll). Here’s how you access this option in Windows, Chromebooks, and iPads:
[gallery ids="52454,52456,52455"]

Here are examples in a PCs, Chromebooks, and iPads:

[gallery ids="52448,52445,52449"]
  • Method Two: Create your own wallpaper using school drawing program (such as KidPix, Paint, TuxPaint, Photoshop, or another). Save it to your digital portfolio. Use this personalized drawing under Method One or Four (as available). 

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Categories: Classroom management, Lesson plans | Leave a comment

10 Spreadsheet Tips You Don’t Want to Miss

spreadsheet lesson plansHere are the top ten spreadsheet tips according to Ask a Tech Teacher readers. Many are for Excel–just adapt them to Google Sheets if that’s your school program. Most are free lesson plans:

#79: Excel Turns Data Into Information

#74: Mastering Excel (for Beginners)

#73: How to Graph in Excel

71: Beginning Graphs in MS Excel

Tech Tip #62: Email from Word (Or PowerPoint or Excel)

How to Use Excel to Teach Math Arrays

#12: Create Simple Shapes in Excel

#75: Tessellations in Excel

#72: How to Check Your Math in Excel

#70: Create a Timecard in Excel for Grade Two and Up

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Categories: Excel, Lesson plans | 1 Comment

Summer Tech Camp–Everything You Need

summer tech camp

by AATT banner

Summer Tech Camp Survival Kit

From Ask a Tech Teacher

Are you teaching a Summer Tech Camp to Kids? We have the solution:

Build Your Own Adventure

$230 value for $179

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Categories: Classroom management, Freebies/Discounts, Lesson plans, Subscriber special, Teacher resources | Tags: | 2 Comments

10 Ways to Wrap Up the School Year

end of school yearIt’s the end of school. Everyone’s tired, including you. What you want for these last few weeks are activities that keep the learning going, but in a different way. You want to shake things up so students are excited and motivated and feel interested again.

Change your approach to teaching. Provide some games, simulations, student presentations–whatever you don’t normally do in your classroom. If you’re doing PowerPoints, use the last few weeks for presentations.  Make them special–invite teachers. Invite parents. If you never serve food in your lab, do it for these presentations.

Here are my favorite year-end Change-up activities:

6 Webtools in 6 Weeks

Give students a list of 10-15 webtools that are age-appropriate. I include Prezi, Google MapMaker, Scratch, Voice Thread, Glogster, ScribbleMap, and Tagxedo, These will be tools they don’t know how to use (and maybe you don’t either). They work in groups to learn the tool (using help files, how-to videos, and resources on the site), create a project using the tool (one that ties into something being discussed in class), and then teach classmates. Challenge students to notice similarities between their chosen tools and others that they know how to use. This takes about three weeks to prepare and another three weeks to present (each presentation takes 20ish minutes). Students will be buzzing with all the new material and eager to use it for summer school or the next year.

Instead of webtools, you may choose to have students play educational games and simulations online and teach them to classmates.

Designed for grades 3-12. Here’s a thorough lesson plan.

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Categories: Classroom management, Lesson plans | Tags: | Leave a comment

3 Whiteboard Apps for Teachers and Students

Whiteboards have long been a de rigeur staple in classrooms, occupying pride-of-place at the front of the room. Despite the popularity of hi-tech Smartscreens, the simple whiteboard remains the favored method of sharing information during class time.

But one change has revolutionized their use: They can now be projected from your iPad. Before introducing three amazing must-have whiteboard apps, let me note that there are dozens of options, all with varied traits and prices. I selected these three because they are intuitive, multi-functional, and work as a classroom tool rather than just another new widget teachers must learn.

air sketchAirSketch

Free to try

AirSketch is a basic, uncomplicated whiteboard that lets you do anything you’d normally do on a whiteboard. It’s similar to web-based options like AWW or Scriblink with two dramatic differences: It works through a iPad and can be mirrored to a computer (and from there, the class screen). This untethers teachers from their desk.  All that’s needed is an iPad, AirSketch, a class computer, and a class screen.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Open AirSketch on an iPad. In the lower right corner, it provides the page’s IP address.
  • Type that IP address into the computer browser and the iPad screen appears.
  • Project this to the class screen while using the iPad as a whiteboard

Pros

AirSketch is simple to set up and intuitive to use. It’s exactly like using the whiteboard–though instead of markers, you use a finger. Students no longer have to traipse up to the (intimidating) front of the room to answer questions. Instead, they borrow your iPad and draw their response.

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Categories: Classroom management, Lesson plans, Teacher resources | 2 Comments

17+ Holiday Activities

holidayHere are some great projects to keep your children tech-involved over the holidays. They take lots of critical thinking, problem-solving, and are worth the effort! Let me know how these go:

  1. 19 Holiday Websites For Your Students
  2. Holidays
  3. Book Review: 16 Holiday Projects
  4. Holiday Newsletter
  5. A Holiday Card in KidPix
  6. A Holiday Memory in Word or KidPix
  7. A Holiday Letter for Grades 2-6
  8.  Holiday Card in Publisher
  9.  Holiday Flier in Publisher
  10. A Holiday Story in MS Word for Grades 2-7
  11. A Holiday Newsletter in Publisher for Elementary School
  12. A Holiday Calendar in MS Publisher for Elementary School
  13. Weekend Website 40: NORAD Santa
  14. 5 Fabulous Last-minute Gifts
  15. here’d Christmas Come From
  16. 1 FREE Holiday Resources
  17. The Power of Symbols–What does the word ‘Turkey’ mean?
[gallery ids="46912,38242,38231,35541,35540,35539,34207,34202,34192,38238,40463,51085,51070,51071,51072,51073,51075,51076,51077,51082"]

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The Power of Symbols–What does the word ‘Turkey’ mean?

Last year, I did a poll on the meaning of the word ‘turkey’. This was to demonstrate how powerful symbols are to your students and do so with an authentic use of technology to support discussion on math, language standards, and the holidays. As a summation to your discussion with students on symbols, idiomatic expressions, geography, farms, or another topic, post this on your Smartscreen. The poll includes lots of definitions for the word ‘turkey’. Have each student come up some time during the day (or class) and make their choice.

[polldaddy poll=7398424]

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Categories: Geography, Holidays, Lesson plans, Math, Word study/Vocabulary | Tags: | 1 Comment

A Holiday Card in Publisher

Greeting cards are easy enough for second graders–even early readers. Using MS Publisher, pick a template, add a picture to personalize, add their name–and they’re done. It takes about 15 minutes. Kids always feel great about creating these greeting cards: (more…)

Categories: 2nd, 3rd Grade, 5th Grade, Art, Computer skills, Holidays, Lesson plans, Parent resources, Publisher | Tags: | 1 Comment

A Holiday Flier in Publisher

This is the only project that’s easier than the holiday card in Publisher. There’s no folding and the templates are bright, colorful and exciting for kids as young as second grade: (more…)

Categories: Holidays, Lesson plans | Tags: | Leave a comment

Halloween Projects, Lesson Plans, Websites, Apps, and a Costume

halloweenThree holidays are fast-approaching–Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. If you’re a teacher, that means lots of tie-ins to make school festive and relevant to students.

Here are ideas for you for Halloween projects, lesson plans, websites, apps:

Projects

  1. ASCII Art–Computer Art for Everyone (a pumpkin–see inset)
  2. Lesson Plan: Halloween letter for grades 2-5
  3. Make a Holiday Card
  4. A Holiday Card  (with Publisher)
  5. A Holiday flier
[gallery ids="34209,34210,34211,34212,34213,34214,34215,34216"]

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Categories: Holidays, Lesson plans | Leave a comment