Google in the Classroom: Holiday drawings, Whisper and Choice Boards

No matter what season, content area or grade level, Google Suite Apps for Education have a variety of supports and resources for students to use in the learning environment.

  • Whisper is a free Chrome extension that lets teachers message their class as whole or individual students without interrupting the work. Notifications show up on the student machine as a browser notification that can be viewed in the moment or any time later.



Spotlight on Strategy: Make It Concrete

SOS: Make It Concrete is a teaching strategy that uses concrete, or shape, poems to allow students to demonstrate understanding. Students reflect on their learning and create a visual to represent something they have learned from a media resource.

NOTE: the link above is available for any Discovery Ed account users.


Ideas for your own classroom:

If you do not have access, you can have students create a list of keywords/expressions that tie in with a video, audio or an image that you have presented to them. Students may create this list individually or in small groups.

Students then take their keywords and input it into a word cloud curator. There are several available online such as:

  • Using a Google Doc, the keywords are typed or dictated onto the document. Install the Word Cloud Generator add-on and run it. Drag or screenshot the word cloud and insert into the Google Doc. Students may want to either do a Gallery Walk to check each other’s word clouds OR all word clouds could be put onto the same Google Doc or even Google Slide.
  • Tagxedo where word clouds can be put into specific shapes. Students would type their generated list of words right into the Tagxedo text box.
  • Wordle is one of the original word cloud generators and works similar to Tagxedo except with no specific shape choices.
  • Wordclouds, Word It OutABCYa! Word Clouds are all great generators

For fun, these word clouds could be printed off and then students could draw images around their word clouds. As well, they could either create a short video or audio explaining their word cloud. This video/audio would then be linked to the original word cloud via a QR code and hung up on a hallway bulletin board for others to view and scan.

Samples for you to check out:

Social Studies examples

125 Ways to use Wordle in the Classroom

Above all, let students have fun collecting content knowledge and giving it an artistic spin!

BioBreak PD: YouTube, Chrome Extensions


Google in the Classroom: GSuite for Early Learners

Our Early Years students can utilize the Google Suite Apps for Education just as well as our Middle Years and High School students. We want them to not only use the tools but also to CREATE!

Check out this fantastic introductory-level session that shares fantastic examples of Early Years students using various online resources. While you are watching I’d love to have you think about: what do you wonder? what is exciting for you?


Tools shared:

  • Google Classroom
  • Screencastify chrome extension
  • ViewPure for YouTube videos
  • Google Slides
  • Google Docs
  • MyMaps
  • Kids Wordsmyth
  • iPad annotation
  • Google Forms
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Drawings

Here is a copy of @TechCoachSusan’s slide deck for Using GSuite in the Early Years Classroom at


Spotlight on Strategy: Instragram-in

Instagram-in is a teaching strategy that leverages a popular social media tool that focus on imagery and prompts summarization and generalization through short comments and hashtags. Using this strategy, students think critically about what images best represent their understanding and then create accompanying statements to communicate that understanding.

I used a variety of media and applications – sort of “smashing” them –  in order to complete this visual summarization. Not all teachers are using Instagram but they can use other resources.

  1. Find and save images (I used Discovery Ed images). You can use or Explore in GSlides/Docs.
  2. Open up iPiccy chrome app (or another photo editor app) and add your images. Then add some text and choose a Bitmoji image to make it fun (I used Bitmoji chrome extension).
  3. Save the image and share it online via a blog, on Twitter or even on a GSlide.


Classroom uses:

  • The teacher could create a GSlide to share with all students. Individually or in small groups students could be visually summarize a topic/unit/lesson. Students would then share their final summary image on a specific GSlide. All students could then view the class summaries. A virtual visual gallery!
  • For older students (13+) Instagram and Twitter could be used with a specific hashtag so that images could be found easily. Or the teacher could post them through a class Social Media account.

Google in the Classroom: Science, Menus and Videos


Photo Credit: Exile on Ontario St Flickr via Compfight cc
These items below are not only time-savers for teachers, they are also offer students different ways to engage with content and each other.

Opportunities for teachers to learn more about GSuite for Edu. The Computer Science hub has a variety of programs such as Made with Code, Science Fair, Student volunteers, CS opportunities for students. They also have teacher training and prep programs such as Applied CS skills curriculum, Applied Digital Skills, CS First, and grants.

Google is constantly updating features for any of the GDrive apps.

Incorporate student choice, variety of content, etc. to differentiate student learning experiences. Created by Kasey Bell.

There are many ways to incorporate media within a Google Doc. Although not an actual feature, that of adding video directly into a GDoc (one can hope is a future item), this is an easy work around with a few options to choose from. Shared via Eric Curts

Who doesn’t want to check out templates? It’s always great when teachers share their formats and ideas. Well, Christine Pinto has the early years teachers excited about these templates.



BioBreak PD: Novel Writing, Discovery Ed, GClassroom, GDrawings