Ditch the Clips in Kindergarten (And Here’s What to Do Instead) #ditchtheclips

Elizabeth Merce on episode 321 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Moving clips in kindergarten can not only embarrass children but can cause privacy concerns. There are alternatives! Kindergarten teacher, Elizabeth Merce, urges teachers to “ditch the clips” and shares what you can do instead.

Elizabeth Merce Virginia kindergarten teacher

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Enhanced Transcript

Elizabeth Merce: Ditch the Clips in Kindergarten (And Here’s What to Do Instead) #ditchtheclips

Link to show: www.coolcatteacher.com/e324
Date: May 25, 2018

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Elizabeth Merce, a kindergarten teacher from Virginia.

Elizabeth, you are passionate about a hashtag called #ditchtheclips. What are you talking about?

Elizabeth: Absolutely. So I am referencing with that hashtag the traditional clips and card system that we so fondly remember from our childhood in kindergarten and first grade. Unfortunately, I have even seen this used with three- and four-year-olds.

They’re just really not developmentally appropriate, and I like to address the why behind it, and provide teachers with better alternatives.

Vicki: Ok, so why do we want to ditch them? Besides the embarrassment of having your clip moved, oh my goodness…

Elizabeth: Absolutely! Can you imagine if your boss did that to you? That just wouldn’t stand.

So, when we think about early childhood education, really any level of education, I like to think about the “why.”

Why are we doing it, and what is it teaching?

ditch clips use instead

Why are we doing it, and what is it teaching? Because I didn’t go to college to be a manager of behavior. I didn’t go to college to humiliate children. I went to college to TEACH children.

When you have them moving their little clip or their little card, they’re not really learning any skills I want them to learn. They’re learning to be sneaky because they don’t want anybody to catch them. They’re learning to point out somebody else’s flaws so they don’t get caught doing their own thing. They’re not really learning how to manage their own stuff.

When we speak to employers about people and their perspective on education, a lot of the skills that children are lacking are the skills that we’re not addressing by using a clip system to manage behavior instead of teaching to manage behavior.

I am a huge proponent and advocate of using positive guidance and positive discipline and those things have really been around for about a hundred years. They’re based off a lot of the work by Adler and Dreikurs. They were social psychologists.

Looking at those and combining that with current brain research, I really like to really look at the whole child. Scaffolding those same skills for social/emotional that we would for reading.

Why don’t we scaffold social/emotional skills like reading skills?

You would never think “This kid didn’t sound out this word correctly or segment this word correctly. Go move your clip.”

Vicki: Ohhhh.

Elizabeth: That just would not cross a teacher’s mind.

You would think, “Hey, this kid is struggling with segmenting or syllables. What else can I do to provide resources and practice and reinforcement for those skills?”

But why don’t we think of that for the social-emotional skills? That’s really what I advocate for.

Vicki: One of the things is that I know you work with pre-service teachers too, so this is something you teach and help teachers do a better job of. But one of the things that has always bothered me — I mean, I work with older kids. I am very, very careful when I am dealing with discipline to do it privately.

Elizabeth: YES!!!

Vicki: Because when it has an audience, you end up with a mess. Just a big mess, and discipline really needs to be private.

Discipline really needs to be private

Elizabeth: Absolutely, and for so many different reasons.

The older the child, you’re really looking at that social stigma.

When they’re younger, even when the child doesn’t quite get that social stigma yet, with those threes and fours that I’ve said I’ve seen this in their classroom, they don’t necessarily get the social stigma quite yet, for most of them.

But also dealing with the publicity of it for the parents’ side, because if you have parent volunteers, and you’re posting it on social media and that chart is in the background, then that child’s data is out there.

Again, that’s not something you would do at their reading level. You wouldn’t showcase the fact that that child has a deficit. And yet we prominently display these behavior charts in our classroom.

You wouldn’t showcase the fact that any child has a deficit

Vicki: I remember one of my children would always come home and say, “So-and-so got their clip moved again today!”

And I’m sitting there, thinking, “Why do they even know?” It just makes me cringe.

Elizabeth: Exactly.

Vicki: We kind of say this is not just something that we like. There are a lot of reasons that it is not good. I know there are reasons teachers have done it for many, many years, but let’s look at other alternatives. What are those alternatives, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth: Absolutely.

I was just going to break down what’s happening.

Seasoned teachers can really kind of put their finger on what’s happening. You can say that the child has impulse issues. You can say that the child has emotion regulation issues.

If you are a newer teacher, you might want to start documenting, just so that you can see what the problems are. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy like a full-blown ABC behavior chart, but really for the teacher talking about (inaudible) behavior and consequences. It can be as simple as just tally marks.

You can really start to isolate what the problem is, and from there provide instruction. I’ve uses things such as direct instruction with my children, talking about naming emotions, recognizing those emotions, regulating the emotion, how to calm down when you’re upset, how to walk through problems.

I’ve actually started a full YouTube series, a YouTube channel on this topic. It kind of shows and breaks things down and really target the behavior just like you would for a reading intervention or a math intervention.

It’s not necessarily always going to be a whole group thing, but sometimes we do start our lessons that way.

Isolate that behavior, and provide assistance and scaffolding

Then you really isolate that behavior, and you provide assistance and scaffolding as necessary.

Sometimes I’m standing right next to that child, feeding them the words that they need because they don’t know how to apologize.

Or how to tell that child who’s been more aggressive, “I don’t like it when you…” or “That makes me feel…” Instead of using those words, oftentimes, especially with our early learners, they’ll hit or throw things or say mean words.

So they really need to learn how to use their own words and to control their own emotion. That’s really taught through those instructional techniques such as teaching them to take breaths, to recognize their own body space, to take time away, and things like that.

Vicki: You know, and I know that with one of my children, nonverbal learning disabilities can be a real challenge. It’s learning how to read body language. A daily behavior report card did wonders, and the clip did nothing but make it worse.

Just communicating with the parents, a lot of times that behavior happens and parents don’t know, but when we set up that daily behavior report card, and it was just a private, quick little “How many stars for each of the things?” It really helped.

Elizabeth: And with digital communication — I’m a huge advocate for Seesaw — it’s so much easier to drop a quick line, or if that child does do something good, send them a video message to that child to be proud of their own behavior. “Hey, I started to lose control, and I took some breaths, and I regained control. Aren’t you proud of me?”

How much more meaningful is that if your child is on red? It really provides more feedback for the student as well as the parent on what was working and what wasn’t working.

The same terms of if you’re giving back a term paper, and you just put a “C” on there, what does that communicate to the learner? You really want to make sure that feedback as specific as possible, even with social/emotional skills.

Make sure that feedback to parents is as specific as possible

Vicki: So, Elizabeth, what do teachers say that works? When you teach them these different skills and how to ditch the clips, what do they come back to you and say, “Yes, this is what has really helped improve behavior in my classroom.”

Elizabeth: Amazingly, the #1 thing I hear from any seminar or any semester I do, for a course, is always the paradigm shift. It’s not any of the actual techniques. It’s viewing it differently.

The #1 thing I hear feedback about is the whole paradigm shift

I have found that whether it’s by giving students, young learners, their learning targets, or talking to adults about their shifted paradigm, when you look at that “why,” that purpose behind what you are doing, you view it differently. The same holds true with this.

When they work at it, instead of thinking, “I need to train this child how to do it my way,” or “I need to teach them a lesson,” in that negative connotation, and I think we all heard that, “They just need to learn their place.” Or things like that.

When they switch from that perspective to one of “I am here to teach them. This is still part of teaching.” And they really look to teach children skills versus punishing for those, it makes a huge difference on how they connect with those kids.

That sense of connection and belonging — I mean I always say my favorite phrase is, “(inaudible) before balloons” — that sense of belonging just comes so much more naturally. And with that, the children are able to learn those social skills so much better because they have that safe place that they can try those skills out.

Vicki: You have to relate before you educate, and it starts at a very young age, doesn’t it?

Elizabeth: Absolutely, from birth.

And that’s something I think a lot of primary teachers forget.

Early childhood, if you look at the NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, they label early childhood from birth to age eight. That definitely covers your kindergarten, first and second grade.

Unfortunately, a lot of our K-5 teachers forget that. If they’ve been teaching for a long time and they just forget that they’re literally in a different developmental zone than maybe your fourth or fifth graders.

So they kind of get into one mindset instead of really viewing the youngest learners, our preschoolers, our kindergarteners, first and second graders as a different animal, just like a teenager is so different than a middle schooler. You have to keep those stages in mind for when we’re educating them for academics as well.

Vicki: So the hashtag is #ditchtheclips, and I know that you have a lot of kindergarten teachers who really like to talk about social-emotional learning and really alternatives to the clip.

Are there any other places that you want to point kindergarten and early childhood educators so that they can learn alternate strategies in a different mindset?

Other resources

Elizabeth: Absolutely.

So like I mentioned, I did start a YouTube channel, and I’m continuously adding new content to that as well. More feedback from teachers is great so I know what you like.

NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, naeyc.org — they have a wealth of information for teachers in early childhood. And even if you’re a parent, it’s a great place to start. They literally wrote the book on developmental appropriateness. You can look at what’s developmentally appropriate.

Other great resources: Dr. Jane Nelson wrote a series of books on positive guidance, both for teachers and parents, and it spans different age groups.

If you’re more on the developmental side, Janet Lansbury has a lot of responsive type education. Those are just some great places to start with real basic information.

But my favorite — she has my heart — Dr. Katherine Kersey out of Old Dominion University here in Norfolk, Virginia. She came up with the one-on-ones. If you do a Google search for Katherine Kirk(?) and her one on one, she has a hundred and one practical ways to use the theory of positive discipline in your classroom or with other humans.

Because like we both mentioned, it’s more about that relationship and that connection than anything else. So it’s more of a relationship tool. It’s great to have those quick tips that you can use right in your back pocket.

Vicki: Well, remarkable teachers, we have heard a lot of things that can apply to all of us. I think that this is a great challenge to move forward and to improve how we have positive discipline and not just move those clips, which kind of still does make me cringe.

I’m glad there are alternatives out there. Thank you, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth: Thank you so much. I appreciate you taking the time to share my message.

Contact us about the show: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/contact/

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Elizabeth has taught preschool, kindergarten, and other teachers for the last ten years. She is an active member of SECOVA, an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She has a blog and shares information on classroom management on the hashtag #ditchtheclips. When not talking all things education she is spending time with her sassy three year old Abby and husband of 13 years Scott. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Blog: http://www.emercedlearning.com/

Twitter: @EmercedLearning

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Ditch the Clips in Kindergarten (And Here’s What to Do Instead) #ditchtheclips appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e324/

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Using the Real World Classrooms Model When Teaching Finance

Brian Bean on episode 323 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

The Real-World Classroom model of teaching finance is part simulation part game. Invented by Brian Bean, this model of teaching is transforming Texas classrooms and beyond.

real world classroom teaching model

SMART’s Give Greatness contest is today’s sponsor. SMART wants to recognize educators across the globe who inspire greatness in their students, peers or community. Nominate your favorite educator at coolcatteacher.com/greatness.

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Enhanced Transcript

Real World Classrooms When Teaching Finance

Link to show: www.coolcatteacher.com/e323
Date: May 30, 2018

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Brian Bean, 14-year Texas educator, about real-world classrooms.

Now, Brian, your story to reach real-world classrooms, actually has a bit of a challenging beginning. Tell us about your beginning that was so difficult.

Brian: Somewhat of a challenge, if you want to put it that way.

Vicki: Yeah, I could say that! (laughs)

You could say that.

My family and I were the victims of a fairly-elaborate Ponzi scheme back in 2008.

I started this as a victim of a Ponzi scheme

They were targeting middle-income people with good credit, like teachers, and then they were leveraging our credit to pull equity out of real estate and business loans and then use that in their fund.

I was pretty naive at the time in personal finance. I was teaching science, and i just thought it all sounded great.

After about a year or so, some sketchy things started happening. We took a little bit closer look at what was going on and discovered we were in debt to the tune of about 1.2 million dollars.

Vicki: Wow.

Brian: We had to declare bankruptcy and kind of had to start over from scratch at the time.

It was hard, but, you know, you learn a lot through a situation like that. One of the things I learned was that there were pretty glaring holes in the education system when it came to personal financing.

I mean, I was supposedly an educated man. I didn’t know any of the… in hindsight, things that would have been MAJOR red flags.

I went back to school, got certified to teach banking and finance, got a Master’s Degree in teaching methodology and set to trying to fix it.

It’s kind of how the real-world classroom teaching model started.

Vicki: Ok, so what is the real-world classroom teaching model?

teaching finance with real world classrooms

Brian: Some people like to compare it to a simulation, because there’s a component of it that’s a simulation.

But really, it’s a model that gamifies and puts the personal in personal finance — where what we do is we take the students in class, real life experience, and we blend it with an online simulator experience where decisions that students make in either arena impact the privileges they have in either arena.

This model gamifies and puts the “personal” in personal finance

Let me use some basic examples.

In the simulation, students get paid a virtual salary, but that salary gets impacted by their in-class academic performance. If they pass a test, they get a raise! If they fail that test, they actually get a deduction in their salary in the simulation.

Then they have to budget that money and manage it to pay bills, to do different things like that, buy assets, they get a credit score, etc. They have to qualify for interest rates and whatnot.

But then they can use those funds to purchase privileges in class.

You want to use a hall pass? You have to buy it. If you’re late for class, you have to pay a fine.

Desks? They don’t sit in a desk assigned to them because their desk represents their homes. So they actually have to buy their desk.

Vicki: Oh my goodness! So are these finance classes, or are these other classes besides finance?

Brian: The majority of my teachers use them in personal finance classes. I do have a couple that are using it in an accounting class or an economics class, but most of them are personal finance classes.

Vicki: So they literally have to buy the desk that they want to sit in.

Brian: Yes.

Students literally have to buy the desk that they want to sit in

What the teachers will do is they will apply privileges to some desks that others don’t have.

So if a student wants that privilege, for example, you get to use open notes on a test, well then you have to own that desk, you have to have that privilege.

It creates a marketplace in class, and that’s one of the first major decisions students have to make. “Can I afford this more expensive desk I really want? What sacrifices am I going to have to make to be able to afford that, or do I want to go conservative?”

When all is said and done, the thing that really makes this model different — that really makes all these decisions carry weight, it takes it from just a game an actual accountability — is the decision grade they’re going to get, for what I call a life lab.

For doing that life lab, they don’t get that grade because they answered a bunch of questions right on an online quiz, or wrote a report. They get the grade because we actually sell them the grade.

Vicki: So they have to have enough money to buy an A.

Brian: Exactly. If they write me a check, they get an A.

If they don’t, they get whatever they can afford.

So the decision of what house I bought might come back to haunt me — or it might come back to be beneficial because I’m doing well on my tests, because I get to use my notes.

Then I get a higher salary, and then I can budget that.

We’ve tried to bring in as many real-world scenarios as we can — to have credit cards, bank accounts, checking and savings.

We’ve tried to bring in as many real-world scenarios as we can

They have a credit score they’ve developed. They have an in-class stock market they can invest in. We even have a random factor called “life happens” where regularly they would play a game where a it picks a student at random and then a random scenario occurs, and the kid has to deal with it.

Some of them are good, they get some money. Most of them are bad…

Vicki: (laughs)

Brian: Some permanently change their budget. “You just had a baby. Now you’ve got to have your budget changed.” So you’ve got to compensate and adjust.

A lot of real-world finance is “How well are you prepared for the unexpected? How well did you plan for things you can’t control?”

“How well did you plan for things you can’t control?”

Vicki: So what are teachers saying about this particular approach, as they take their accounting and finance classes, and they gamify it — or “real world it” with the simulation on top of what they’re already teaching?

Brian: So far, teachers love it.

Students love it.

We’ve had a lot of phenomenal response from parents.

We’ve had a lot of phenomenal response from parents

Because what it does for the teacher, is:

1) it covers so many of our core standards, just built into the model that actually frees up a lot of time for teachers to do more in-depth things for certain units that they might want to cover.

2) The other thing is that it’s constant reinforcement, and it really teaches the students how these things are interconnected.

It takes what typically, in subjects like finance, we teach the different topics modulated.

“We’re going to cover THIS and get that done, and go to the next one.”

But this, and with real life, they’re all interconnected. The student pays his bills on time, he’s going to get a better credit score. If he gets a better credit score, he’s going to get a better loan interest rate. If he gets a better loan interest rate, he’s going to have a lower payment. If he has a lower payment, he can more easily pay his bills.

All these things the kids have to deal with regularly, just like we do as adults. The difference is they get their first exposure to it in a safe environment of the classroom.

Vicki: What is the feedback you’re getting from parents as they talk to their kids about this experience?

Brian: One, parents love it, because they finally get to look at kids and be like, “See? This is what it takes to provide this life! You didn’t know!”

Parents say: “This is what it takes to provide this life! You didn’t know!”

And so they love it.

We’ve had a phenomenal experience at my school, for example. Phenomenal experience. Parents were bringing in… Like the class I teach are all seniors. And parents are bringing their kids in — their freshman and sophomore years, and signing them up for summer school so they can free up a slot their senior year to take the course.

We started using this model in the classroom about three years ago, we had three sections.

And now it’s the #1 requested program at my school. We’ve got eight sections and two teachers teaching it.

I actually looked up the statistics last year in Texas, I teach a class called Financial Math. It’s a new course, and a third of all the students in all of Texas took financial math from classes in schools that used my model.

Vicki: Wow.

Brian: It’s just really helped grow that program in Texas, and it’s been a phenomenal thing, more successful than I thought it would be. I didn’t create it to make a business. It just kind of happened.

Vicki: Yeah.

So, Rick, I’m excited for you. You’ve been enjoying teaching and you’re getting ready to head out of the classroom because of the growth that you’ve had.

We’ve talked about financial literacy on the show before, and how important it is to teach financial literacy.

Brian: Oh yeah.

Vicki: This is what kids have to know. We don’t have a choice. I’m fascinated by this. Now, do you have a website or link they can go to to find more about this model?

Brian: Absolutely.

We have a company. The company is called Free Market Educational Services, and that’s a really long URL, so we got the domain fmes.us.

On that, people can see samples of the curriculum that we wrote that goes with the model.

They can get more information about how the model itself actually works. I’ve given you about the smallest tip of the iceberg that I can.

They can see demos of our technology, download samples of the curriculum like I said, contact us with questions, see pricing, and things like that.

Vicki: Awesome. Thank you, Brian.

Educators, I hope that you will take a look at this gamified, real-world approach to teaching financial literacy.

This is the sort of thing we talk a lot about on the show — keeping things real, keeping things authentic.

Check it out. Thank you, Brian!

Brian: Thank you, and I appreciate your time.

Contact us about the show: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/contact/

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Brian currently teaches Financial Mathematics in a high school just outside of Houston, Texas and is the creator of the Real-World Classroom (RWC) teaching model. He has over 13 years of teaching experience, a Master’s Degree in teaching methodology, and received multiple awards in education. The RWC is the result of Brian’s personal hardships turned opportunity. In 2008 he was the victim of an elaborate Ponzi scheme and used this experience as motivation to make a change in the way personal financial literacy is taught. His story is an inspiration to teachers and students and his passion to make a difference has lead to the development of a model that is disrupting education.

Blog: http://www.fmes.us/the-real-world-classroom/

Twitter: @brianbean

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Using the Real World Classrooms Model When Teaching Finance appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e323/

Kasey Bell’s 8 Great Ways to Use Google Slides

Kasey Bell on episode 322 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Kasey Bell teaches us eight great ways to use Google Slides. From stop motion to video controls and cool add-ins for formative assessment and graphics, learn about this Swiss Army Knife of Google tools – Google Slides.

kasey bell 8 tips google slides

Kasey Bell’s Google Certification courses are open for enrollment from May 28 until June 10, 2018. Just go to coolcatteacher.com/shake to learn more.

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Enhanced Transcript

Kasey Bell’s 8 Great Ways to Use Google Slides

Link to show: www.coolcatteacher.com/e322
Date: May 29, 2018

Vicki: Today we’re talking with my friend Kasey Bell from “Shake Up Learning” and author of Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic.

Kasey, today we’re going to talk about all of the cool things that we can do with Google Slides that we might not know that we could do!

So what’s your first thing that you see teachers get really excited about what they can do on Google Slides?

What tricks do teachers get really excited about in Google Slides?

8 great ways to use google slides google slides tips

Kasey: Honestly, I find myself referencing Google Slides all the time.

When a teacher asks me, “Hey, what app should I choose to do this?” Pretty much it’s the Swiss Army knife. It can do so many things.

One of the first things that is really easy to do is to create an interactive Table of Contents.

Google Slide Tip #1: Create an interactive Table of Contents

You can do that at the beginning of your slide deck. This might be a Table of Contents for an interactive lesson that you’re creating for students, or you could be having a collaborative slide deck.

Each of those links on the Table of Contents could actually link back to the students’ individual slides so they don’t end up using the wrong slide. They stay in their own little space.

Vicki: Oh, see, I love this, because we’re getting ready to use Google Slides for our app presentation for Shark Tank. This way I could actually merge all the kids’ slides together, and then have each one as a link so I could go straight to the students’ slides. Is that what I can do?

Kasey: Yes, exactly. It’s just like a regular link. I use the keyboard shortcut Command+K, and then you just drop down slides in this presentation, and you choose a slide. So you link to the slide instead of an external link.

Vicki: Oh, I love that. But now, can you link inside — like within and link to other slides also?

Kasey: That’s exactly what I meant. When you insert the link, you’ll be able to see the options to slides in this presentation. You can choose which slide you want to link to.

Vicki: Oh! Okay, simple!

Okay, so what’s another one? Some people are using Google Slides for more than just slides, aren’t they?

Kasey: Absolutely.

One of the ways that I think is one of my favorites is creating an eBook inside Google Slides.

Google Slide Tip #2: Create an eBook

I have created several eBooks now inside Google Slides because when I try to do it in Google Docs, I pull my hair out.

That’s because I have so many images and screenshots and things like that. So that if you’ve ever caught yourself about to lose it because you can’t get images exactly where you want in Docs, you can in Slides.

So, if you think about it, you can put anything anywhere on a slide. That makes it easy to create images, illustrations, and do all of that.

But it gets better because you can resize slides into absolutely any size you want.

If you go to File → Page Setup, and then choose the little drop-down, go to Custom, you can make anything in inches, centimeters, points, or pixels.

So I can create an 8.5”x11” page size, so if I want it to look like a real book or possibly print it as a real book, and then you just go to Download As… and you can download it as a PDF. If you want to publish it as a PDF, publish it on the web, embed it on your website.

I’ve seen lots of teachers picking this up and having their students publish their books, whether those are collaborative or individual or class books, and then they put those online.

Vicki: Very cool.

You know, eBooks are just such a powerful way for kids to share. It also gives them an authentic audience if you’re adding it to their portfolio or sharing it with parents.

Now, you have lots of tips for some cool things we can do inside of Google Slides. Give us some of those.

Kasey: There are also some new things called “add-ons” that we now have in Slides that we used to only have inside Sheets and Forms and some of the other apps, so this is a little bit newer.

If you go to the menu, you can go to Add-Ons → Get Add-Ons.

This continues to grow, but I have some favorites.

One of those is Pair Deck. Are you a fan of Pair Deck?

Google Slide Tip #3: Use the Pear Deck Add-On

Vicki: You know, I have a lot of friends who love it. Let’s look at it.

Kasey: Pear Deck is a formative assessment tool.

What they’ve now done is integrated their Dashboard and their tool inside Slides. When you add the add-on, you get a sidebar that pops up.

They have an entire template gallery of formative assessments you can use at the beginning of the lesson, in the middle of the lesson, and at the end of the lesson.

These might be Thumbs-Up/Thumbs-Down. These might be having students Draw to Respond. You might be asking them questions, and they’re completely editable.

Then you can present that, and students can respond from any device. So they’re really handy, and everything I just mentioned — with the exception of the drawing, I think that’s in the upgrade — the rest of it is all in the free version.

I haven’t ever paid for Pear Deck, but I love it. I think it’s a great little tool to mash up with Google Slides.

Vicki: Yes. Adding those formative assessments in and preparing for those. We should be checking for understanding pretty frequently. I think it’s great to just have it built in.

Are there some other add-ons you like?

Kasey: Yes. Icons by Noun Project is another favorite.

Google Slide Tip #4: Use Icons by Noun Project

You may have seen Icons. It’s just its own website where you can get some really nice graphics for creating things like infographics or whatever it is that you’re working on.

You can get these icons, and they’re usually Creative Commons License, so you have permission — you do have to cite them, they have a very specific way they need to be cited — but they’re great, so now you can pull those into your slide projects that much easier. That was a favorite.

Google Slide Tip #5: Use UnSplash Photos Add-On

I also like UnSplash Photos — those high-resolution stock photography types of photos that we can pull in — and those are actually fully usable and reusable within Google Slides. Students can pull those and not have to worry about filtering for licensing and all of those types of things.

Vicki: Now, for add-ons to be available, does the Google Apps admin for your school have to go in and add it, or is this something teachers can just add on their own?

Kasey: They should be able to add on their own. I don’t think add-ons are controlled by the panel, but I don’t remember. I’m sure somebody listening will correct me if I’m wrong.

Vicki: For some reason, I think they’re not, but there are some certain things that happened in the past. It’s just a little tricky, I just didn’t know if you know.

Kasey: Yeah.

Vicki: If you have teachers, then do check with your admin, and ask them to enable or add that. I had to ask myself since I’m on my own admin to enable Gmail features because last week I wanted them.

Check with your admin about Google features

Okay, what are some other things that are pretty cool?

A lot of people like to use video in their presentations. Do you have some tips for using video?

Kasey: Yes. Last year, we got some pretty cool features added to videos inside Google Slides.

Google Slide Tip #6: Adjust Your Videos in Google Slides

It’s still a YouTube or a video that exists inside Google Drive, but you can do a few things once you get it in there as well.

If you right-click on the video and go to Video Options, or you can also see that in the contextual toolbar, but you’ll see more options to do some adjustments to that video.

For instance, you can customize the video start time and end time. If you want to use a clip, you don’t have to download it and open it in some fancy software to edit it down to what you just want to use. You can actually get down to the second — exactly what you want to use inside that slide.

Vicki: That is so awesome.

Google Slide Tip #7: Mute the Video As You Run Google slides

Now, one feature that I love to do is, a lot of times when I’m presenting, I like the videos to play, but I don’t actually want the noise. I just want it as background. Can you do anything with that?

Kasey: Yes. That is one of the other features you’ll see.

There’s a little checkbox in the video options. If you want it to auto-play as soon as you switch slides or if you want to mute the audio — and at first when I saw the mute, I wondered, “When am I going to use that?” and I swear I used it the next week because it’s something cool, I wanted the effect.

I wanted to be the narrator of the video in a live setting, so it’s pretty handy.

Vicki: Do you have any other features that teachers go “Wow!” over?

Google Slide Tip #8: Stop Motion Animation

Kasey: One of the really popular things right now — for the super-users of Google Slides and the ones who are really willing to step out and get uncomfortable — is stop-motion animation.

Some of that requires a lot fancy equipment if you really get into it, and it could get complicated, but it’s really easy to do inside Slides.

It could be animation just with graphics inside your Slide.

Since I have a video where I’m demonstrating this, I just downloaded a graphic of a raven. I put in one corner of my slides. I duplicated the slide – which, by the way, is Command+D for shortcut to duplicate — and then I move the crow a little bit, Command+D, duplicate – move the crow a little bit, Command+D, move the crow a little bit, and then you publish to the web.

And you have it change slides every second, and it looks like the crow is flying across the slides.

Vicki: Oh, cute!

I guess you can even do a little video capture in there as you go.

Kasey: That could be students taking pictures. They could actually be acting something out with LEGOs, or claymation, or whatever, and taking pictures and moving those into the slides and having it animate that way as well. So it can go from simple to pretty complex.

Vicki: As we finish up, Kasey, I know that you’ve really — and you just mentioned it earlier — in your book, you really talk about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

As these features keep rolling out, things keep changing. Some folks with Google or getting familiar with Google Classroom or Google, they get a little bit nervous.

Could you give us a thirty-second pep talk about how to progress and advance using Google with our kids?

How can educators progress and advance using Google with our kids?

Kasey: Yes. First of all, support.google.com is your best friend. If you ever need help, you can find just about any kind of answer there.

The other thing is just not to be afraid to just click around and try.

I also am a huge right-click fan. That helps me find things as well.

If you expect to learn something, say, in a training, step-by-step directions and that would be it for the next year or two years? Those days are over.

One of the best skills that we can teach ourselves and teach our students is how to LEARN, and how teach ourselves on the go — whether it’s finding videos on YouTube and tutorials. J

Just sort of accepting the fact that things are going to change so fast that you can’t keep up, but you can embrace it.

It’s totally okay if you don’t know where something is, because usually in Google — what I love is — it’s usually not too hard to find.

That’s why I kind of refer to Google as being this gateway tool because it’s so easy to use that it can lead you to have more confidence in using technology and maybe trying some other stuff.

Vicki: So, educators, we can do this. We can keep learning more.

There are so many awesome features out there, and Kasey’s given a lot of them with Google Slides.

Do check out her resources and check out the Shownotes because I’m going to have lots of great things and great ways to interact with Kasey to learn more about Google.

She’s kind of my Miss Google, and I follow everything she does.

Thanks, Kasey!

Kasey: Thank you so much, Vicki.

Contact us about the show: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/contact/

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Kasey Bell is part sparkling smile, part witty personality and a whole heap of passion as big as a Texas–go big or go home, y’all! She is a disruptor of the boring. An engaging, innovative, from the heart sharer who inspires educators while transforming their teaching with original, timely and use-tomorrow ideas for student choice, differentiation, and technology integration. Whether it is learning from home through online courses, professional development, conference workshops or as a keynote speaker Kasey is a relentless innovator of ideas and a devoted transformer of classrooms and teaching. Through teacher empowering publications and award-winning educational resources at ShakeUpLearning.com, learner-driven workshops and presentations and co-hosting Google Teacher Tribe weekly podcast, Kasey proves why we should never settle for the boring when it comes to bringing out the very best in our students, and we should always strive to Shake Up Learning!

  • Co-host of The Google Teacher Tribe Podcast
  • Author of The Teacher’s Guide to Google Classroom
  • Google Certified Innovator
  • Google Certified Trainer
  • Amazon Education Thought Leader
  • Digital Innovation in Learning Award Winner in “Sharing is Caring”
  • One of 20 TrustED Educational Thought Leaders
  • #3 EdTech Blog
  • #3 EdTech and E-Learning Influencer on Twitter
  • Must Read EdTech Blog
  • Edublog Awards Finalist

ShakeUpLearning.com provides teachers and educators with easy to understand, use tomorrow resources for Google and G Suite for Education, mobile learning and classroom technology integration through digital learning resources, technology tips and tricks, in-depth e-courses, books, resources, cheat sheets, blog publications. and podcasts.

Blog: http://www.shakeuplearning.com

Twitter: @ShakeUpLearning

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post Kasey Bell’s 8 Great Ways to Use Google Slides appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


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