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How to use Google Sheets with Elementary Students


One of the best thing about using Google sheets is that everything is automatically saved and you do not have to worry about the loss of your data. You can also format the data, insert charts, tables and formulas.

Description

Google Sheets is a spreadsheet program offered by Google. It is available as a mobile, web and desktop application and is compatible with MS office. Google sheets allow its users to create and edit spreadsheets by using their mobile phone or computer. It also allows its users to collaborate with other people on spreadsheets.

You can work on Google sheets from anywhere. Even if you are offline, you will still be able to work on your spreadsheets anytime. If you are working in a team, your team members can add comments to the spreadsheet and you can also respond to those comments. One of the best thing about using Google sheets is that everything is automatically saved and you do not have to worry about the loss of your data. You can also format the data, insert charts, tables and formulas.

How Google Sheets Works

Before we get started with Google sheets, it is important to know a few terminologies:
Cell: A cell is a single element in Google Sheets.
Range: A specific selection of elements or cells.
Column: A vertical line of cells.
Row: A horizontal line of cells.

Let’s get started with the Google sheets. Here’s how you can create a spreadsheet:
1.      Go to sheets.google.com in your web browser or open the Google sheets app.
2.     Under the file tab, click on “new” button.
3.     Click on “Google Sheets”.
4.     Now, click on “File” and then click on “New Spreadsheet” button.
5.     Select “Blank” or a template of your choice.
Now, a new spreadsheet will appear. Here is how you can fill it with data:
6.     Select any cell in which you’d like to enter data.
7.     Type anything that you want.
8.     Once done, press ‘enter”.

Tips:

·       If you want to move a single cell in a specific direction, use arrow keys.
·       Once you are done typing in a cell, you can also press the tab key and the data will be saved.
·       If you want to jump on a specific cell, simply click on that cell.
·       If you don’t want to write anything manually, you can also use the feature of copy and paste.

Using Google Sheets with elementary students

There are many creative and fun ways to use Google sheets with your elementary students. The best way by which you can introduce them to Google sheets is creating a pixel art:
*Ideas are inspired by members of the Technology Teacher Tribe Facebook Group

Creating a Pixel Art

Creating a pixel art is a fun and interesting way to use Google sheets for educational purpose. Here is how you can do it:
1.      First, resize the columns to make them square-shaped. To do this, just select the columns and shrink the size of cells by squeezing column indicators.
2.     Once done, select a cell and fill it with color by using the paint can option in the toolbar.
3.     To fill multiple cells with the same color, click on a cell and drag the square handle.

Remember that Google sheets are designed for collaboration. Encourage your students to collaborate with each other to create fun and interesting pixel art. This will not only encourage critical thinking but it will also be an engaging and challenging activity. Pixel art can be used for mapping, creating characters, tech skills, and so on. 

5 lessons for any beginner Google Sheets user. By the end of the 5 lessons students should be able to open a blank Sheets template and create charts, graphs, and use formulas as well as manipulate the column and row sizes. 


One of the best thing about using Google sheets is that everything is automatically saved and you do not have to worry about the loss of your data. You can also format the data, insert charts, tables and formulas.

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Brittany Washburn
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Technology Teacher Interview Questions



I have shared this story before, but this post seems like the perfect time to say it again. My interview that ended in me landing the tech teacher position was not what I expected. I put my resume in to the school for a 5th grade position (the school had 2 fifth grade openings) and got a call for the interview. When I sat down with the administration team they also let me know that they were hiring for a technology teacher. They saw on my resume that I had just finished my Master's Degree in Technology Education so they wanted to consider me for the position. Off we went talking about Tech... we didn't even discuss 5th grade!

Needless to say I hadn't prepared any good answers to questions about teaching technology as a class. I must have had some good answers though because they hired me later that day to teach technology.

This time of year the topic of interviewing always comes up in the Tech Teacher Tribe Facebook Group. Schools are planning ahead and lots of them are adding tech positions.

I've organized the common questions into 3 categories. Tech teacher, Tech coach, and STEM lab.

Technology Teacher Position Interview Questions


  1. What are some of your favorite websites/apps to use in your lessons?
  2. Where do you get lesson ideas from?
  3. What learning management systems have you used in the past?
  4. Have you ever led PD on technology?
  5. If given $50,000, what tech would you purchase for your classroom?
  6. How do you see the tech teacher supporting classroom technology integration?
  7. How do you know students are learning? How will you give grades?
  8. Explain how your kindergarten lessons will be different from 5th grade.
  9. Have you written grants for technology?
  10. Can you give any examples of how you have used the 4 Cs in planning lessons?
  11. Do you have experience you can share about using robotics in your lessons?
  12. Explain a lesson you've taught about a technology skill or tool.
  13. Do you think students should learn proper keyboarding techniques?
  14. How will you teach about internet safety and digital citizenship?


STEM or STEAM Lab Position Interview Questions


  1. What does success look like to you as a teacher?
  2. How do you know kids are learning?
  3. What does voice and choice mean to you and how do you provide it?
  4. Tell us about a project that required collaborative skills between you and colleagues.
  5. How do you show your thinking process to the students?
  6. Why do you think a STEM education is important for the students?
  7. How will you reach out to and utilize the community resources in order to enhance the curriculum and student learning?
  8. How will you balance safety and exploration in the lab?
  9. How will you stay current and find your teaching resources?
  10. How do you use the Engineering and Design Process in your teaching or life already?
  11. How will you blend new curriculum into people's busy schedules?
  12. When it comes to getting kids interested and excited about STEM, what is your biggest challenge or frustration?
  13. If you had an unlimited budget, what would be in your STEM lab?

Technology Coach or Integration Specialist Position Interview Questions


  1. What ideas do you have for implementing the 4 Cs or SAMR Model?
  2. How do you work with teachers resistant to technology?
  3. How do you get admin to support technology integration?
  4. What do you imagine a typical day in this role to look like?
  5. How do you stay up to date on new technology?
  6. If you had 15 minutes to prep a 30 minute PD session, what topic would you choose and how would you teach it?
  7. How have you integrated tech into subject area lessons?
  8. Where do you see classrooms in 5 years?
  9. What conferences on technology have you attended?
  10. How do you model tech integration in your own PD sessions?
  11. What are your expectations for teachers in using tech?
  12. How many teachers do you think you can manage as a coach?


 Questions to Ask During an Interview

1. What tech devices will I have access to?
2. What does the schedule look like? Will I be on the specials rotation?
3. Is there a lab or will I be going into classrooms?
4. Are there specific standards you want me to follow?
5. Is this a certified teacher position in this district?
6. Will I be giving students grades?
7. Will I be expected to deliver PD to teachers?
8. What opportunities for continued education do you give to your teachers?
9. Am I also the one who will fix devices?

Would you add any other questions to the lists? 
Join the Technology Teacher Tribe Facebook Group to discuss the answers to these questions!
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Brittany Washburn
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How to use Google Docs in the Elementary Classroom


Your students can create the world’s best bubblegum and assign a name to it. Here is how it can be done in Google Docs:

Description

Google Docs is a word processor program by Google. It is also available as a web application, desktop application, and a mobile application. It is quite simple to use and can also be used for collaboration purpose among a team working on a single project. It is not just about letters and words. It is more than that because it can perform various interesting functions. You can easily edit content, style and format it. There are hundreds of fonts available in it that you can use without any cost.
You can easily create drawing in it and add links and images to your work. Apart from this, there are many templates of reports, resumes and other documents available in Google docs that are designed to make your work simpler and easier. Whether you need to create a science lab report or write minutes of a meeting, everything can be done by using Google Docs.  You can get access to your documents from anywhere around the world even if you are not connected to the internet.

How Google Docs Works

Here is how Google docs works:
To create a document, follow this procedure:
1.      Open the web browser on your computer and go to the  docs.google.com.
2.     On the top left corner, you will see “start a new document”. Under this option, click on the “New +” button.
To format and edit your document, follow this procedure:
1.      First, open a document that you want to format and edit in Google Docs.
2.     To change a text, select it by using your cursor.
3.     Start editing and once you are done, you will not have to save your document as it will be saved automatically.
4.     If you have changed your mind and you want to perform the functions of undo or redo, you can click on Undo  or Redo  button on the top of your computer screen.
If you want to share your files with other people, use the following procedure:
1.      Go to Google drive or Google docs on your computer.
2.     Choose the file that you want to share with your colleagues and click on the “share” button.
You can also share your work with selective people and you will also have the option to choose how you want the other person to use your document.

Using Google Docs with elementary students

Google Docs is a useful tool that you can use with elementary students. Here is how you can do it:
*Ideas are inspired by members of the Technology Teacher Tribe Facebook Group

Creating the world’s best bubblegum

Your students can create the world’s best bubblegum and assign a name to it. Here is how it can be done in Google Docs:
1.      Open Google Docs.
2.     On the top left corner, you will see an insert tab. Click on it and under this tap, click on “drawing”. 
3.     Create the wrapper of the bubblegum but leave the space in the center.
4.     Think about a creative name of the bubblegum and write this name in the space you left in the center.

5.     Write a short description of the bubblegum and you’re done!


Your students can create the world’s best bubblegum and assign a name to it. Here is how it can be done in Google Docs:

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Brittany Washburn
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Coding Quests - Computer Science Printable Board Games


Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!


Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games! 
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Each of these printable board games practices a different coding or computer science skill in a way that is fun and engaging for students. They will be challenged to problem solve but will love every minute of it! 
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

The fun Pirate Theme makes students feel like they are on an adventure and far from learning about computational thinking. Each of the board games comes with the background knowledge students need in order to understand the concept. 

 Student Benefits

Jamie (K-5 Digital Learning Coach) Said: "They began to understand complex language and how to analyze whether or not they were supposed to move in a certain direction. They used strategy to figure out where to place obstacles on the boards and realized when they made a mistake and put their obstacles in the wrong places."

Teacher Instructions

No-stress teacher instructions mean that you'll feel confident introducing these games to your students even if you're not sure you've mastered the computer science concepts yourself. I do recommend showing students how to play first as a whole group before having them play it in small groups, especially for the little ones. There are student instructions and I did my best to make them visual, but some will take some reading skills that your students may not yet have. 

Prepping the Games

These games do take some time to prep. The average is about an hour, but if you use all 3 of the games available there are some pieces that are used across the series. I recommend printing on cardstock and laminating so that you can use the pieces year after year. With a few student helpers the process will be a breeze. 
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Teacher tips from Jamie: "I think playing the game as a whole was a great way to introduce it because the statements can be tricky. I laminated EVERYTHING! I made multiple copies of the game and labeled each game board and game piece with a different sticker so that if we have multiple games going at one time, when it's time to clean up they know exactly where the pieces go. I also taped a sandwich-sized baggie to the game boards so that the bags wouldn't get misplaced. Oh, and try not to run out of ink! :) Since I made so many copies, I needed more ink. I should have checked my ink cartridges first! "
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Here is a little time lapse video I made prepping the Directional Coding Board game:
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

Other Ways to Play Coding Quests

Recess Style
•Have students be the pirates and play it full sized.
•Create a path using tape, chalk, sit spots, etc. for students to follow.
•Use any obstacles you want that will fit in the spaces you’ve made.
•Students draw cards and complete the actions full sized
•This is great for days when you’re out of the lab or the wifi is not working. Bonus points if you collab with your PE teacher!
Whole Class
•Each student needs a path, which they can make with notebook paper, or full size in the classroom or outside.
•Students place their two obstacles along their own path.
•Teacher reads the cards aloud and all students complete the actions on their own paths
•If you keep a few paths set up in your classroom with tape or sit spots, etc., this would make a great early finisher activity.
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Try these coding quests games with your students. Click here to view the games in my TpT shop.

Looking for Coding Books to add to your classroom? In this blog post I share 12 Coding Books to Try.
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Brittany Washburn
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How to use Animoto with Elementary Students


Animoto can be used with elementary students for different purposes. It is a great alternative tool for PowerPoint. It can be used for biographies, storytelling, field trips and different science projects. Here are my favorite Animoto projects:

Description

Animoto is a video creation tool that turns your photos and video clips into professional videos in minutes. Creating video slideshows has become much easier with the help of Animoto because it is a user-friendly tool. You can select any style and song that you want, customize it by adding photos, text and video clips to it and produce your video. Videos created by Animoto can also be shared on different social media platforms.

How Animoto Works

Here is how Animoto works:
1.      Sign up for an Animoto account. Creating your account is a simple and easy process.
2.     On the upper right-hand corner, you will find a blue “create” button. Click on it.
3.     There are two different types of video builders available in Animoto. The first one is slideshow video builder and the second one is marketing video builder. You will be asked to pick one. There are many different video styles in the slideshow video builder and you can pick anyone that you want. You can also customize it just the way you like. Marketing video builder is designed to create videos for marketing purposes. It can also be customized but it has more features as compared to slideshow video builder.
4.     The next step is to create your video:
a.    Select your video clips or pictures. You can import your photos from different social media websites and you can also use photos from your camera gallery or Animoto gallery.
b.     Choose the music that you want for your video.
c.     The last step is the finalization of your video. You can choose the speed, title and the thumbnail of your video. If you want, you can also add a short description to your video.
5.     Once you are done, click on the “preview video” button. If you think it is okay then click produce.

Using Animoto with elementary students

Animoto can be used with elementary students for different purposes. It is a great alternative tool for PowerPoint. It can be used for biographies, storytelling, field trips and different science projects. Here are my favorite Animoto projects:
*Ideas are inspired by members of the Technology Teacher Tribe Facebook Group

Show and Tell

Give your students a chance to show and tell. Ask them to make a 30-second video about something they are passionate about. Give them several minutes so that they can set up their projects and give a presentation about why they chose that specific topic. Students love this activity because it gives them a chance to express their passion for something.

Monster Attack!

Give a scenario about a monster attack to your students and ask them to create monster related videos by using Animoto. Students can use a paint program or other tools to create pictures. Then, ask them to come up with their own stories. E.g. a monster is going to attack your city, how are you going to defend your people? Once the students create their own videos, ask them to narrate the stories of their videos as they play them. This is a great activity for kids. It is not only interesting but engaging as well.



Animoto can be used with elementary students for different purposes. It is a great alternative tool for PowerPoint. It can be used for biographies, storytelling, field trips and different science projects. Here are my favorite Animoto projects:

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Build Your Own Computer Paper Activity


Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.

Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
This activity is meant to be quite open-ended, but the internal computer parts do each have a place. Decipher where they go by the size of the cut out.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.

The desktop icons can be placed anywhere, and all but one should fit. I left the website and the keyboard blank so that you can choose how you want students to fill them. Students could put both upper and lowercase letters on the keys. Perhaps have them draw their favorite website, your class website, or a safe-to-go-to website of their choosing.


Watch this video to see how you can pick and choose the pages you use to make it as simple or as challenging as you need. 

Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
The last activity page is totally optional and is a matching activity so that students can learn a bit more about the parts of the computer.

Each student will need a copy of pages 3-5, with page 6 optional. If possible, print slide 3 on cardstock for a little more durability, or glue the back of the “laptop case” onto construction paper. 


In addition to the lift-the-flaps laptop, there is a matching page with definitions of the computer parts for a little added academics.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.


Use the included pictures to guide you through putting the computer together, but know that it can also be totally customized to meet your needs. You can make it as simple (a coloring activity) or as complicated (learn and label the computer parts) as you need it to be. 

Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Tara's Feedback (Tech teacher grades 1-5): I love the fact that this student created a keyboard with movement. I thought it was so clever, I certainly didn't think of it :)
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Watch this little video of me putting mine together.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Suzanne said: This was by far the most fun activity we did this year.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.

On March 18, 2018Tiffany G. answered:
My students absolutely LOVED this activity. Some of them still carry their paper computers around!

On April 27, 2018Buyer answered:
My 6th graders loved this project and it was an excellent learning opportunity for a day my computer lab was being used for testing.

On April 24, 2018Jean H. answered:
I paired this activity with the video the Magic School Bus gets Programmed and my 1st and 2nd graders loved it.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
On April 9, 2018Buyer answered:
My students loved this activity and begged to do it again for a second year in a row!
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
On February 28, 2018Leslie Faett answered:
I used this with the lower grades and then the upper grades started asking if they could make their own computer. With a few adjustment to the degree of difficulty this was an excellent lesson.

Do you want to try this activity with your students? Click here: Build Your Own Computer Activity


Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.

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Brittany Washburn
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