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Review of the Parent Communication App ClassTag


Learning about ClassTag truly made my job so much easier. The app allows me to streamline any engagement and communication I have with my student’s parents.
This is a sponsored post by ClassTag. All opinions are my own. 

Daily tasks, such as, lesson planning, instructing, and grading don’t even begin to cover the duties and responsibilities of a teacher. Many days, we find ourselves falling asleep on the keyboard. Teaching can be one of the most rewarding professions, but I often find myself searching for tips and tricks in hopes of creating a more manageable position. Although I am proud to identify myself as a teacher, I craved more organization and balance in my day-to-day life. It was during this time when I discovered an app called ClassTag.


Why All Teachers need ClassTag

Learning about ClassTag truly made my job so much easier. The app allows me to streamline any engagement and communication I have with my student’s parents. 
As an example, I used to spend many hours every week creating my classroom newsletter. This typically included reminders regarding upcoming events, testing dates, requests and various announcements. Once my newsletters were printed out and sent home with students, I often sat back, crossing my fingers, optimistically trusting they’d actually make it out of their backpacks and into their parent’s hands. 
Unfortunately, this wasn’t always the case. As I would usually receive numerous phone calls and emails packed full of parent questions and concerns. I quickly recognized my student’s backpacks were similar to that of black holes. Just because it goes in, doesn’t guarantee it will ever make its way out!


The ClassTag app now allows me to post all classroom information with my students and their families through our online classroom portal. 
I normally post reminders concerning no-school days, early dismissal times, upcoming classroom parties, and field trips. ClassTag has also simplified the (previously) daunting task of requesting parent volunteers, chaperons, or classroom donations. This task alone used to take weeks of preparation and groundwork. Returning signed documents was rarely an easy-going feat for most students. In fact, this normally involved me spending even more time developing and sending home further reminders! Many teachers have also been confronted by a similar challenge when organizing parents-teacher conferences. 
Again, keeping track of my student’s sign-up sheets was demanding and hectic. Most of the time, the returned documents were covered in parent’s notes and questions. The back and forth communication via paper made it very difficult to stay well organized. The ClassTag app now allows parents to virtually sign-up on the dates and times provided. Instead of having parents show up at the wrong time or during another families conference, there is no longer confusion about their assigned timeslot.

ClassTag Rewards

As if ClassTag doesn’t already sound appealing, just wait until I tell you about the rewards you can earn just for using the app! If you’re a teacher, then you know how costly classroom supplies and materials can quickly add up. In my case, I work for a non-profit charter school. Sadly, many of our students are currently living in poverty and can’t afford common classroom supplies. 
Before using the ClassTag app, I found myself stopping at the store on a monthly basis to buy pencils, erasers, stickers, glue sticks, hygienic products, and more. 

Fortunately, the ClassTag rewards program allows you to earn coins for your classroom by simply engaging in parent interaction and referring other teachers to signup and use the app! The more ClassTag Coins you accumulate each month, the more FREE supplies your classroom receives! 
Learning about ClassTag truly made my job so much easier. The app allows me to streamline any engagement and communication I have with my student’s parents.
Not to mention, all of the gratitude and appreciation your teacher friends will express after experiencing all that ClassTag has to offer!


Utilizing the ClassTag app has transformed my career as a teacher. I now have more time to focus on my students and their individual needs. I also find myself less stressed, which means I can focus fewer thoughts on at-home correspondences and more thoughts on creative teaching strategies. 
My students are truly benefiting from this app, as I am improving and growing as an educator. If you haven’t already, try out the ClassTag app for yourself. Students, their families and your busy schedule will thank you! 
Connect with ClassTag on Social Media: 



Learning about ClassTag truly made my job so much easier. The app allows me to streamline any engagement and communication I have with my student’s parents.


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Brittany Washburn
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Teaching Keyboard Shortcuts Made Easy


Teaching Keyboard Shortcuts Made Easy

You know that feeling when you learn something new and then can't believe you hadn't thought of it before? Well, that is how I feel about this project. 

I've always hung posters for the keyboard shortcuts so that students could see them at all times. I thought this was enough, but students were still either doing things the long way or asking repeatedly what the shortcuts were. NO MORE!


By having students create their own keyboard shortcuts posters and make them visual, they really stick! 

I picked 16 of the most helpful (in my experience) keyboard shortcuts for this project. It doesn't take students long to make the posters once they get started, but plan on this taking multiple sessions. 



Options for this project

1. Assign 4 shortcuts to each student if you have limited time. This way they at least master 4 of them and everyone in the class can help each other in the future because all 16 shortcuts are covered. 
2. Group project. Allow students to work in groups and choose how to split up the list to get them all done. 
3. Multiple sessions project - Have students create a template (like the example posters) and then just plug in the visuals and keys for each keyboard shortcut. It will still take them multiple sessions but it really cuts down on the time to have each poster basically the same. 
4. Creative poster contest! This one is probably my favorite. Students create the very best posters they can, knowing that you're going to choose only a few of them to be printed and hung in the lab/classroom. Watch their creativity soar. 

I recommend this project for grades 4 and 5 if you do it digitally, but younger students could make paper posters and still learn the keyboard shortcuts. You could also have them work in Google Draw or any other graphics program. I am partial to Slides/PowerPoint because that is where I'm most comfortable. There is really no wrong way to do this. 

Ok, want the template? It is in my Free Resource Library on the TRY page. If you already have an account, go there now. 

If not, register for your free account and then dive in to all of the goodies!

If you do this project with your students, I would LOVE to see their finished examples. Share them on social media and tag me or email me the photos when you get a chance. 


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Brittany Washburn
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Weekly Tech Lab Lesson Plans


My goal with this is to free you up to take care of the other important things in your tech teacher life. Don't let your lesson plans stress you out!
The question comes up in the Technology Teacher Tribe Facebook Group again and again. "What are you teaching to {insert grade level here} right now?"

So, I put together weekly plans for the tech lab for grades K-5. These plans include everything you need so that the planning is done for you.

Click here to register for the free resource library and download the PDF versions.
(Once you're registered, navigate to https://www.k5technologycurriculum.com/free-resource-library/try/ to download all 4 quarters)

  • I Can Statements
  • Warm Ups
  • Main Activity
  • Early Finisher Activities
  • Back Up Plans
My goal with this is to free you up to take care of the other important things in your tech teacher life. Don't let your lesson plans stress you out!
Here is week 1. All of the resources I am using are linked (to get the clickable PDF version of quarters 1, 2, and 3,  register for my free resource library and then find the PDFs in the TRY section).


In addition to not having to figure out which activities to complete each week, these lesson plans also give you an overview of how I weave in other great activities along with my elementary technology curriculum.

These plans are designed for a 45 minute session once a week. About 85% of students complete the main activity in this amount of time. I always remind them that if they finish a lesson early they can go back and finish up previous lessons. 

My goal with this is to free you up to take care of the other important things in your tech teacher life. Don't let your lesson plans stress you out!
As you can imagine, each year ends up a bit different due to calendars and school schedules. With these plans so well mapped out I'm able to simply move activities between weeks as needed. If the teachers at my school want to team up for a few weeks on a collaborative project, I just slip it into my plans and move other things around.

The I Can Statements are just one that works for that lesson for the week. I usually display a few for each grade level so that students can see the big picture of what they are learning. I wrote a blog post about Tech I Can Statements here if you'd like to take a look.

The Warm Up activities are a mix of Tech Themed Read Aloud Books (amazon affiliate links), demos of the lesson, whole group interactive whiteboard games, review of a previous concept, and typing practice for the older students.

The Main Activities come from my resources, including many weeks of my elementary technology curriculum.

The Early Finishers activities are great learning game websites, reading through the classroom library picture books, some offline printable tech activities, and finishing work from previous weeks.

The Back Up plans are an offline option for when the tech doesn't cooperate. I suggest many tech board games, robots, and printable activities that are great to have on hand for situations like this. The back up plan doesn't cover the same standards as that week's lesson always so if you need to use one, make sure to move around your planned lessons to fit that standard in another time. 


My goal with this is to free you up to take care of the other important things in your tech teacher life. Don't let your lesson plans stress you out!
Having it all visualized really helps me and makes my weekends so much more relaxing. 

My goal with this is to free you up to take care of the other important things in your tech teacher life. Don't let your lesson plans stress you out!
You might have noticed that I didn't link to any standards. I want this to be as flexible for you as possible so you can match up the skills with your own state's technology standards. The I can statements will help you see which of your standards fit, though there are always multiple standards being worked in in every lesson.

How the Clickable Tech Lab Lesson Plans work

When you download the clickable PDF versions, all of the images link to where you can purchase the resource, whether through my site or on Amazon (for the books and the tech toys).
My goal with this is to free you up to take care of the other important things in your tech teacher life. Don't let your lesson plans stress you out!


Use these weekly plans to get ideas of what to work on with your students. This is certainly not the only way to teach these units and we always have to be flexible with our schedules because things come up. 

My goal with this is to free you up to take care of the other important things in your tech teacher life. Don't let your lesson plans stress you out!

I hope this helps to get you started. Click here to register for the free resource library and download the PDF versions.
(Once you're registered, navigate to https://www.k5technologycurriculum.com/free-resource-library/try/ to download all 4 quarters)

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Brittany Washburn
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