Monday, July 6, 2020

BCS Steam 2020 Vision Online Conference

COVID-19 has certainly put a damper on a variety of activities since March, but simply put, it hasn't stopped those of us that are wanting to continue to learn and grow in our profession. Many scheduled conferences have turned to using virtual platforms and as such have opened doors to educators from near and far!
Looking to add a little PD to your summer repertoire? Check out the BCS Steam conference (#BCSSTEAM20)! You can find more information at bitl.ly/bcssteam20sched. There are LOTS of great sessions throughout the day on a wide variety of topics. I'll be presenting a session on Google Jamboard at both 1:00CT  and 2:00CT. Both sessions are the identical so pick which one works best with your schedule. We'll dive into learning about Jamboard (an online, interactive whiteboard) and also jump onto a Jamboard in real time to play and experiment. 



Monday, June 29, 2020

Fonts, Images, and Presentation Tools... oh my!!!

I'm having SO much fun getting my blog spiffed up and back in shape that I also redid the format for my weekly newsletter for next year and have now been working on getting my Wakelet boards back up to par as well. They have needed some TLC for quite some time but they're getting there and as I'm getting them back in shape I'm opening them up for anyone and everyone to enjoy. I won't even tell you what time I finally went to bed last night, ahem... I mean, this morning. Yikes!! I just couldn't walk away! Have you ever just been in the zone and couldn't stop yourself?!

So, since my computer is now at 7% and I can't stay up as late as I did yesterday two days in a row, I'm going to do a quick share before my computer dies and then head to bed! 

I LOVE putting presentations and my newsletter together. I find it a bit therapeutic to putz with the colors, fonts, and templates. My OCD side craves it!!! I've collected quite a few sites over the years to help with everything from fonts, to text generators and templates, to color matching extensions (my fave!). I finally had the chance to put all of these amazing tools into a Wakelet board for easier access and in a place that others can also benefit from them. I hope you'll find a few new tools on this board as well. 

Have others that you can't live without? PLEASE drop a comment below and share. I'd love to add a few more amazing sites to my list!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Brightening things up 🚧

 🚧 Under Construction 🚧

Ever just need a little pick me up? Well that's exactly how I was feeling with the blog. After 3 months of staying at home, each time I would open the blog and see the dark background, it would just depress me! I needed a little more fun, color and spunk to brighten my day!! I'll be playing around with the site as time allows over the summer. I won't be removing any content, just cleaning things up a bit, reorganizing and hopefully making it a little more user friendly for finding resources. I hope you like the start of the new look. The bright colors make me smile every time I jump on! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

☀️ Ongoing Professional Development Opportunities ☀️

Looking to take your professional knowledge up a notch? What better time than over the summer months, sipping umbrella drinks by the pool, and catching some rays! Check out the variety of options below. There's something for everyone! 




Sunday, April 19, 2020

Malchow's Tech Bytes (Virtual Learning) Edition~ 4/20 👩🏻‍💻

Ahhhhh..... what a difference a week makes! Although it was still a super busy week with lots of techie things to do, I feel like I was able to breathe a little more easily and found a bit of time to get some of the things on my own to do list done! Sweet Success!!!! 

So with that said, this week brings both my normal Tech Bytes newsletter as well as the newsletter info that I am putting together for my colleagues. 
My building newsletter this week has tips to support using Google Meet for video conferences while my normal newsletter brings you integration ideas for remote learning. 

I hope you can find a resource of two to help you out this week! 
Simply click either of the pictures to go to the Google slidedeck where you will find 
both of this week's slides as well as all previous editions of my Tech Bytes newsletters.

Click the image to access

Click the image to access


Friday, April 17, 2020

Remote Learning with April's EpicPals 📚🌍

Click the image to access the Google Doc (need pdfs due to remote learning? See below)

The April's EpicPals collections are ready and waiting for you. 
(Please see important note below re: student posts)


Need this month's boards in PDF format so you can easily share with your students?
 Click here for the primary board 
Click here for the intermediate board

** Important Information re: Student Posts ~ Please read **
Due to recent issues of several students leaving inappropriate content in their posts and the fact that many of our students are now learning from home,  Bobbi and I are now fully moderating all posts and will delete ALL posts with inappropriate language, .gifs, and links for students safety. This simply means your students will not see their posts until we have approved them. 

We hope that you and your students will continue to post and enjoy using EpicPals during the coming months of home learning.  

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New to EpicPals? Head over to the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information to get you started!


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If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Bobbi or myself. You can find both of us on Twitter- @smalchow (primary boards) and @bhopteacher (intermediate boards)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Google Meet Tips & Tricks: Remove student names & URLs

In our new world of remote learning, student privacy is more important than it ever has been! For this reason, it is extremely important that you protect your students' privacy when sharing information on social media.

Video conferencing is an amazing way for us to collaborate with our students and stay in touch with what is going on in their lives. With that excitement, we often find ourselves wanting to share that excitement with others, whether that be on social media or across a platform like Seesaw with our students' parents. Often times, that excitement takes the form of a screenshot that we share out. Did you stop to think though that student first and last names show up on those screenshots? Did you also know that others can possibly join your Meet if they type in the url?

This video will show you how to quickly blackout student names and blackout or crop the url off of your picture on a MacBook using Preview. Take a peek and keep your students' safety and privacy at the forefront of your connections and your social media sharing! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Google Meet Tips & Tricks~ Enlarge Your Cursor

Does remote learning have you doing a lot of Google Meets with your students? Are your students having a hard time seeing what you are pointing to when you are screen sharing/ This short video will show you how to enlarge your cursor on a MacBook so students can easily see what you are pointing to.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Malchow's (Virtual Learning) Tech Bytes

Whew! What a CrAzY MONTH it has been!

 I feel like I need to say that 10 times to get my point across, but my guess is that if you're reading this, I'm likely preaching to the choir! LOL  I've been on overdrive since March 13th when I was at a regularly scheduled Apple Core PD planning day. The day seemed to start normally with a bit of talk about what was going on in the world and that nasty 5 letter word, COVID, but within an hour, normal turned into disbelief as we found out that a school closing was likely imminent. At that point, our team shifted gears and spent the remainder of our day planning for how and when we would train staff in virtual learning. From there, the wheels just kept on spinning. There have been days that I'm not sure if I'm coming or going and the amount of hours I have put in have been extraordinary. My family's spring break ski trip to Colorado was cancelled and I spent the majority of that break planning, prepping and creating for teachers, students and parents. Needless to say, my normally scheduled projects such as my weekly Tech Bytes and monthly EpicPals projects have taken a back seat, not because I wanted them to, but simply because there hasn't been a spare hour in the day to work on them. 

My hope is that things will calm down a little in the next week or two (I keep saying that, but it has to happen, right?!?) and that I will be able to find a better balance of working from home and supporting my middle school & high school sons with their remote learning while also keeping my own sanity knowing that my husband is working on the frontline as a captain for the fire department and riding the rescue squad each shift. The threat of COVID is very real for my family and although we have a plan and will cross each bridge as we get to it, the possible scenarios honestly scare the he** out of me.... 'nuf said.

So, back to that balance.... over the course of the last week, I've revamped my normal Tech Bytes to take on a new objective and that is to support my K-5 teachers with our main technology initiatives (Seesaw and Google Meet). Rather than create two newsletters, I'm going to share pieces of what I am creating for my district teachers with you. I hope there will be things that you will find useful as you also navigate these unchartered waters. 

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
~ Sara

Click Image to access the slide deck

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Sharing Book Creator Projects to Seesaw 📝 📫

Well now that you've sent your Book Creator Project out to students, you're probably wondering...
"How do they get their completed Book Creator project back to me?"

 Here's a video that's made for Kids, to show them how to upload their project to Seesaw. It also walks them through a few formatting tips such as making sure they don't have any extra pages (and how to delete them if they do) and how to make sure their text boxes fit on the page.




Want a written workflow? 
Here's a pdf file you can share with written directions and screenshots.

Bitmoji Image

Monday, April 6, 2020

Emailing Book Creator Templates 📫

Air Drop is such an Easy Peazy way to share Book Creator templates with students, in fact, I wouldn't do it any other way... 
UNTIL
remote learning became a thing and I can't feasibly drive to each student's house, sit in their driveway, and send the file to them. 🤣

Book Creator templates are an amazing way to share content with your students and for them to interact with that content. I've used template for research topics, author studies, class books, science journals, word sorts, and so much more. 
So how do we get these great tools into the hands of our students if we can't AirDrop? We email it to them!!! Watch the video below details on how you save your templates as ePubs to Google Drive and then send them to your students.




Need directions for your students on how to open these links from their email?
Here's a pdf file with directions for your students.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Using Bitmojis as Virtual Stickers for Feedback 🙂

A+I LOVE Bitmojis!!! 

Did you know that you can use your Bitmoji as virtual stickers in Seesaw? What a fun and easy way to leave feedback on your students' work!  There are SO many, great, kid appropriate images that you can use, and lot of new images too, like the one to the right!

View the video below to find out how to easily add these to your students' work in Seesaw!



Oh and guess what?

Side note: 
The Chrome Extension makes adding your Bitmoji SUPER DUPER easy, however, if you don't have the extension, you can still easily add your Bitmoji by saving the image to your download folder or desktop on your computer, OR by saving it to your Photos on an iPad. Then follow the same directions as the video shows, but use the upload tool on the left to bring your images onto the students' paper.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Creating Choice Boards

Remote learning brings with it lots of challenges including how to get content to students in an easy format and on one platform if possible. When I started creating choice boards it was simply to give students choice, but with the new learning landscape that we are all in, they've helped to solve other problems- getting info out that:

  • is in an easy to use format 
  • provides easy to access links to multiple resources 
  • parents can easily help their child with AND...
  • located on one platform (Seesaw for our K-5 kiddos)

If you're looking to find a way to conquer any or all of the issues above, you may want to try creating one! It's easier than you may think! The video below will walk you through the basics so you'll be able to confidently create your own that can align with your grade level content.

Want to see a few examples? Click here or here to see two different ones that I created. Feel free to download and use if you'd like. 


Have fun!!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Remote Learning~ Learn to Code Choice Board

Here's another Choice Board that your students may enjoy during your school's remote learning timeframe. You'll find a Dr. Seuss choice board that I created in this post

The top row of this choice board would be appropriate for the primary grades while the remainder of the board will likely be more appropriate for the upper grades and students that have an interest in coding. 


**Please Note: The CS First sites (Create a Google Logo, Animate a Name, Code your Superhero) require students to enter a code to access. To get a code, you need to set up a free account. It's super easy & takes less than 5 minutes (I promise!). Once it's set up, your students will simply  enter your code. There's nothing more you will need to do unless you want to track their progress on the dashboard. I've included a video below to show you how to set up your acct.
Click image to access and download this file

For the links to be live, the board which is saved as a pdf, needs to be uploaded as a file, NOT as a link in Seesaw. You'll need to download the file first (click the image to access the file and download) then, watch the embedded video below for directions on how to make it work in Seesaw.









** Please know that sharing settings for all documents are set to Open by Anyone with the Link. **
If you are being asked to request access, please check with you IT department 
as the message below is what I get when trying trying to give you access.


Remote Learning, Choice Boards and Seesaw

With so many of us moving to remote learning, you many find yourself in the position of needing to offer your students choice in a different format. Choice boards if you've not heard of them are graphic organizers that are comprised of different squares, each with a different activity. Each activity helps students to learn or practice a concept while allowing choice. You can ask your students to complete 1 or several of the activities and they can complete them in an organized fashion or in random order. I guess there's a reason that they're call choice boards! 
Lmao
Here is a choice board that I created for Read Across America week that may be a useful extra in our new, ever-changing learning landscape. These are great when uploaded to Seesaw.
For the links to be live, the board which is saved as a pdf, needs to be uploaded as a file, NOT as a link. You'll need to download this file first (click the image to access the file) Nexrt, watch the embedded video below for directions on how to make it work in Seesaw.

Click the image to download a copy of this board.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

A wee bit of fun with March's Epic Pals!



The March EpicPals collections are ready and waiting for you. 
(Please see important note below re: student posts)

** Important Information re: Student Posts ~ Please read **
Teachers, please chat with your students about posting responsibly. We've had several issues recently of what we think are 3-4 students that are leaving inappropriate content in their posts. Due to these issues, Bobbi and I are now fully moderating ALL posts and will deleting ALL posts with inappropriate language, .gifs, and links.  This means your students will not see their posts until we have approved them. We're sorry that the actions of a few have ruined it for many. 

As always, please encourage your students to read others' posts and if they like their post, have them click on the heart at the bottom of the sticky note or leave a comment if comments are turned on. Being reflective and having an authentic reason to like something is a great first step towards leaving meaningful and authentic feedback. 

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New to EpicPals? Head over to the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information to get you started!

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If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Bobbi or myself. You can find both of us on Twitter- @smalchow (primary boards) and @bhopteacher (intermediate boards)

Monday, February 3, 2020

💖 Feeling the Love with February's #EpicPals! 💖



The February EpicPals collections are ready and waiting for you. 
(Please see important note below re: student posts)

Are you new to EpicPals? If so, head over to the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information to get you started!
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** Important Information re: Student Posts **
PLEASE have conversations with your students on what makes a good post and how to be a good digital citizen when working online. We had several issues in November of students leaving inappropriate content in their posts.  If you come across inappropriate content, please feel free to reach out to Bobbi or I to review/remove the content. Although we do moderate, we do miss things as we are not on the boards every day. You can find several resources to help you with these conversations on this previous blog post.

As always, please encourage your students to read others' posts and if they like their post, have them click on the heart at the bottom of the sticky note or leave a comment if comments are turned on. Being reflective and having an authentic reason to like something is a great first step towards leaving meaningful and authentic feedback. 

***************************************
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Bobbi or myself. You can find both of us on Twitter- @smalchow (primary boards) and @bhopteacher (intermediate boards)

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Malchow's Tech Bytes 👩🏻‍💻~ February 3rd 💖🌎📚

Click image to access clickable links

Well, Bobby the groundhog saw his shadow here in NE Wisconsin, so we are in for another 6 weeks of winter. Personally, I'm ok with it as we haven't had much snow and fun yet. Bring it on!Bitmoji Image

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Malchow's Tech Bytes~ January 13th 👩🏻‍💻

Bitmoji ImageHappy New Year!!! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday break and found some time to relax and rejuvenate! This week's Tech Bytes has resources for Martin Luther King Jr Day which is next week Monday.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

EpicPals- January 📚🌎❄️

The January EpicPals collections are ready and waiting for you. Sorry for the late start this month as we work to get students back into the swing of things. 🙂
(Please see important note below re: student posts)

Are you new to EpicPals? If so, head over to the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information to get you started!

------------------------------------------------

** Important Information re: Student Posts **
PLEASE have conversations with your students on what makes a good post and how to be a good digital citizen when working online. We had several issues in November of students leaving inappropriate content in their posts.  If you come across inappropriate content, please feel free to reach out to Bobbi or I to review/remove the content. Although we do moderate, we do miss things as we are not on the boards every day. You can find several resources to help you with these conversations on this previous blog post.

As always, please encourage your students to read others' posts and if they like their post, have them click on the heart at the bottom of the sticky note or leave a comment if comments are turned on. Being reflective and having an authentic reason to like something is a great first step towards leaving meaningful and authentic feedback. 

***************************************
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Bobbi or myself. You can find both of us on Twitter- @smalchow (primary boards) and @bhopteacher (intermediate boards)

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

#OneWord2020


Another year and the beginning of a new decade which means it's time again to reflect on where I've been and where I want to go. Last year I chose the word CONQUER and it was a tough one. I may have even bit off more than I could chew as they say. Conquering comes in many layers and some are easier than others like projects, but conquering obstacles and fears isn't always easy.

I typically print my image off and post it in various locations (my offices, by my treadmill, etc) and also make it the screensaver on my laptop to help keep my word at the forefront of my thinking, but I didn't do that last year for various reasons, and I think it made a difference, and not for the better. So here's to a new year, a new goal and back to printing off my image to help me focus on my goal throughout the year. 

This year's word is SIMPLIFY. I've learned that I love to have my hands in a little bit of this and a little bit of that and my plate is usually heaping full and spilling over the edges which quite honestly, stresses me out a bit. So this year, I need to simplify. I need to come to grips with how much I can put on my plate and when and know that it is ok to say, No or I can help you with that, but I won't be able to get to it for a week or two.  

A good friend of mine told me a couple of years ago, 


As a people person I'm always willing to help others, even when it means putting my projects and obligations on the back burner. Unfortunately this means that I stress myself out to get my things done at the expense of my family and my "me time". I haven't gotten on the treadmill in longer than I can remember, I haven't blogged for the sake of blogging and I haven't connected with friends, played outside or just had a good laugh in quite some time. So all said and done, I need to simplify my life and bring back the joy, laughter and time for myself that will make me a better person.

Signing off to print my images so I can put them in my office first thing tomorrow!!!