Research Projects Made Easier…

When it comes to research projects why should students struggle due to reading levels of resources found on the internet? What would teachers say if a search engine could be focused upon research content appropriate for younger students and lower readers? It is my belief these tools benefit students with becoming independent learners. When children feel successful with completing tasks they start to internalize the value of “Research”. Once students understand the value of research it is easier to build and introduce more advanced search skills. Next time one plans a research project why not set the students up for success by sharing a search engine scaffold to their needs.

How to Create a Custom Google Search Engine

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  • Click Create a custom search engine or New search engine

New search engine

  • In Sites to search box, type the sites you want to include for the search results
  • In Name Search Engine Box,  type the name for the new search engine
  • Finish by Clicking the Blue Create Button

Type Website URL

  • Copy embed code or public link for sharing

NOTE: Embed Code will allow you to place the search box on your website or in a blog.

 

Navigating Chrome Made Easy…

Please Click here to Make a Copy of the Slide Deck

The above slide presentation was created for a workshop I’m facilitating about “Tips & Tricks for Supporting SPED Students” by using Google Tools. My day job is as a K-12 Special Education Teaching Assistant who has spent approximately two decades working with both elementary and middle school students. One of the biggest issues I’ve noticed across the board and throughout time is the limitation of organizational skills. In this digital age there are many tools which could be used to assist with organization. These tools when implemented as supports may help students quickly access the teacher’s lesson materials.

You might ask what does this mean to a student with physical, emotional or cognitive exceptionalities? Organization and quick access to information may be a game changer for some students. Over the decades I’ve noticed the “Stress” build on some student’s faces as they stumble locating lesson materials. This only sets them behind as they focus on finding the materials and unintentionally miss hearing or seeing the directions provided by teachers. It is my belief with the support of digital devices some of this stress may be eliminated for both the student and their teachers.

Using Chrome Navigation is only one of many Google Tools which may be used for supporting the student of exceptionalities. In an earlier post this year I shared about adding images to Google Calendar.  Visuals images assist some students with understanding information. Adding images such as Favicon’s without text to the Chrome Bookmark manager are less overwhelming then images with text. Of course it supports the student who has low reading skills. It also provides a cleaner look with less distraction supporting the students with focusing issues. Simple tips & trick which tend to be overlooked may eliminate stress for some students as well as the adults who support them. I hope you find the content in the slide deck to be helpful.

Use the Pixlr Editor Magic Wand…

Have you ever inserted an image into a presentation only to discover the solid white background of the image clashes with the design layout. Did you know  it is possible to remove the white background from the image? I like using the Pixlr Editor Chrome APP for removing the background and saving the image as a png. A png image allows the background to remain as a transparency.

 

Please follow these steps to remove an images’ background using the Pixlr Editor.
  1. Open https://pixlr.com/editor/
  2. Click Create a New Image
  3. Type a File Name
  4. Check Transparent
  5. Clicl File
  6. Select Open Image URL
  7. Paste Image URL in Space
  8. Click OK
  9. Use Select Tool
  10. Drag to Select Entire Image
  11. Click Edit
  12. Select Copy
  13. Click the Birds File
  14. Click Edit
  15. Select Paste
  16. Click Edit
  17. Select Free Transform
  18. Drag Image to Size
  19. Click Yes to Apply Changes
  20. Select the Magic Wand (Transparency Tool)
  21. Click the White Background
  22. Select Edit
  23. Click Cut
  24. Select File
  25. Click Save
  26. Under Format Use Dropdown Arrow to Select PNG
  27. Select My Computer
  28. Click OK
  29. Select a File Location
  30. Click Save

Yes! My Chromebook Can Scan QR Codes…

I’m a “Brand New” Chromebook user who was recently asked if QR Codes could be scanned using this device. Note my Chromebook only has a front camera for using as a webcam. However as an “Out of the Box Thinker” I immediately did an Google Play Android APP search and found a QR Code APP compatible with the Chromebook. I was amazed by the results after scanning a not so good photocopy of a QR Code. The worksheet had a funny bend in it as I scanned the QR Code but to my amazement the Chromebook still opened the weblink.

The QR Scanner APP used was the “QR Code Scanner Free” by Emoji Developers. It installs easily and uses the Chromebook’s webcam as a QR Scanner. Once installed simply open the QR Scanner by clicking on the Chromebook Launcher Launcher.  If the QR & Barcode Scanner isn’t listed on the first screen click the blue circle with the down arrow to view “All APPS”. Open the QR & Barcode Scanner APP and Hold the QR Code in Front of the Webcam camera and like magic a weblink to a video, audio, visual or etc…  right in front of your eyes.

What can this be used for?

  1. Mastery of Homework
  2. Mastery of Assessments
  3. Virtual Art Gallery Tour
  4. Learning Vocabulary
  5. Scavenger Hunts
  6. Reinforcing Math Concepts
  7. Virtual Journeys
  8. Mystery Tours
  9. Mystery Writing Lessons
  10. Exploring Science Concepts
  11. Creating a Virtual Timeline
  12. Classroom Museum
  13. Exploring Books

Google Form Math Support Explained

Oh how I love the “Newest” Google Form upgrade! The idea of inserting images in a Google Form question or answer triggered the inspiration for this idea. It dawned on me there are two types of images: Static or Animated. The animated image seems to fit in well with everything  I read about supporting a students critical thinking skills. This made me think what would happen if an”Animated Image” was provided demonstrating solving a problem and the student was asked to explain what they see?

The Google Math Form Idea

Click Here to Make a Copy 

In creating this Google Form Math support I used the “New Image Question” feature in conjunction with the “Go to next Question based on Answer”. This provided the opportunity for the student to first explain how the problem is solved. Next the Student practiced the equation solving steps. When the Student Solves the Problem Correctly they End the Form a Kudos Message, and then submits their answer. If the answer isn’t correct the student is sent to a review page where they click a link to a Review Google Slide. The Slide is copied to the students Google Drive.

The Review Google Slide Deck Presents the Student the opportunity to view the animated problem solving steps. A space is supplied where they can type or use a voice recording to explain the problem solving steps. This is followed by a second slide which provides the problem to solve along with a place value mat as extra support. Student may use a calculator to assist with the multiplication facts.


Click Here to Make a Copy 

When the Student is done solving the problem they go back to the Google Form to submit the answer.

I recommend using the Chrome Browser with the Tab Resize Extension. This will allow the students to view the Google Form and Slide Deck side by side.

Watch for the NEXT POST!

STEP 1: Creating the Math Animated Gif

RELATED POSTS:

  1. Step 1: Creating the Math Animated Gif
  2. Step 2a: Creating the Google Form