Annotating with Doc Files & Keep

One of the questions I often hear is, “How can students annotate math notes without a whiteboard?” My answer is, “When using Google APPS it’s not a problem!” There is a hidden gem called Google Keep housed in Docs, Slides, Drawings, and Sheets. Google Keep provides a whiteboard where students can draw and write fluidly with one finger or a stylus. When the student finishes white-boarding all they have to do is drag the image onto the file. The Keep image allows the student to provide supporting details.

Open Keep Whiteboard

Click Keep

  • Click Open in New Tab Icon

Open in New Tab

  • Select Pencil Icon to Open New Drawing

cliick Pencil

Annotate with Color

  1. Open Keep Drawing
  2. Double Click a Pen
  3. Select Color and Pen Tip Size
  4. Start Drawing

Keep Drawing Color.gif

Drag Image onto a Google File

  1. Open Google Docs, Drawings, Slides or Sheets
  2. Click Keep Icon 
    1. Located on Right-side
  3. Drag Keep Image onto file

Drag image

 

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Add a Little Pizazz…

When using a Google Doc Table as a graphic organizer add some pizazz to jumpstart the thinking process. It may help a child or adult process a specific task faster.  Color filling the cells supports the writer with keeping track of where to type. Why not try simple tips such as this to save some precious time throughout one’s day?

How to Color Fill a Cell

  • Open Google Docs
  • In Doc Click the Cell you want Colored
  • In Toolbar Click Paint Bucket
  • Select the Color for the Cell

NOTE: Once the color is clicked the cell becomes filled with color.

fill cell color

 

Its the “Simple Things that Count”

While watching a child struggling to write a story the following thought hit me! Show the child how to make a simple graphic organizer using a single column table in Google Docs. Creating a simple table gave the student the tool they needed for proceeding to write independently.

Turn a Table Into a Graphic Organizer

  • Open a Google Doc
  • Click Insert
  • Select Table
  • Insert 1 column by 4 rows
  • Label each row
    • Title
    • Introduction
    • Details
      • remember to support your claim
    • Conclusion

table Graphic Organizer.gif

Why Dim Google Calendar Past Events???

The “New Google Calendar” user interface (UI) offers quite a few helpful updates such as brightness control for past events. You might be thinking, “Why is it important to dim the color of past events?” In the world of education this is one of those “No Brainer” answers in support of visual learners. If a students maintains a Google Calendar as a schedule for school assignments and events it supports them with visually keeping track of daily activities. When a student is absent or behind and notices an event appears a brighter or pastel color this sets a signal off to check the event. The new calendar also offers both notification and reminder tools. When all three calendar tools are used together this becomes a powerful support for helping students keep track of everyday school activities.

G-cal Past events

How to Reduce Google Calendar Event Brightness

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. Click Gear Icon (upper right corner)
  3. Select Settings
  4. Scroll Down to View Options Section
  5. Uncheck “Reduce the brightness of past events”
  6. Click Settings Back Arrow

7 Fav Tips Using New Google Calendar

According to the October 2017 G Suite Blog post the transition from the “Classic Google Calendar” UI to the  “New Google Calendar” UI will be completed by February 28, 2018. After G Suite made the announcement about the updated interface I decided to switch and explore the New Google Calendar. Everyday I use Google Calendar to communicate and collaborate sharing classroom information with both teachers, teacher aides and teaching assistant. Following are are a few of my favorite tips for effectively using the New Google Calendar UI.

1- Expanded or Condensed View

Clicking the Main Menu Icon (3 horizontal bars)

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 6.53.20 PM
expands or condenses the calendar view.

Calendar expand & Contract

NOTES:
As a bifocal wearer I find the expanded view easier to read.

2- Show Weekdays Only

  • Click Gear Icon
  • Select Settings

Select Settings

  • Scroll to “View Options” Section
  • Uncheck “Show Weekends”
  • Changes are Automatically Saved

Uncheck Show weekends

NOTES:
I push into classrooms to assist students and take supplemental notes.
Having my calendar in week view no weekends provides me quick access to the information needed for supporting my students.

3- Add Lists to Events

  • Add or Open an Event
  • Type Agenda Style List
  • Highlight Text
  • Click numbered or Bulleted List

Calendar List

 

NOTES:
Lists are quick & easy to create. I use lists to share classroom information with SPED Teacher, Teaching Assistance and Teacher Aids.

4- Use Bold Face Text

  • Add or Open an Event
  • In Event Composer Click B (Bold)
  • Type word or sentence
  • Click B again to unbold

Cal Bold Text

NOTES:
I like to add bold title to separate my list sections. Examples: Homework, Classroom Activities, Other & etc…

5- Hide Calendars from Listing

  • Click Gear Icon
  • Select Settings
  • Left Sidebar Scroll to Calendar Lists
  • Wave Cursor (Pointer) Right of Calendar Name
  • Click Preview Icon (Looks like Eyeball)
    • A / appears through Preview Icon
    • Calendar no-longer seen in listing

Hide Calendar.gif

NOTES:
If you belong to a handful of Google Classrooms the other calendar list may have grown. I’m a visual learner and find the listing becomes overwhelming when too many calendars are listed. The calendars are important so I don’t want to delete them but hide from the list.

6-Duplicate an Event

  • Click Event
  • Click Options Settings Icon (3 vertical dots)
  • Select Duplicate
  • Click Date Field & Select New Date
  • Edit Information
  • Click Save

Duplicate Event.gif

NOTES:
Duplicating an event is a “Big Timesaver” for me. It saves time adding a new event, typing a title, details and sometime adding new attachments. It is easier and quicker to edit an event already formatted in an easy to read communication style.

7- Dim Color for Past Events

  • Click Gear Icon
  • Select Settings

Select Settings

  • Scroll to “View Options” Section
  • Check “Reduce the brightness of past events”

Dim Events

NOTES:
Once more as a visual learner this supports my finding the daily event with ease.