Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Virtual Morning Meeting Activities for Distance Learning

Although most teachers have already set up a classroom routine, it is nice to hear new ideas. It is also beneficial to go over and review your virtual class protocols. This short video may help with any or all of these needs.

Maddie at EdTech Classroom created a short video on how to do a Virtual Morning Meeting Activities for Distance Learning (https://youtu.be/bk2h-3xuNDg).  

Thinking outside the box... 
How can you use these ideas in other areas of your virtual day?

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Must-Have Google Slides Add-Ons for Teachers

This weeks video comes from Sam Kary, New EdTech Classroom.

In his video, Must-Have Google Slides Add-Ons for Teachers (https://youtu.be/jvpU2qPAt-k), Sam talks about 9 helpful Google Slides Add-Ons.  

1. Unsplash
2. Extensis Fonts
3. Flaticon
4. Slides Translator
5. Easy Accents
6. Hypatia
7. Pear Deck
8. Slido
9. Nearpod

If you have never looked through or installed an add-on it is simple.  I have created a very quick tutorial to show you how.  

Google: Install an Add-On (https://bit.ly/38on9XO)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

How to Create Drag and Drop Activities on Google Slides

Creating interactive activities can be difficult in a virtual environment.  

Pocketful of Primary  (https://www.youtube.com/c/PocketfulofPrimary) has some great tutorials on how to make fun, engaging activities for your students.  This week I am sharing How to Create Drag and Drop Activities on Google Slides  (https://youtu.be/-byn2YTVeWU).  This video is about 20 minutes long but is well worth the watch.  I hope you enjoy the video and learn something new to use with your students!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Make your PDFs and Worksheets Editable Online - Using Google Slides

As educators we always go above and beyond what non-educators are capable of doing.  It is in our blood, our DNA, to do everything we can to help our students succeed! 

This does not mean that we cannot help each other make it all easier.  Over the next few weeks I am going to share tips and tricks to make virtual learning more interactive and fun, for us and our students.  


Although we want to make school as fun as possible for our students, sometimes worksheets need to be completed.  I have found a quick video that explains how to make worksheets editable online using Google Slides.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Sensory Rooms May Help Ease the Anxiety Students Feel from COVID-19

Although I don't generally post "non-tech" information I found this article informative and relevant. We ALL, students and staff, need time away from screens and technology.  We need time to rest, relax and recharge.

Sensory Rooms May Help Ease the Anxiety Students Feel from COVID-19  (https://bit.ly/3jL03xl)

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Zoom Accessibility Features & Best Practices for Security

As we move into new online based teaching and learning, some staff and students need additional online support.  Zoom has built in Accessibilities Features and they outline them in tutorials on their web page.


Zoom has also published a series of Educational How To's.  
The one that caught my eye this week is called:

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Using Bitmoji in the Classroom

Bitmoji's are all the rage these days.  Almost everyone I know has created a Bitmoji.  These are a fun way to show emotion and can also be a fun way to engage your students.  Bitmoji can be used in a virtual environment and they can be used in printed form for a variety of classroom posters and activities.  Below are a couple links on fun ways to use Bitmoji in the classroom. 

11 Super Creative Ways to Use Bitmojis in Your Classroom  (https://www.weareteachers.com/bitmoji-classroom/)

Make a Bitmoji Scene in Google Slides!  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGKTvlUbXxY)

Although these links focus on how teachers can use Bitmojis, don't forget about your students.  Let them use Bitmoji in a presentation or class project.  They can use Bitmoji to express themselves in a class discussion or in a morning "How Are You Doing?".  Kids love Bitmoji too!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Story Shares

As many as 90 million teens and adults in America lack crucial literacy skills. Approximately 70% of all middle and high school students require some form of reading remediation. About 26% of 12th graders graduate reading below grade level. As students get older it becomes harder to find content that is both relevant for their age and readable at their level. Readers become unmotivated or disinterested, and often stop reading altogether.

Story Shares (https://www.storyshares.org/books) is a non-profit organization devoted to inspiring reading practices and improving literacy skills for individuals of all ages.   Story Shares has a library full of books that are both compelling and approachable for struggling teen and young adult readers - Relevant Reads.

If you are interested in writing a book to share on Story Shares check out their Guidelines.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Additional Information: Resources for Creating Accessible Content

Resources for Creating Accessible Content

AMMR training materials and resources created by Alt+Shift can be found in the Accessible Materials Made Right: Workshop Files folder. Additional resources that have been provided by past AMMR participants are located in the Shared Resources folder. Please consider uploading any of your own resources to this folder so that others can benefit from your shared knowledge and experience.

View the AMMR Shared Resources Folder on Google Drive  (https://bit.ly/3bwPFFA)

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Course 7: Developing Your Plan

Accessible Materials Made Right #7: Develop Your Plan

This course presents a series of questions to consider as you or your district or organization plan for digital accessibility. The approach to assembling a team, reviewing resources, revising resources, and clarifying future resource development needs to include defined goals and timelines that are reasonable to achieve and move you forward. If you work as part of a team or organization, those goals and timelines should also reflect input from the group. This increases shared ownership and accountability.

The purpose of the AMMR series is to increase awareness of what makes digital content accessible and why it really matters. The series will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to begin creating accessible documents. This course focuses on using intentional planning and design to help people who would not otherwise be able to access electronic content.

Visit Course 7  (https://www.edupaths.org/Pathways/Details/1311)

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Course 6: Microsoft PowerPoint

Accessible Materials Made Right #6: Microsoft PowerPoint

This course focuses on using Microsoft PowerPoint to create accessible presentations. Some foundational aspects of accessibility are reviewed as well as slide set up, reading order, the accessibility checker, creating handouts, and more. This course is not intended to stand alone from the first three courses in the AMMR series. Foundational and essential knowledge communicated in those courses will not be found in this course.

Visit Course 6  (https://www.edupaths.org/Pathways/Details/1298)

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Course 5: Adobe Acrobat Pro

Accessible Materials Made Right #5: Adobe Acrobat Pro

This course focuses on using Adobe Acrobat Pro to create accessible documents. Topics addressed include document set up, the importance of tags, accessible tables, bookmarks, and the accessibility checker.

Visit Course 5  (https://www.edupaths.org/Pathways/Details/1265)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Course 4: Microsoft Word

Accessible Materials Made Right #4: Microsoft Word

This course walks you through the basics of using Microsoft Word to create accessible documents.You will learn how to use styles to make documents searchable, place bookmarks inside of tables, use the accessibility checker, and export documents to PDF.

Visit Course 4  (https://www.edupaths.org/Pathways/Details/1257)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Course 3: Structure and Appearance, Part 2

Accessible Materials Made Right #3: Structure and Appearance, Part 2

This course addresses text considerations for documents you and/or your school or organization create. The particular focus for this course is alternative text for images, tables and charts, and closed captioning for video.

Visit Course 3  (https://www.edupaths.org/Pathways/Details/1243)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Course 2: Structure and Appearance, Part 1

Accessible Materials Made Right #2: Structure and Appearance, Part 1

This course addresses text considerations for documents you and/or your school or organization create. In particular, the focus for this course is on fonts, font size, headers, underlined text and hyperlinks, and other layout structures added to documents to communicate information.

Visit Course 2  (https://www.edupaths.org/Pathways/Details/1242)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Course 1: Code and Foundations

Accessible Materials Made Right #1: Code and Foundations

Have you ever used the cut-outs in curbs at crosswalks? What about pushing the buttons to automatically open doors because your hands were full? These are accessibility features that have been developed for individuals needing these access features, but all benefit from the innovations. The same holds true when we make digital content available to all users. This first course addresses the code, or the law, and reasons why accessibility is important.

Visit Course 1  (https://www.edupaths.org/Pathways/Details/1241)

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Accessible Materials Made Right (AMMR)

Over the course of the next 7 weeks I am going to be providing links to a series of short lessons (60 minutes or less) on why we should make digital text accessible and how to do it also.  
The information I am sharing comes from Alt+Shift (https://www.altshift.education/).  Alt+Shift is a collaborative and impact-focused organization advancing:

  • The belief that every student is capable of learning and thriving within his/her educational environment.
  • Educator skills, knowledge and drive to improve learning.
  • Partnerships to co-construct systems at all levels to benefit students.

Please check out a quick overview of accessible materials and watch a short introduction video at 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Card Games in the Classroom

Last week I talked about using board games in the classroom. You can also use a deck of playing cards to help students show skills they know and have learned related to IEP goal and objectives or state academic standards. Here are 16 Card Games That Will Turn Your Students Into Math Aces  (https://www.weareteachers.com/math-card-games/) and that you can use to test math skills in your classroom.

You can also check out 18 Fifth Grade Math Games for Teaching Fractions, Decimals, and More  (https://www.weareteachers.com/fifth-grade-math-games/) which can be used for teaching and assessment as well.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Board Games in the Elementary Classroom

Board games can be a great way for a student to show skills related to IEP goal and objectives or state academic standards.  For these reasons board games are great items for your classroom.  Here is a list of 21 of the Best Board Games for the Elementary Classroom  (https://www.weareteachers.com/best-board-games-for-elementary/).

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Free Audio Books

Overdrive has paired with SYNC to offer 13 weeks of Free Audiobooks aimed at teens 13+!
You can download 2 FREE audiobooks each week, starting April 30th and running through July 29th!
Register and sign up for e-mail reminders or text reminders at http://www.audiobooksync.com/.

Listen to the books by downloading the Overdrive app (https://rebrand.ly/overdrive).  The app is available for iPhone®, iPad®, Android, Chromebook, Windows 8 & 10 and Kindle Fire HD.

Check out the SUMMER 2020 SYNC TITLE PAIRINGS (https://www.audiobooksync.com/2020-sync-titles/) page for the list of available books this summer.

For younger students, check out the audio book options I discussed in a previous blog post,
Audio books (https://at-udl.blogspot.com/2016/12/audio-books.html)

As an update to this list, NighlightStories.net has begun adding new stories that you need to check out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


ModMath is a free iPad app that helps kids with dyslexia and dysgraphia do math.

ModMath assists students who struggle with Mathematical notation. The app lets you write and solve math problems on the iPad using the custom keypad.  You can also print, email, or save to cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox.

ModMath lets you:

  • Write and solve equations with a piece of virtual graph paper, greatly improving speed and legibility.
  • Solve basic math problems and more complex algebraic equations, all without ever picking up a pencil.
  • Print assignments, email them directly to the teacher or save to cloud storage.

You can visit http://www.modmath.com/ to see a short video of the app in action and to learn more about the app and the family that created it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Rewordify.com is a powerful, free, online software that improves reading, learning, and teaching. This site can:
  • Intelligently simplify difficult English, for faster comprehension
  • Effectively teach words, for building a better vocabulary
  • Help teachers save time and produce engaging lessons
  • Help improve learning outcomes
Rewordify.com is free and child-safe. The online demo offers some great tips for using the site in your classroom and with your students.  The first-time user guide contains text and images for an easy learning experience. It helps teachers create lessons and allows you to print free, full-color literature.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

20 Quotes From Children's Books Every Adult Should Know

It’s interesting how some of life’s greatest lessons can be found in children’s literature. And chances are that we did not realize this back when we were kids. Sometimes it’s only when we’re older that we learn to fully appreciate and understand the poignant words from our childhood entertainment.

For Spring Break I wanted to share with you:

20 Quotes From Children’s Books Every Adult Should Know (https://tinyurl.com/u55wxyl)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


LitCharts: From the creators of SparkNotes.  
Check them out at  https://www.litcharts.com/

LitCharts provides Side-by-Side Summary, Analysis, and Themes of a variety of literature.  
LitCharts is similar to SparkNotes or CliffsNotes except that LitCharts broke that mold in several ways. LitCharts is more of a bulleted-list-style summary of every single plot point in the book.  It offers side-by-side analysis and color-coded themes throughout the book.

The LitCharts Library has over:

  • 1230 Literature Guides
  • 187 Poetry Guides
  • 136 Literary Devices and Terms
  • Shakescleare Translations of every Shakespeare play

LitCharts offers online access as well as a mobile app for both Android and iOS.  The mobile app contains every word of content from the website, optimized for reading and reviewing on your phone.

If you are interested you can also subscribe to LitCharts A+.  They offer options for month to month as well as annual subscription rates. 
Check out https://www.litcharts.com/mrs-dalloway-sample.pdf to view all of the great features LitCharts A+ has to offer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Otter Voice Meeting Notes

Technology is improving everyday and it seems like nothing is improving faster than speech to text.  AISence Inc. is a startup on a mission to make voice conversations more valuable for everyone.

AISence has created a program called Otter, that will now record and take meeting notes for you in real-time.  Otter helps you capture and manage verbal communication through meetings, video conferences, school lectures, and other important conversations.

There is a free version of Otter and a Premium version.  With the free version you get 600 minutes of transcription every month and the plan does not expire.  The Premium plan offers 6,000 minutes per month.

Image of Otter iOS app icon.Download Otter Voice Meeting Notes for:
Android  (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aisense.otter)
iOS  (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/otter-ai/id1276437113?ls=1)
Or, create an account in your Google Chrome browser at otter.ai.

To learn more about Otter go to otter.ai.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Google Sheets as a Translator

Did you know that you can use the cells in Google Sheets to create a translation dictionary?  Google currently has over 50 languages available and you can translate from one language to another, not just English to the others.
This would be a great tool to use for those learning English as a second language as well as for those trying to learn any foreign language.  You could expand your sheet to include images or even brief descriptions, whatever would be helpful for you or your students. 

For more information please see the YouTube, How to Automatically Translate Google Sheets Cells (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEibCyjPMh4).

I am also including a link to the Languages Codes (https://developers.google.com/admin-sdk/directory/v1/languages) currently available in Google.

I have started a Google Sheet with translation from English to Spanish that you can take a look at as well, click the link below to make your own copy.
Translation Dictionary  (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JvbtxT1tXM7s-lvb0_ZjNjUw7nvGlh3jmCBVFfdHY-g/copy)

Google Sheets are versatile.  You could make a new tab for each language or, like in the video, make each column a different language as well.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Aided Language Stimulation Explained

Aided Language Stimulation Explained  (https://tinyurl.com/glj7c4u)

Teach a student to use a communication device to generate language by using the communication device as a model.  Watch this PowToon video created by Chris Bugaj to learn a little about the importance of modeling the use of a communication device.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Keeping Pace

Keeping Pace (https://tinyurl.com/qtwe3gm)

This is an instructional video on how to use the communication strategy of a Pacing Board.  It was created by and stars Chris Bugaj himself.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Strategies for Eliciting Language

Strategies for Eliciting Language  (https://tinyurl.com/wdek6dc)

Another video created by Chris Bugaj and his colleagues at Loudoun County Public Schools.  This video shows how language scripts posted around the room can be used by assistants, substitutes, and other educators in order to help students learn to communicate.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Effective Communication Strategies

Chris Bugaj, CCC-SLP, is an AT Specialist, author, podcast host, app developer ... the list keeps going.  A few years back, when Chris worked for Loudoun County Public Schools, he and some of his colleagues created some informative videos on communication strategies.  I recently stumbled upon these videos while I was doing some other research.  The videos are a few years old but the information is accurate and worth sharing.  Over the next few weeks I will be sharing these short videos, giving you ideas of how to promote language in your classroom, your lessons, and for individual students.  

Effective Communication Strategies All Day Long (https://tinyurl.com/vvfvlkp)

This video describes how to infuse communication strategies into preschool classrooms, all day long.  The information shared can easily be transferred to and used in higher grade levels as well.

Effective Communication Strategies worksheet (PDF version) (https://tinyurl.com/vl4lt22)

Tuesday, February 4, 2020


Who doesn't like sticky notes?
Did you know that there is a sticky notes app for the iPad?

Sticky - simple notebooks  (https://tinyurl.com/tafnmya)

Sticky notes, both high tech and low tech, are great for on the fly visuals, phonics lessons and solving quick math problems.  
With Sticky - simple notebooks you can arrange your thoughts, ideas, todos or assignments with different colors, sizes, and layouts.  You can even use voice dictation to write without typing. 

Sticky - simple notebooks is a versatile tool that can be helpful in all aspects of your life.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

What Teachers Need to Know to Help Left-Handed Students Succeed

WeAreTeachers.com has come out with another great article that I would like to share.  
I think it is safe to say that we all know someone who is left-handed.  My dad is left-handed and I have a few cousins that are as well.  WeAreTeachers.com has published an article that contains some great tips and strategies to help lefties be successful in your classroom.
Check out What Teachers Need to Know to Help Left-Handed Students Succeed  (https://www.weareteachers.com/left-handed-students) for more information.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Twitter as a Tool

Twitter (twitter.com) can be used as a great tool for professional development, teaching tips and communication with students and parents. There are a variety of teachers, Assistive Technology Specialists and Universal Design for Learning professionals that post on Twitter.

Check out a few hashtags for yourself, you can start with:
You can also follow me at @Kendra_Jean7791 as a starting point for your Twitter learning experience.

Creating a classroom hashtag, to use as a parent communication tool, to let parents see some of the great things you and your students are doing in the classroom, is also a great way to use Twitter as a Tool.

Get started on you Twitter journey today!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

DF Tube (Distraction Free for YouTube™)

DF Tube (Distraction Free for YouTube™) (https://tinyurl.com/yd3x2lag) is a Google Extension that is used to hide the video recommendations sidebar and the related videos that appear at the end of videos. It also removes the grid of recommended videos that appear on your homepage.  All of the settings in DF Tube are configurable and allows you to hide comments and disable playlists sitewide.

YouTube™, as a company, is directly incentivized to create views and get as many ad clicks as possible.  Because of this we are often overwhelmed with thumbnails and advertisements from every angle.  While this is good for someone looking to kill time, it is not so good if you are trying to focus on educational content, do research, or find some relaxing music to groove to.

Give it a try for yourself and see how much more productive you can be!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Math Games

Even though the word technology is in the phrase Assistive Technology, it is not always about high tech.  Using low tech options, such as manipulative, can be helpful for all students when teaching math concepts.  
In the article 16 Fun and Free First Grade Math Games and Activities  (https://tinyurl.com/w6gspte) from WeAreTeachers.com there are a variety of hands on math activities, some of which can be adapted for higher level math concepts.  Many of these activities could be used as indoor recess game options as well, such as 100 chart battleship, dot arrangement bowling or Shut-The-Box.  
Take a look at these great math game and activity ideas to determine how you can use them in your classroom today.