Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Number Line

Number Line helps students visualize number sequences. It can also helps students illustrate a variety of math strategies including counting, comparing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.

Number lines can be labeled with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, or negative numbers. It is an open-ended educational tool, ideal for elementary classrooms and other learning environments that use laptops, iPads, or Chromebooks.

Check out their great tutorials (https://bit.ly/31UAVQY).

Number Line is available as a web app (https://bit.ly/3oThKzO), for iOS (https://apple.co/3yo3wKx), or for Chrome (https://bit.ly/3dQhMlH).

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Number Frames

Number Frames helps students count, represent, compare, and compute with numbers; 5, 10, 20, and 100.

Number Frames has a variety of counter styles and colors to choose from. Using Number Frames can help students move away from one-by-one counting and toward more efficient ways of counting and computing by seeing patterns in the quantities.

Check out their great tutorials (https://bit.ly/3IIuIIF).

Number Frames is available as a web link (https://bit.ly/3DQZYBr), iOS app  (https://apple.co/3IOdBoC), or for Google Chrome  (https://bit.ly/30vq6o0).

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Math Clock

Math Clock helps students become fluent working with time. 

Math Clock is a virtual version of the manipulative.  It is an open-ended educational tool, ideal for elementary classrooms and other learning environments that use laptops, iPads, or Chromebooks.

Check out their great tutorials (https://bit.ly/3pQjKbk)

Math Clock is available as a web app (https://bit.ly/3yyr0fZ)for iOS (https://apple.co/3yrBQ7e), or for Chrome (https://bit.ly/3E77OY1).

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Math Learning Center

The Math Learning Center contains free lessons, materials and publications designed to help inspire and enable individuals to discover and develop their mathematical confidence. They have materials for use in the classroom and for families in a home setting.

Over the next few weeks I am going to highlight the variety of apps that they have available, for free. Most of the apps are available as a web application, for iOS and for Chrome.

One of the great features of the apps is the ability to share within the apps, even across platforms.  According to the website, "Sharing in an app allows educators to pose problems and investigations for students. Students can share their thinking with their teachers and classmates."
Scroll down to the bottom of the Math Apps page to watch a short video on how it works.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

5-Letter Sight Words Video

I introduced the Quiz Tree YouTube channel in last weeks Blog post.  

In another one of their videos students can learn all of the 5-letter Dolch Sight Words 

This video is just over 7 minutes.  

This video would be a great filler activity for your class.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

2-Letter Sight Words Video

Quiz Tree has a YouTube channel that contains some fun, short educational videos.  

In one of the videos they introduce all of the 2-letter Dolch Sight Words  (youtube.com/watch?v=NNFP1CBzlHU).  

The video is just under 2 and a half minutes.  

Let your kids watch it as many times as they like!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

5 Fun and Easy Equipment Free Games

As the colder weather begins here in Michigan, teachers are always looking for indoor movement activities in case outdoor recess is not an option.  Other teachers are always on the lookout for quick brain break activities.  

fit Sanford Health logo
fit by Sanford Health has a bunch of great ideas to help kids stay active.  The site is full of activities and informaiton about fitness as well as some social emotional strategies for students and families.

Their blog post this week is 5 Fun and Easy Equipment Free Games (https://bit.ly/30dAXlU).

Follow the links to check out the site and their recent blog post.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Siri for Personalization and Off-Line Supports

Did you know that you can use Siri to personalize your iDevice experience? With the release of iOS 15 you can now use Siri for advanced personalization and off-line supports.

Siri now learns the contacts you interact with most, new words you type, and topics you read about — all privately on your device. This allows for an improved understanding of speech recognition on the iPad.

Siri can also process a variety of requests offline, without an internet connection. Some of these options include:
  • Timers & Alarms
  • Sharing
  • App Launch
  • Control Audio Playback
  • Settings

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Adding a New Line Within a Cell

Sometimes when I am working in Google Sheets I want some of the information in a cell to start on a new line.  There are times when this helps both visually and for organizational purposes.  

The cell on the left feels cluttered, hard to read.  The cell on the right contains the exact same information but is less cluttered, easier to view.


Previously I would add a bunch of spaces to the end of a section so that the next bit of information would start on a new line.  This process was time consuming and not always accurate when you would print the document.

There is an easier way.

Place your cursor where you want the new line to start. 
On a Mac, use the key combination: command + enter.
On a PC, use the key combination: control + enter.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021


Some Google Extensions are great tools for productivity and organization.  One Extension that can be very helpful is OneTab.


One Tab allows you to convert all of your open tabs into a list of URLs.  

From the list you can restore your tabs individually or all at once.  

Using OneTab can conserve battery power on a laptop/Chromebook.  It can also help speed up your device.  OneTab temporarily reduces the amount of memory your computer or chromebook uses, when you keep too many tabs running in the background.

The URL list can also be exported to save for later or to be shared with someone.

OneTab may be just the tool your students need when they are working on a research paper for your class.  They can open and view multiple tabs.  When computer time is over, they send the OneTab list to their G-Mail for later review and use.  They will have all of their research available to them, without having to continually start over or remember what they had searched for previously.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Turn on/off auto numbering and bullets in Google

1. When you start a line with a number, auto numbering automatically turns on.
2. This is great if it is the feature you want.
3. If this is not what you want...
4. Shut it off by un-selecting the numbering button in the tool bar.



This also works for turning on and off bullets.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Google Timer - guest writer Jerilyn Lynn

In order to provide great information for my readers, I have enlisted the help of some guest writers.

This week I am using a write-up from Jerilyn Lynn, M.I.L.S - University of Michigan, Technology Resource Specialist for Ypsilanti Community Schools.

Google Timer

  1. Go to the Google Search Page: www.google.com

  2. Enter: timer 5 minutes (or whatever time you want) 5 minutes is just an example of minutes

  3. Press the enter key.

  4. The timer will automatically start counting down!

  5. Click the speaker icon to mute the alarm.

  6. Click the frame icon to switch to the full-screen mode.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Mercury Reader

Mercury Reader is a Google Extension that allows you to remove webpage noise and clutter from an article to make it easier for students to read.  

Mercury Reader Extension - Off          Mercury Reader Extension -On

Mercury Read allows you to make minor changes to font style, size and light/dark background options.  

Mercury Reader Extension - Settings icon     Mercury Reader Extension - Settings Menu

Mercury Reader also has a keyboard shortcut 
which allows you to switch the Reader on and off within any article:
Cmd + Esc for Mac users
Alt + ` for Windows users

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tab Scissors and Tab Glue

Tab Scissors and Tab Glue are 2 of my FAVORITE extensions. These 2 extensions go hand-in-hand and are useful for a variety of reasons.
Image of Tab Scissors Extension Tab Scissors lets you separate 2 tabs within one Google Chrome browser window. Tab Scissors splits the tabs into 2 smaller, equal sized windows allowing you to compare information side-by-side. The extension separates your window at the active tab and the one to its immediate left. If you have additional tabs open, the ones on the left stay in the left window and the ones on the right stay in the right window.

Image of Tab Glue Extension Tab Glue allows you to quickly put all of your tabs back together, into one large window. Your tabs remain in their original order. Tab Glue simply works in the reverse of Tab Scissors.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Google Extensions

Chromebooks are similar to a computer but different in a few ways, primarily they have limited storage space. To allow a Chromebook to function more like a standard computer Google created Extensions. Extensions are small software programs that customize the browsing experience. They can be used on a Chromebook as well as in the Chrome browser on a computer. Extensions modify and enhance the functionality of Google Chrome.
To install a Google Extension, visit the Google Web Store.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be highlighting a series of Extensions that I use on an almost daily basis. I hope you and your students find them as useful as I have.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Text-to-Speech - Chromebook & iPad

Text to Speech is a tool that has multiple uses. It can be used to help with reading and writing. It can be used by students and teachers.

I use text to speech to edit my writing. I listen to what I have written to help with sentence structure or misused words. It helps me improve my writing. I use text to speech to edit many of my blog posts.

Text to Speech can be a useful tool for struggling readers, English language learners, or readers with dyslexia as well. Using Text to Speech as a reading tool can help a variety of students and adults.

Most devices have text-to-speech built into the operating system. On a Chromebook it is called Select-to-Speak (https://bit.ly/38NeLjv). On an iPad it is called Speak Selection (https://bit.ly/2XmxZYD).
To view the tutorials on how to enable and use these features select the apporiate link above.

Try it out for yourself.  I am sure you will love it!


To use Text-to-Speech on a MacBook or iMac, follow these directions (https://bit.ly/2YusABr) to enable Text to Speech.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Speech-to-Text, Google Voice Typing

As a district we have moved to 1:1 enviornment.  Every YCS student has access (or can have access) to a district issued device.  Take a moment to consider your students. Think about the ones who struggle to get their ideas onto paper. How about the students who struggle with spelling or have fine motor control issues.

Speech to Text is a tool that can help these students and many others. Speech to Text is an Accessibility feature built into most computers today. It is a tool that allows a writer to dictate their thoughts and ideas into a document. Many Speech to Text options also allow you to speak the punctuation and a multitude of other voice commands for editing purposes.

Google Docs has a built in Speech to Text option called Voice Typing.

Google offers a fairly comprehensive instructional guide for Voice Typing. The guide includes a list of languages supported by Voice Typing as well as a list of punctuation that can be voice enabled. The guide also includes a list of voice commands for formatting or editing your document in the sections under “Voice commands”. There are also some troubleshooting tips located near the end of the guide.

Voice Typing is also available on iPads via the microphone icon that appears next to the keyboard when typing.  

Give it a try! Your students will love it (and so will you)!


Voice Typing is also available as a built-in features on the staff MacBooks.  Please reach out to me if you would like a tutorial on how to set it up for your use.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Welcome Back!

Welcome back everyone!  I hope you all had a relaxing summer break!

If you are new to my Blog, let me give you a quick overview.  In this blog I provide you with Assitive Technology and Universal Design for Learning tips and tricks.  These bits of information can be used with students and staff, everyone that uses technology.  

Starting next week I will post a new blog each week.  I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful!  

Have a great school year and I am excited to be back!

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Summer Break

Summer Break is upon us. Here in YCS this is our last week. We have exciting things planned for the summer with our Grizzly Learning Camps.  
Unlike past summers, I will not have the time to do a weekly learning series.  I will try find new things to share during the summer, and if time arrises I will post what I can.  I look forward to communicating new information next school year with all of  you!  

Have a great summer!  See you in the Fall!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Free Digital Fidgets

Do you have some students that need an activity that provides them with a moment to redirect their own attention or disruptive thoughts / actions? Is there a way to provide this opportunity without having physical, hands-on materials available?

Try some digital fidgets!

Digital Fidget Spinner  (https://www.fidgetspin.xyz/)

Sand Swirling  (https://apps.amandaghassaei.com/FluidSimulation/)

Virtual Bubble Wrap  (https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/66060262/)

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

FREE RESOURCE: Fine Motor Strengthening At Home

Are you looking for some fine motor strengthening activities to do at home?

XceptionalED has a free resource available, a great PDF list of fine motor activities that can be done at home. Check out this free resource at:


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Captions in Google Slides

Did you know that in Google Slides you can turn on automatic captions to display the speaker's words in real time?  
This can be helpful for individuals with hearing impairments as well as those learning to read.  

Follow the link below to get to Google Support for more information.  


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

New EDU in 90 episodes

Check out Google for Education, EDU in 90. This YouTube channel offers short videos with news and updates on important topics for educators, administrators, and school leaders.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021


Are you looking for something artistic to do?  How about something that is relaxing as well?

This-is-sand lets you create sand art on your computer or other wireless device.  It is a fun, relaxing activity for people of all ages.  

This-is-sand can also be used to help kids learn to click and drag.  In the settings (near the bottom of the home page) toggle off Auto-Flow.  This will require you to click and drag to get the sand to flow.  Students can work on clicking and dragging while moving the sand all across the screen.  

This-is-sand is available online (https://thisissand.com/), in the App Store (https://apple.co/2QFHz7M) and on Google Play (https://bit.ly/2RPk9NX).  

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

AVA - Web Captioner

Are you looking for a program that will caption in-person and online conversations?

Ava Closed Captions (Ava.me) is available for Mac, Windows, Web, Android, and iOS devices. With just one click you can display instant captions, no matter what tool you use.

Ava offers free, unlimited automatic captions powered by the best-in-class speech recognition software.  Ava uses AI to transcribe instantly what people say.  With Ava you can caption live conversation, online meetings or even online videos.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Visual Timers

If you have a student that struggles with time management, they may need a visual time to help. Visual timers can also be used to help keep students on task and for some students they are motivating.

Timers can be a stand alone device such as the Time Timer (https://www.timetimer.com/). They are also integrated into Android & iOS devices, and can be visual as well. You can also do a quick search in Google for a timer if you want to have it on a Google Chrome compatible device or to share it up on a smart board for the whole class to see.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


In last weeks post I provided a link to the Bookshare YouTube channel. This week I want to discuss Mathshare.

Mathshare is new product from Benetech, the developers of Bookshare. Mathshare is similar to Bookshare, but for Math. 
According to Benetech, as many as 40 percent of students grapple with math. It can be particularly difficult for students with special needs, who can struggle with organization or accessing information. Whatever the learning challenge, Mathshare’s unique step-by-step problem solving approach and built-in accessibility make learning math easier and inclusive for all students.

I do want to point out there is one HUGE difference between Bookshare and Mathshare.  Bookshare has specific qualification requirements.  Mathshare on the other hand is free for any school or student to use!

Check out Mathshare at https://mathshare.benetech.org/

They also have a YouTube channel with some helpful videos.  You can find it at https://www.youtube.com/c/Mathshare

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Bookshare: How-Tos on YouTube

I have been promoting Bookshare across our school district for quite a few years now.  We are slowly beginning to provide access to our students who need and qualify for this resource.  

To get the word out even farther, I would like to share some more Bookshare resources.

Bookshare has a YouTube channel that contains webinars, testimonials, tutorials and tips for using Bookshare.  You can find the YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/BookshareTeam/videos

Within the YouTube channel there is a playlist of short videos on how to Manage Bookshare Accounts.  You can find that playlist by going to http://bit.ly/3bibcUK

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

IRIS Center Learning Module: Parents: Supporting Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The IRIS Center, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University had a variety of fantastic learning modules. They are continually adding new modules or updating existing modules. Recently I found out about one called:

Parents: Supporting Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic. (https://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/c19/)

This resource offers tips to support your child’s learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is full of great ideas to try and suggestions that might work at home and at school.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

IRIS Center - Helping Student's Stay Focused

Teaching online isn’t always easy.  Learning online isn't easy either.  If you are struggling to help your student or child, you are not alone! 

The IRIS Center, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University has come up with a quick Parent Tips Sheet to keep students focused during online learning.  

You can find the Parent Tips Sheet by following the link below:


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

IRIS Center - Parent Tips for Online Learning

Although some districts are returning to face-to-face learning, some are still full virtual or are doing some sort of hybrid model. Regardless of which option your students are attending, we are all burned out this year. Teachers and parents are looking for help. 
The IRIS Center, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University has put together a 2-page Parent tips sheet that might be helpful for all of us.  You can find the sheet at:

Tuesday, February 9, 2021


Otter.ai lets you transcribe, caption and record audio in real time.  Otter.ai is available in English on the Web, on iOS, Android, Zoom, and in Google Meet.  You can use Otter.ai to caption meetings, transcribe lectures and record your voice for easy listening later.  

If you would like to add this extension to your Chrome Browser, click the link below:


There are easy to follow instructions here:


If you are looking for the iOS app, while on your iOS device, follow the link below:


To add the app to your Android device follow the link below:


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Using Pear Deck to Make Your Google Slides Presentations Interactive

Pear Deck is a tool that can be used for a variety of educational options.  I found a great video by Stacey Roshan (http://bit.ly/2YDAN3h) about how to use Pear Deck to make Google Slides presentations interactive.  The video will show you how to install the Pear Deck add-on, how to add various types of slides, how to customize draggable slides and what the presentation looks like from both the teacher and student end.  

Getting Started with Pear Deck to Make Your Google Slides Presentations Interactive. (https://youtu.be/9PJgsa-fnmA)

Stacey also has a great follow up video with tips for using Pear Deck as a student paced, asynchronous option for learning.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Missing Blogs

 WOW!  What a year it has been!  😷😜😷

I want to apologize to my readers for all of the weeks that I have missed posting a Blog entry.  It has been very busy in YCS with 3 learning options available for students and keeping up with the provision of devices for our students and staff.  

Moving forward I will work very hard to provide a new tip or trick each week but please accept my apology if I miss a week or two.  I do missing providing you all with new information and things to try with the kids.  I look forward to sharing new items with you again! 😁