Thursday, November 19, 2015

Google Mail Canned Responses ROCK!

In the course of my job I often find myself sending answers to the exact 
 same questions over and over and over and over again. 
 In the past when that happened I always just searched and found an old email 
where I had answered the question, copied it, and pasted it into a reply.  
That process, while not difficult, was time intensive. But not anymore! 

I now use the Google Lab- Canned Responses and it's the coolest thing EVER!

The best part is that it's super crazy easy to set up and use! 
Here's how: 

 1. Enable Canned Responses:

  • Click the gear icon, then choose Settings in the top right corner in Gmail. 

  • Choose the Labs tab. 

  • In the list of labs select Canned Responses OR type Canned Responses in the search box and click the enable button. 

2. Set Up Your Canned Responses:

  • Start a new email by choosing Compose. 
  • Type the email you want to save as a canned response and title it. You can even add an image!
  • Click the down arrow on the bottom right hand corner of the email window, hover over Canned Responses and then choose New Canned Response.

  • A pop up window will appear for you to name the canned response.  Name it and click OK. 

3. Insert Your Canned Responses:

  • Start a new email by choosing Compose. 
  • Click the down arrow on the bottom right hand corner of the compose window, hover over Canned Responses, then select the canned response name.  In my example, You Matter Nomination, under Insert. 
  • Add your recipient and click Send!  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Interactive Thanksgiving Resources

How can it possibly already be November? 
This school year is flying by (seems like they all do now!)
and Thanksgiving will be here in just a few short weeks!

Below are some great Thanksgiving games, history sites, printables, 
Smart Notebook files and more for you to use with your students! 

Thanksgiving Games: 

The Thanksgiving Dinner game is a fun way to 
practice logic and problem solving!

In this game there is a table full of food and a bunch of family members. 
Your task is to arrange the family members to sit at the table. 
Each family member has their own preference of whether 
to sit close to a certain dish, or not to sit close to a certain dish, 
they may also like to sit close to a certain person, or not to sit close to a certain person. 

Just drag the family members to their seats, and 
then press the finish button when finished. 
The better the family members' preferences are met, the higher your score!

National Geographic Kids has a fun Thanksgiving Mad Lib here.

Here is a wacky web tales on My Amazing Thanksgiving. 

This is a nice listening exercise where students 
have to pick the words from a drop-down menu 
while listening to the text (about Thanksgiving) being read. 

An online Thanksgiving crossword puzzles can be found here

Student can read Pilgrim Village from Scholastic News. 

Learn how to talk like a pilgrim here.

The object of Turkey Swap is to swap the locations of the turkeys 
and the pigs with as few moves as possible. 
You can move each tile by clicking on it. A tile can be moved to the empty space if the space is immediately beside it, or if there is one tile between it and the space. 

Too Many Turkeys is a fun game for younger kids. 
The goal is to find Pete, the Perky Turkey {who wears a bow tie} 
in a sea of turkeys as quickly as you can! 

Turkey Anagrams are fun Thanksgiving word puzzles. 

Primary Games has lots of Thanksgiving games here
{I love their site but they do have ads} but my favorite is 

The directions are: 

Be warned- it is difficult- but fun!

Thanksgiving History: 
Scholastic has some fabulous Thanksgiving resources on their
One of my favorite things about their site is that you can go on a virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation. 
What a great way to bring history alive! 

a place to learn about daily life of the pilgrim
(including comparing and contrasting 
housing, clothes, food, chores, school, and games), 
a webquest about The Thanksgiving Feast

Bring history alive by exploring's History of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Printables: 
Sparklebox has lots of great Thanksgiving printables including

There are lots of great free Thanksgiving printables on Teachers Pay Teachers HERE
Super cute 12 page Thanksgiving Printable here

Here is a cute printable Thanksgiving alphabet. 

AbcTeach has lots of printable Thanksgiving activities here.

Here is an interactive booklet you can download where students can place the 
turkey in the correct position - over, under, on, beside, etc. 

Thanksgiving Smart Notebook files can be found HERE

Pinterest Thanksgiving ideas can be found HERE.

You can find all of these resources and more at my Thanksgiving Fun website HERE

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hey YOU...Did you know that YOU MATTER?

Our school district held an AMAZING conference 
before school started this year for our instructional staff. 
Our theme for the conference and for this entire school year is YOU MATTER. 

It's been incredible and awesome to see how people in our school district 
have fallen in love with the simple idea of reminding folks that they matter! 

I've been working on some ideas for some special folks on each campus 
to help remind staff how important they are and it's been super fun! 
{We call them the YOU MATTER Ninjas- how fun is that?
I kinda love my little YM Ninja logo- isn't he the cutest?}
One of their first tasks was to print these fun signs and 
post them in bathrooms and on bulletin boards in their building.  

If you'd like to print and post some you can find them in a folder HERE
{I also posted a Christian version on my blog HERE if you'd like that one too!}

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