Tech Tips Blog

Online Virtual Math Manipulatives (Dice, Spinners, Blocks, Clocks, Cubes and More!!)

posted Nov 27, 2014, 8:19 AM by

Many math teachers often say "One of the greatest features of the smart board is the gallery of virtual manipulatives".  I have found an online gallery that works as a whiteboard (and on chromebooks) that have these virtual manipulatives that will also work on the chromebooks. Virtual Manipulatives includes everything from virtual dice, to online spinners, tangrams, thermometers, etc.  This can be a site that you can embed into a document, a Google Classroom Assignment, Google Presentation etc. and then have students complete their own inquiry based learning.  There are also game boards, story boards and workmats for the students to use as backgrounds, games and templates for their work.

 Game Boards     (Grade 2 - Switcheroo)

Story Boards (Grade K - Numbered Path) 

PDF's...How to make them usable again!

posted Nov 21, 2014, 5:34 AM by

How many of us over the years have great worksheets and handouts that we would like to scan into the computer and have our students use digitally? Or who has found a great document online but it is not editable (i.e. PDF format)? Notable is a handy Chrome Extension (and App) that will help you (and your students) make these documents live again! 

Here's how it works...

 Go to the Chrome Web Store and type in Notable

 Choose the Notable Extension

 Click Add

Click Sign in with Google (it should automatically sign you in to your account)

Choose a File

Once you choose your document you will see 6 tools in the top right corner: 

Highlighter, Strikethrough, Underline, Comment, Add Text and Choose Text

To use any of these tools:
  • click on the individual tool
  • Click on the color you would like to use
  • Go to the place in the document you would like to make your mark and annotate
If you would like to comment or delete your annotation then hover over your mark (as I have shown with the strikethrough) and a popup shows up with your initials. You can then comment or delete your mark.

 Finally, the tools at the top of the page all will allow you to do a variety of different things as well: 

 Switch to a different annotated Copy

 Share Document (Get a sharable link)

 Open a New PDF

 Print (You should not need to use this)

 Download (Will bring you to the following menu and allow you to directly export the document back to Google Drive or your computer) 

 Tools (Will bring you to the next menu) 

 Toggle Sidebar (Will bring up the following) 


 Make sure that when doing this with students you choose MAKE A COPY FOR EACH STUDENT (unless you would like to do this as a group activity) because if you choose for ALL STUDENTS TO EDIT then the comments will show up for all on the same PDF.

To use the notable tool again, click on the extension in the top right corner and click "Open from Google Drive".


posted Nov 13, 2014, 7:17 AM by

Ever wanted to try using Google forms but didn't know where to start or just how to use them? Wanted to give an online test but thought, "Ugg it's going to take me so long to grade!" WELL...TRY FLUBAROO!! This is a great auto grading program in which you create your quiz, test or survey in Google Forms and then add the Flubaroo add on in spreadsheet and VOILA! Graded assignment with data and all!! It will even email the information back to the students with their answers and an answer key (if you want).

Here you will find a Youtube video that explains how to use the Flubaroo add on.  Below the video you will find screen shots that will take you from inception of the form to collecting and emailing students their grades (if you wanted to).

YouTube Video


Share the link with students (through Google Classroom or other means).  Click on SEND FORM. 

Collecting Data: 

First take the test (Go to the live form, just as the students would) and complete the test with the correct answers.  


Scroll down and click accept!!

Resource Tool and Fifth Grade ELA, Social Studies and Technology Integration

posted Nov 5, 2014, 2:32 PM by

Wednesday I had the pleasure of spending some time in the morning with Ann MazzaPalmieri's class working on an ELA/Social Studies project.  

To explain the process:  I met with Ann at 7:50AM on Wednesday and she explained her idea. "We are reading Esperanza Rising in ELA and studying Latin America in Social Studies.  I want to show the students the cross curricular integration between the two.  How can we do this?"  Through the triad model, Ann determined that there were going to be three groups and that she wanted each group to research a different country in Latin America (Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala).  We therefore began by creating ONE document on Google Docs with questions.  The questions were general about the culture, climate, geography and people of ONE country in Latin America. Then we made a copy of that document twice and retitled the document for each country (making a few "tweeks" along the way). Finally, we had three different documents for Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. 

Next, we went into Google Classroom and created three different assignments and within each description we listed the names of the students would be working on each document. Finally, we attached the documents with the ability for students to edit to each assignment. 


At 10:20 I came back into the classroom and began the activity with the students. They opened up their chromebooks and logged onto Google Classroom. They then were directed to open the correct document. We discussed how they were all on ONE document now so BE careful! Next, I directed them to the Tools then Research button. THIS WAS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE PROCESS.  We discussed how to use this tool to find websites, maps and images that would be useful to their questions. Students were split up to answer different questions and each student was directed to answer ONE question. Students researched and found information that was relevant to their question and sometimes worked together as deemed fit. Students did an amazing job with this activity and even with a few little hiccups along the way, these 5th grade students wrote a tremendous amount in just 1 HOUR! If you look at the enclosed example, some groups (without prompting) were even giving others in their group POSITIVE FEEDBACK and reflecting on each other's work! I believe the product speaks for itself.

Great Job Ann!! Great Job Cottle Kids!! Keep up the AWESOME WORK TUCKAHOE!! 

Honduras project in MazzaPalmieri's 5th Grade Class

Logging Into the Chrome Browser

posted Oct 30, 2014, 10:29 AM by

Many people have been asking me, "Why aren't my bookmarks showing up?" "Why aren't my bookmarks saving?" WELL...the answer is simple as Logging into the Chrome Browser each and every time you log into the computer.  Now some of you might be asking, "How is this different than logging into my Google Account?" When you log ONLY into your Google Account (on a desktop computer NOT A CHROMEBOOK) you are accessing items like your GMail, Google Drive, Calendar (if you use this feature) and other additional features in the Google Suite.  BUT when you log into Google Chrome you are logging yourself into the entire Browser which will then sync and save your bookmarks, apps, and extensions from computer to computer wherever you sign on.

To do this: Click on the three lines in the right upper corner of the chrome web browser and click sign in to chrome 

This will bring you to a page that looks EXACTLY LIKE THE GOOGLE LOGIN SCREEN.  Log in with your Tuckahoe username and password.

Click Sign in.

Click Link Data (Your pop up might look slightly different than mine [link data might be on the left not right])

Click "Ok, got it!"

To Verify that your account if synced, see if your bookmarks and any extensions you may have had are there.  You can also click back on the three lines on the upper right side and see if (instead of sign into Chrome) it now says your username.

Chrome Extensions

posted Oct 16, 2014, 5:40 AM by

This week in both the Middle and High School faculty meetings Frank Greco and Cathy Gmoser spoke about their experiences at the Google Meet-up they were able to attend in NYC on September 22.  This was a great experience for all that were able to attend and they were able to share a few tidbits of information they learned with both schools.  To follow-up with one of the aspects they spoke about at their meetings, I wanted to focus this week's blog on Google Chrome Extensions. "Extensions are small software programs that can modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser." Once you install them in chrome, they can be found along the right side of the search bar AND WILL ALWAYS BE THERE AS LONG AS YOU ARE LOGGED IN UNDER YOUR ACCOUNT 

Extensions can be found in the Google Chrome Web Store under Extensions.  Here are a few Great chrome extensions for Teachers .

There are a myriad of others like:

Gmail Master!

posted Oct 10, 2014, 5:17 AM by

Who wants to become a Gmail Master? I DO!! Here are the steps how!! 

Start with the tips below that are right for you, and work your way up to becoming a Gmail master.

Level 1—Just started using Gmail
Conversations, mobile, and more.

Level 2—Get more out of Gmail
Labels, signatures, and more.

Level 3—Advanced tips
Video calls, better account security, and more.

Level 4—Become a Gmail master
Keyboard shortcuts, advanced search, and more.


posted Oct 3, 2014, 5:31 AM by

This week's blog is brought to you from a tool called DIIGO! Diigo is a great tool for personal knowledge management which will also dramatically improve your workflow and productivity.  It is easy and intuitive, yet versatile and powerful.  In it, a teacher can import PDF files, weblinks to websites, images or notes and create groups of students (classes) to which the items can be shared with. Through an educator account (which you can learn how to create through the video below) you can learn how to more quickly automate this process rather than inputting names one at a time.  Once students can access the pdf's or websites that you have added to their group, they can go to diigolet and drag the bookmark up to their bookmarks bar.  This will then give students (and teachers) the ability to annotate, put notes, highlight, bookmark or share their information with others (i.e. their teacher or other students for collaborative work).  This is a dynamic tool especially when in Google Docs we cannot annotate and edit PDF files! HERE WE CAN! 

Diigolet ToolBar
                                                                      (4 Colors)

There is an App in the Chrome webstore that will take students directly to the Diigo site rather than having to type in 
The Chrome Store Extension will allow you (the teacher) to automatically add PDF's or websites directly to the groups that you have already created.

Also important to know this is FREE and you can apply for an EDUCATOR account which gives special protections and privacies which the regular account does not have. Below is a great video about how to go about creating your free educator account as well as other information about Diigo.  

YouTube Video

This is another great video about creating groups in Diigo as well

YouTube Video

End of September....

posted Sep 24, 2014, 3:41 PM by

This week many of the Tuckahoe Teachers including Cathy Gmoser, Ev Johnson, Jean Heinson, Frank Greco and Melissa Vaccaro (I'm sorry if I left anyone off the list) were able to attend a workshop at Google in NYC. It was a great day of learning, discovery and interacting with other people in the region that are also working with Google Apps for Education. We learned about how different Apps, Extensions and Add ons can integrate with Google Drive and Classroom as well as some of the ideas and changes that they are looking towards making in the future.  

This was one picture that a second grade teacher created to show her students the workflow of before Google Classroom.

Now, through Google Classroom half of these steps have been eliminated.

Throughout the district I have heard a need for students especially, (as well as some staff) not fully understanding how to log on to Google Classroom as well as some of the features.  I have adapted this sheet to make it more explanatory (especially for students).  

Google Classroom Student Reference

Week Three and we don't stop moving!

posted Sep 19, 2014, 8:47 AM by

This week the middle and high school students received their chromebooks and the buzz has been growing throughout the schools.  I had the opportunity to meet with several teachers and discuss Google Classroom, Gmail, Drive as well as some fun Apps that can be added to your (and your students') chromebooks for additional support.  In working with Ronda Harding-Boyle, we thought of ways in which her life skills students would be able to use the chromebooks in the classroom environment.  We found a very useful Chrome Web Store App called Scootpad.  "ScootPad is an adaptive learning platform for Common Core Standards in Grades K-8 (Math, Reading, Spelling, Vocabulary, Writing etc.). ScootPad delivers continuously personalized learning experience for each student enabling comprehensive practice, accelerated progress and rapid concept mastery."  This is a great app to be able to differentiate and assign specific skills and standards to specific students or the whole class. 

After showing this tool to Rhonda, I also showed it to Joanne Ornstein for her High School Students, and she said that this might be useful for those students as well.  Look at the diversity and dynamics of just one app! 

In Danielle Dwyer's class we found another app in the Chrome Web Store  called Mic Note.  Mic Note is an audio recorder + notepad, 2 in 1 tool. Danielle is using this tool to record her voice reading different passages to her students and then saving and sharing them on the Google Drive (or Google Classroom) with them.  As these recordings are saved in MP3 format, the students (AND PARENTS) can listen to them on practically any device! 

Last but not least, let's not forget about COTTLE! I have had the privilege to walk around and meet with teachers there as well.  Great work all around! Keep up the good work Tuckahoe!


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