Thursday, August 13, 2020

New! Google Slides Virtual Bulletin Boards for Distance Learning or Blended Classrooms

 Hey Educators! Welcome back!

Here is something super fun for back to school from Google. Check out this Google Slides Virtual Bulletin Boards Template (you will be asked to make your own copy) and bring the fun of bulletin boards and stickers online with these classroom activity boards. Great for distance learning or blended classrooms.

The template includes:
  • vision board
  • participation chart
  • introduce yourself
  • student of the week
  • student goal setting
  • tons of fun stickers!

🏆Pro Tip: To use just one slide: 
Click on the slide you want (hold down shift to click on more than one slide)
Go to File --> Make a copy --> Selected slides
This will make a NEW slide with just the slide (or slides) you selected
Yay, Google magic!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Rae Fearing's Summer Book Study: UDL in the Cloud!

Join me for summer learning fun! 
Starting on August 1st, we will explore the book UDL in the Cloud by Katie Novak and Tom Thibodeau. Together, we will learn how to design and deliver better online learning using Universal Design for Learning.
Click here to sign up for this free professional development opportunity and let's learn together.

Monday, May 4, 2020

5 Gifts You Can Text A Teacher For Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week Distance Learning Style

Here are 10 things you can text a teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week.

1.  Starbucks Gift Card

Using iMessage on an Apple device you can send a gift card right through a text message! Here are the steps to do it:
Open up Messages on your iPhone.

Scroll until you see the Starbucks app, select it and then choose you card style. 

Once you tap the card style you want, you will see an option to send a $5, $10, or $15 gift card. 

Simply select the amount you want to send, pay and the card will show up in their text stream. It's an easy way to make a teacher's day.

2.  Read A Poem

Homemade gifts are the best, right? Why not use the audio recording feature on your phone to record
a poem for a teacher. This is a great way to brighten their day. Bonus points if you do this for a Language Arts teacher! 

Looking for inspiration? Try one of these 12 Favorite Poems About Teaching by WeAreTeachers.

Add a bit of fun and read the poem using an animation app Animoji, Chatterpix, or Tellagami!

Here is a poem I recorded for my teachers using Chatterpix. I texted it to each of them during Teacher Appreciation Week.

3.  Amazon Gift Card

Amazon gift card amounts to chooseAmazon gift card

You can order email, text, print-at-home or mail gift cards from Amazon. If it is in your budget,
teachers always appreciate Amazon gift cards. They can get something to use for distance learning (like a headset or mouse) or use it for a hobby.
When you send a gift this way you can track when it is sent and when they open it. 
So you know that they got it!

You don't have to go broke with a large staff either, Amazon let's you send gift cards for $1 - $2000. To enter an amount less than $25 just type in the Enter and Amount box - you can go as low as $1 - you could send a dollar a day for the whole month!

4.  Send A Song

Harness the power of YouTube and send teachers a song during the week. You can help teachers feel inspired, calm, connected and happy with a song. Choose songs that mean something to you and include a simple message about why you selected it. Text a different song each day and generate smiles and warm feelings.

Here is a playlist from K-5 Principal, Denise Harnden.  

5.  Teacher Squad Video

Create a compilation video with messages for all your teachers from you, support staff and families. Send to them in a text or share it on social media. Teachers will appreciate hearing heartfelt messages thanking them for their dedication to students. You can use a ton of different apps for this. Here are my top 3 faves based on ease of use: Clips, Animoto, Adobe Spark

This is my Teacher Appreciation video made with Clips.

Here is a video made with Adobe Spark by educator, Charlene Knowlton, for the students at her middle school.

Get creative for Teacher Appreciation - you can do a lot with a little and brighten your teacher's day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Engaging and Keeping the Attention of Students

This is my Week 2 post from our 'Don't Ditch That Tech' book study.


In "Don't Ditch That Tech", the authors state that "What we do know from the science of learning is that, at every stage of the learning process attention is a central component in moving skills and content to the long term memory. For us as practitioners, this means that we should not just seek to grab attention at the beginning of a lesson, but we should strive to keep our students engaged throughout our time with them." (Miller, 2019)

One of the ways we lose student engagement is when a learner encounters a barrier to accessing content. This may be difficulty decoding words, typing a response, or understanding vocabulary in the text. When a student encounters a barrier they can get frustrated, lose interest and attention wanders. When we design a lesson to remove these barriers, then all students have access thus increasing their rate of engagement.

Integrating fun, new apps and tools into a lesson is always exciting, but for this post I wanted to focus helping remove barriers and maintaining student interest and engagement with content. 

Presenting content to students in only one or two similarly styled ways may present barriers for learning and lead to disengagement. 

To overcome this barrier, teachers can use technology to provide options for students when dealing with digital content. 

OPTION 1 - Provide multiple formats to access content - Here are examples of how to do this with the science concept: States of Matter

    • Video

    • Text
                  States of Matter - CK12 Online Textbook
    • Multimedia/Interactive
                  Phet - free online simulations
                                                                           States of Matter

Click to Run

OPTION 2 - Present information digitally and give students the opportunity to customize display             

(example - sharing a copy of slides and letting students change look)
    • Push out your slides of class notes to students in Google Classroom BEFORE the lesson, make a copy for each student. Encourage them to change or enhance the notes to meet their needs.

  • Offer ways of customizing the display of information
    • When using Google Docs let students customize the display of information.

Try the Read&Write Chrome Extension which has many tools including screen masking.

If you want to learn more about removing barriers to learning here are some resources from the super smart Zach Smith.

Tools and Strategies to Address Barriers (Video 1:38)

MILLER, MATT. DON'T DITCH THAT TECH differentiated instruction in a digital world;differentiated instruction in a digital world. S.l: DAVE BURGESS CONSULTING, 2019. eBook.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Hello Universally Designed Leadership!

This is Week 1 of my Universally Designed Leadership course with Dr. Kristan Rodriguez, being offered through Novak Consulting. If you want to know a little more about me and why I am taking this course feel free explore below.

Rae Fearing

Options for learning about Rae 😁

Read the post below 
Watch a video of me answering the questions in this post
View my About Me Page 
Ask me questions!


What is your name: 

Rae Fearing

Describe your day job: 

My position is split between Director of Innovation and Special Projects for Del Norte County Office of Education and as Principal of Gasquet Mountain Elementary School which is a STEM school in Del Norte County, California. As Director of Innovation, I support teachers, administrators and students in the effective integration of technology to support learning. I also implement ideas to promote new and innovative teaching practice. Del Norte County has one school district with approximately 4000 K-12 students and 240 teachers. My work involves building structures and supports to increase academic achievement and engagement through collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. Some of my projects include:

  • GSuite for Education to increase collaboration and communication
  • EdCamp to support collaboration and learning
  • Breakout Edu to support innovative classroom practice
  • Science for all through implementation of California's new Next Generation Science Standards
  • STEAM Education (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) including our annual STEAM Expo
  • No Worksheet Week (and month) to support innovative teaching with Matthew Weld
As a Principal of a K-8 STEM school I have built a STEM program with an emphasis on Environmental Science to provide rigorous learning combined with engineering and project based learning. Together with my teaching staff we work to create student centered learning environments that include real world applications. Our goal is to give students the knowledge and skills they need to be informed citizens and pursue STEM subjects in college or as a career.

What motivates me as a learner?

Caring about the subject I am learning.
Achieving and earning recognition (points, grades, achievement levels, etc.)
Feedback (Teacher to student, peer to peer)

What motivates me as a leader?

Helping others
Seeing accomplishments reached
Getting better

Why are you taking this course?

I have been a UDL fan since I first heard Katie Novak speak. She even stopped by a UDL focused Twitter Chat I hosted once for #CAedchat! Katie has said she learned from Dr. Kristan Rodriguez, so I for that reason I jumped at the chance when I saw this course. I am taking this course to help me better support my school and my district as we move into UDL implementation and improved learning for all of our students.

What do you hope to gain from this course?

My goal is to increase my knowledge and move further into my own understanding of UDL. I want to support not only my own school site, but also all teachers and school in my district as they start on their UDL journey.

What assets and challenges do you bring to our new community of learners?

Experience with online learning both as a student and as a teacher/facilitator of learning
Basic knowledge of UDL
Enthusiasm for connecting and learning from others