All posts by Stephanie

Slides Carnival

Slides Carnival is a wonderful free template gallery for Google Slides users that scaffolds the process of creating an effective slide show for users. All Slides Carnival templates contain the same slides and options, but different formatting, colors, fonts and layout. They are also all customizable. Unfortunately, Slides Carnival shows advertisements and does not allow downloads when on the iPad.

So, I added all the templates into a Google Folder and am happy to share them with anyone in the district. Please just click “Add to Drive” and once you have selected a Slides template that you like, go to File, Make a Copy.


5 Links Monday (on Tuesday 4.26.2016)

Happy last week of April!! We all know what that means…testing should be close to completed and about a month left of school!

Link 1: Due to the fast approaching end of the school year, my first link will be about Summer 2016 Tech Camp for all SVVSD educators. Your fellow teachers will be sharing how they are integrating technology into their daily practice – please come collaborate, plan and share your ideas with them!! Camp will be hosted by Longmont HS the first week in June. Click on each of the links below for more information and registration.

Link 2: I thoroughly appreciated this 11 minute podcast hosted by Vicki Davis titled THE JOURNEY FROM “JUST AWFUL” TO GREAT TEACHER: Taking the Leap of Faith with 39-year Veteran Teacher Lou Zulli. I found it refreshingly honest and motivating and I encourage everyone to listen. He reflects back on his experiences and feelings about transitioning from a very traditional teacher (Bueller…Bueller…) to Project Based Learning.

Link 3: How do you grow hydroponic spinach? You were wondering that too, particularly during times of e-coli outbreaks where it is impossible to find spinach anywhere? Well, now you know. Be forewarned: there is a recipe provided at the end that you can ignore. How can we get more students involved in knowing where their food comes from as well as creating food sources in areas depleted of nutrients?

Link 4: Having students explain their thinking was critical to me as a science teacher- it helped me determine what pre-conceived notions were insides students’ brains and what scientific concepts they understood or needed more work on. While this post from David Wees is for making mathematical ideas explicit, I find that it applies to many other content areas.

Link 5: Quiet Hour. I love this so much. What can we do as educators to ensure that students with specific needs can feel safe in the classroom or outside at recess or the library or cafeteria?

5 Links Monday (on Tuesday 3.15.2016)

Happy mid-March teachers!

Link 1: Blogging with 6 year olds…wait, what? Yes. Here’s a great podcast from Kathy Davis about the work Kathy Cassidy is doing to connect her 1st graders in Canada to the rest of the world through Skype and blogs. She addresses great questions regarding internet safety and why young children need digital portfolios . Check out her classroom blog which links to all her kids blogs.

Link 2: This is best thing I’ve read about in months (thank you presidential primary season for destroying my hope in humanity). Creating free 3D printed books for Visually Impaired. Genius. I’m already thinking about ways we can have our students create books and then print them for our VI students. Boom.

better 3d prints for books



Link 3: Fair Use in media is complicated – here is a short video on some ways to appropriately use and credit work. Also, see the article that has a few other great resources for teachers and students.

Link 4: Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? And who doesn’t love David Attenborough’s voice (who is also, dare I say a dinosaur)? Check out this amazing Virtual Reality of the heart of a titanosaur- one of the largest animals ever thought to walk the planet.

For more, go here.

Link 5: How do you get kinder writers to write about something interesting? Use your iPad to take a picture of them doing something either in or outside of the classroom. Then they can go back and look at it, write about it and add more details. A great tip from my professional crush and fellow ADE Kristi Meeuwse.

student work









Image from Kristi’s blog

5 Links Monday (on Wednesday 1.27.2015)

Link 1: In honor of the blizzards that occurred on the East Coast last weekend, I thought I’d share a Snowflake Safari from Science Friday. I had no idea that there were over 30 different kinds of snowflakes! And did you know that you can make your own??? WHAT??

Link 2: A great response to students using social media inappropriately by Patrick Larkin (former Principal and now Assistant Superintendent) from Burlington Public Schools. Burlington has really led the way in using iPads 1:1 for years now, and there are some pretty awesome resources provided by not only their Assistant Superintendent, but by views into teacher classrooms in how they are integrating technology effectively.

Link 3: Are you looking into getting a drone for your class? Or maybe just trying to justify getting a drone for yourself…for your class? My friend Leah Lacrosse has one for her 8th grade science students and shared in her blog a few ways she is using the drone as well as some safety rules and regulations. Below is a video uses for general guidelines.

Link 4: I love data but numbers are hard for me to process in my head- which is why I love infographics and data visualization. This is an awesome way to visualize data regarding the economic activity of states across the USA by Who knew that California has the largest economy? Not this former science teacher.


Link 5: Calling all music teachers! Have you heard about Music Memo? I am not musically inclined what-so-ever, but I have heard great things about this new free app released by Apple. It’s said to be in between the functionality of Voice Memos and Garage Band, and according to our ITC musical expert Ben Kalb, it’s amazing.

For information on how to get Voice Memos into Garage Band, see this article.

5 Links Monday (on Tuesday 12.1.2015)

Welcome back!! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Break with family and friends.

1. Next week is Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code. If you can, please dedicate an hour sometime next week to introduce coding to your students. The Hour of Code website is set up for kids of all ages with lots of great activities, including a new Star Wars themed galaxy builder!! For something more local, check out Computer Science Week at Trail Ridge Middle School.

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2. 2015 Apple Distinguished Educator colleague Jodie Deinhammer, Science Teacher from Coppell Independent School District in Texas was recently featured in the “Teacher Stories from Apple” section for her work teaching anatomy with iPads and probes. Check it out and find other stories from other ADEs in different disciplines!

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3. Tis the Season to spread germs…so how far do sneezes and vomit travel?? Please remember to cover your mouth and wash your hands frequently.

4. This American Life reached its 500th episode! For those of you who enjoy the program as much as I do, I found this article to be interesting: Ira Glass, the host, was asked what his favorite episodes are (and they are listed here).  Now I know what I will be listening to on my commute all this week.

5. And this last one is really just for fun. Do you get out of bed/sleep on the left or right side? It turns out There Really Is A Wrong Side of the Bed. Time for an ole’ switcheroo for me!

5 Links Monday (on Tuesday 11.3.2015)

1.Day of the Dead- while this celebration with friends and family of those who have departed is now over, I wanted to share this lovely animated film about Día de los Muertos. Often misconstrued as a spooky or scary tradition, this short film shows the warmth and love that is the real celebration of those who are gone.

2. Stress. November indicates stress for me- holidays, being cold, shopping for gifts, and for when I was a teacher- FINALS.  Here is an interesting look at how stress effects the body and mind.

3. One way to combat stress is to paint (for those of us that find it relaxing). For others, combatting stress may be watching the most relaxed human paint- Bob Ross. The entire first season of Bob Ross’s painting tv series The Joy of Painting is now free online. Just think of those white, fluffy clouds and feel the stress melting away.

4. The science nerd in me cannot get enough of this periodic table that indicates elements by their relative abundance on the Earth’s surface. This image was created by Professor William F. Sheehan at Santa Clara University in 1970- talk about data visualization!

The Elements According to Relative Abundance

5. Working better with parents. I really, really like this post by Dave Stuart Jr. I have no idea who he is, but his post came across my feed and I encourage everyone to take a look. My favorite part,

Communicate is a word we use flippantly.

It is not communication when you just talk at someone. It is only communication when they actually understand you.

It is not communication when you just listen to someone. It is only communication when you actually understand them.

It is not communication when you spout off 500 things in your head at someone. It is communication when you take the time to think about what’s most important in those 500 things and minimize them to 3 or so.

You’ll know you haven’t communicated when, after a conversation, both parties know what they need to do, or feel better, or both. You’ll know you haven’t communicated when, after a conversation, nothing has changed.

5 Links Monday (on Tuesday 9/29/2015)

What an epic week for astronomers and planetary scientists! Holy Mars and Holy Moon (not to be confused with the Holy Pope Francis who visited D.C., New York and Philly this past week-speaking of which, did you catch Pope Baby?).

1. Like many other people around the world, I tried to view the Super Blood Moon and was unable to see it due to cloud coverage. Friends sent me visually terrible photos from their phones making me feel better that I had missed it in real life, knowing there would be epic photos online the next day. And there were. I appreciate the New York Times in hosting not only the amazing photos…but also the less amazing photos. 

2. Mars has liquid water. WHAT? When I took Extraterrestrial Life class in graduate school, scientists thought of Mars as arid and hot, not sustainable for liquid water. Thanks to MRO, we now know that there is actual salty water flowing on Mars. Does this mean there is life on Mars? One issue in determining if there is life on Mars is how to we investigate without contaminating Mars with our own little life forms? Does this mean the book/movie The Martian with Matt Damon is no longer scientifically accurate? Oh the drama.

15-195_perspective_2You’re welcome…that was a three-fer (3 links in 1). Image from NASA.

3. This link is for those math teachers out there wanting fun and interesting ways to practice graphing. You can thank Kyle Addington for finding this one.

4. Crazy hair day at school? Don’t have time or money to get a costume for Halloween? Check out these hair “costumes.” 



5. We aren’t quite ready for you all to download iOS 9 for iPads – please do not do so until we send an all clear email. While anxiously awaiting to download, check out the new accessibility features! There are some new additions that are great for students who need more support when interacting with the iPad. Check out the video by Luis Perez and go to his site for many more upgrades to Accessibility.



5 Links Monday (on Tuesday 9/8/2015)

1. Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend! Since I forgot the history of Labor Day, I decided to google it. Here’s a nice summary from TED.

2. You can now write with your voice in a Google Doc- no add-on or extension or anything fancy needed! You’re welcome.


3. The Problem We All Live With is a 2 part story on This American Life, and if you haven’t heard it or read the transcript, please take the time to do so. It’s moving and revealing and will leave you thinking how can this be?

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4. It’s that time of year again…the changing of the leaves!!! This awesome interactive slider from the Smoky Mountains National Park helps predict when the peak leaf changing time is for your area! It looks like the weekend of Oct. 3rd is ideal for us! Also, below the slider on the site shows the science about how and why leaves change colors and drop.

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5. Ever wondered why there are more men than women in some parts of the world and the opposite in other areas? This fascinating article in the Washington Post highlights different aspects of gender ratios and investigates why.

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5 Links Monday (on Thursday 3.26.2015)

1. Women in History app

How to explore the world and honor notable women? Google and SPARK movement have created an app that will vibrate when you walk near places where women have made history. The best part? You too can contribute! Have your students do research around our local areas and add the notable women and research to their map! For more information, go to


Speaking of women in history, the online National Women’s History Museum is awaiting approval from President Obama to make into a physical museum in Washington, DC!

2. Collaboration amongst physicists and biologists leads to new theories about chameleons and their ability to change colors. It’s important to remind our students that science is always changing with the invention of new technologies and methods of study…and it’s equally important to remind students that collaboration with other fields can lead to amazing breakthroughs. This could be used in conjunction with 8th grade physical science Waves unit.


3. Google Art Project – Street Art!!

The Google Art Project/Google Cultural Institute is one of my favorite sites to go for inspiration and productive procrastination.  The newest addition is the Street Art.

Eighty-five art organizations from 34 countries are sharing pieces, ranging from Sweden’s most famous street festival, to water tanks wrapped with art among New York city’s rooftops, to the abandoned walls of Buenos Aires that are a source of inspiration for street artists from all over the world.

What’s even better than street art? Animated street art!

Follow @googleart for more.

4. When Students Can’t Go Online– an article in the Atlantic Monthly by Terrance Ross.

But as technology morphs from being a luxury to being a necessity, the chasm between the performance of low-income students and their more affluent peers is coming under even greater scrutiny. Advocates say the tech movement is further exacerbating the already-large achievement gap; in education circles, this phenomenon is dubbed the “connectivity gap” or the “digital divide.” Discrepancies exist among schools and across districts, but they also spread to individual students, many of whom live in homes without sufficient connectivity.

5. Denver Art Museum FREE for students – for the next 5 years!

It appears I’m super into art news this week. My apologies.

5 Links Monday on Tuesday (3.10.2015)

1. This is an incredible TedTalk on Peace from the son of a terrorist.

2. iPad vs. Computer Typing Test: A teacher motivated to see if there is a difference in typing on a touch screen vs a traditional keyboard found some fascinating results.


3. This is absolutely amazing. Copies of 6 different pieces of art were printed with 3D printers to allow for visually impaired people to touch the artwork, enable them to “see” it at Madrid’s Museo del Prado.

“For us the sense of sight is the sense of touch. My view is to touch, and usually I can’t see the paintings others see in a museum – someone would have to explain them to me. But in this exhibit, I have the chance to see it with my hands.”

prado1image from The Prado

For the article, go to

4. For those addicted to espresso, this will make your day: what a shot of espresso looks like from beginning to end in slow motion (120 frames/sec) from a La Marzocco FB80 espresso machine.

5. How to add images to Google Slides on an iPad. Por Fin.