Brenham Tech Daily [BISDwired]

Via the @BISDwiredTeam: Tom Spall, Brittni Branton, and Troy Kuhn

NO Tech Thursday: Enrich Your Classroom Without Technology

1.) Building Relationships

It's the most important thing you can do as an educator.  Build those relationships with both your students and your peers.  Start from the first day of school... actually, start prior to the first day of school:

  • Send postcards to your future students during the summer
  • Conduct home visits and get your students excited about the upcoming school year.
  • During the year, find out what the do for hobbies, sports, after-school activities.. and possibly attend some of these events.
  • Let them know all about YOU!  Tell them about your family, significant other, kids, pets, history, etc...
I promise you, if you do a least one of the above strategies, your classroom management will be much easier, calls home for positive and/or negative behavior will be much easier, and your students will be more engaged during the school year.

2.) Rely On Your Library

I've always said this, but schools should be built around the library.  Meaning that the school library should be regarded as the nucleus of the school.  Having an amazing, dedicated, certified librarian on staff can make a huge difference to both the campus teachers and the students.  
Do you not get to take your class to the library every week?  Then make it a mission to get down there!  Do a lesson in the library, take your classes into library even if you aren't the reading/ELAR teacher.  Students need to be reading and surrounded by books.  Resources, manipulatives, maps, and so much more can be found right there in your school libraries.
School libraries are essential to student growth in schools.  Don't underestimate the power of a wonderful library, librarian, or media specialist.  Also (insert @tommyspall's opinion here) let kids read whatever books they want to read.  From graphic novels to fiction, to nonfiction... just make sure they have a book in their hands without restricting to standardized reading levels.

3.) Class Cheers

This goes along with building positive relationships... but, the biggest cheerleader your students have in their lives, aside from their guardians (hopefully), is YOU!  Cheer your students to success every single day!
When I used to be a teacher in Oklahoma City, we had Great Expectations as our school-wide behavior program.  It was phenomenal!  My favorite takeaway from Great Expectations was one of their 8 expecations:

Expectation #4: "We will cheer each other to success!"

My students were constantly cheering each other to success.  We created a "cheer box" out of an old shoebox, and along with the standard 30+ Great Expectation cheers, we created over 20 class cheers.  Whenever students did something great in class, we would let them draw out a cheer from the box and the whole class would cheer that student to success.

This camaraderie and support from my students truly made the biggest impact on my classroom discipline and behavior.  

4.) Content Focused Manipulatives, Makerspaces, and Tools

There are so many amazing nondigital tools and manipulatives that you can get for your classroom.  From old craft supplies to things sitting around in your garage, to begging store employees to let you have all their old packing materials and boxes (don't judge.. lol).... nondigital materials for your classroom are EVERYWHERE!  

Seriously, my kid's favorite toys every Christmas are the boxes that the toys come in.  Let your student's creativity run wild in makerspaces, and genius hour projects.  Don't always think you need technology to make engaging lessons.  Classrooms just need a solid educator and tons of creativity to be successful.  

5.) Go Outside

This was my favorite thing to do with my students.  If we weren't heading down to the library or finding an empty hallway/classroom in the building to take our lessons... we were heading outside!
Reading a class book?  Read it outside!  Talking about science, nature, area/perimeter?  Take your lessons outside!  Your class has the wiggles and can't stay focused?  HEAD OUTSIDE!

The most successful student presentations are done when they are conducted outside of the classroom.  Next week, promise me that you'll take your whole class down to read in the principal's office.  Or let me know that you conducted a whole writing assignment while laying under a tree outside next week.  Again, like most of the top 5 strategies above, this strategy will help with behavior, discipline, and engagement.  

Web Tool Wednesday: Quizizz Updates

Web Tool Wednesday: Quizizz Updates
I don’t know about you, but we love using Quizizz. Today, I got this amazing email from Quizizz about new updates. I am so excited to share with everyone these awesome updates.

Update #1: Pictures are an option as the answer choice now.

Update #2: You can have more than one correct answer.

Update #3: You can add a fifth answer choice.

Update #4: The Quizizz editor is much easier to use now (user-friendly format).

Teaching Tip Tuesday: Flipping with FlipGrid and

So I was playing around this past weekend with my two favorite tools of 2018!  

They are both Flipping Awesome!

I'm talking about FlipGrid and  Both of these tools have been amazing to use independently.  So, of course... I had to find a way to bring my two favorite tools together and have an EPIC app-smash!

Introducing to you:
Visual Flashcards!

When both apps are smashed together, you will be able to embed your Flipgrid videos into various activities.  Here's how the Flipgrid videos look when I embedded them into vocabulary cards:

Here are the steps I took to accomplish this activity for my students:

  • Create a FlipGrid topic under your Grid.  Then, create your videos.  I named this topic: 2nd Grade Sight Words.
    • You could also use this with class procedures, class cheers, vocabulary lessons, etc...
  • Next, I went to and grabbed the flash card template.  
    • I deleted the content from the template and added my own sight words.  
    • I took the embed code for each Flipgrid video and added the code to my Google Sheet.
  • I then made sure to publish my sheet.  I then went to the bottom tab and clicked on the 2nd tab.  Clicked on the link and my activity was ready to go!

Below I created a full 3-minute tutorial walking you through this same process:

My next project will be smashing these two apps together for some sweet visual Quiz Show instruction!


Must Know Monday: Padlet, Did What?

Must Know Monday: Padlet, Did What?

I wrote a post on Thursday about all of Padlet’s updates, and then I get this awesome email of 7 new ways to post on Padlet. Then over the weekend, we saw that lots of others were talking about these updates. 

If you click the three dots (highlighted in yellow) on a post, you will see all of these new options:

Let’s take a look at what Padlet can do now.


*Have students draw their response. Students can draw parts of a cell or write out the steps of an equation.


*Students can summarize a story or an era in history. Or, students can explain in words how they solved their math problem.


*Students can explain a take away from the lesson, students can describe a graph or students can explain why they believe a character in the story is a believable character or not.


*Students can snap something they are reading or someplace they have visited. Then they can write about the snap.


*Students can add videos, GIFs, websites, and images to their Padlet post.


*Students can pick a country or city, and they can find a road, satellite, terrain, or hybrid map of the place. 

Padlet within a Padlet

*Students can link in other Padlets they have created or found. Then you can click on that Padlet to access the linked Padlet.

How are you going to use Padlet today?

Fab Find Friday - Vidyard Go Video

This is such a great time to create screen casts with Chromebooks as there are so many free options out there. One that we haven't mentioned before but is easy to use is VidyardGoVideo , a free Chrome extension. It allows you the option to record your screen and/or yourself via webcam.  Once you add the extension you, click the icon to begin recording what you want. 
So what makes Vidyard different than other screen cast options? 

 If you share your completed video via email, you can actually track who has watched your video.  This would be a great source if you were needed to keep track of which staff, parents, or students have watched your video. 

Tech Tip Thursday: Padlet Updates

Tech Tip Thursday- Updates to Padlet
In my May post, I talked about the webbing and shelf posting that Padlet can do, but did you know it has some other cool features?
You can have students do a Google search in Padlet.
You can also change the color of posts.
You can take a post and transfer it (or copy it) to another Padlet you have created or a new Padlet.

Save Money Wednesday: A Valentines Treat from the @BISDwiredTeam

Here are some great discounts and coupons for you to use on this AWESOME Valentine's Day!

Coupons from: The WiseStamp Team, Scholastic, Animoto, Nearpod, and FlipGrid

30 OFF your PRO Email Signature
It’s all about the first impression
*Valid thru Feb. 15, 2018
Time's running out to get your professional look
This Valentine's Day, show your business some love with a Pro email signature:
 Access to over a dozen designer-made templates
 Advanced settings and increased customizability 
 Unlimited signatures for different email addresses (or for the same one!)
 No WiseStamp branding, so it's all about your buisness
 30-day money-back guarantee (because we're sure you'll fall in love with Pro!)


35% Off because we <3 you!
Enjoy 35% Off all month long on all reinforced library bound titles


A sweet Valentine's Day deal
A sweet Valentine's Day deal
There's still time to create a one-of-a-kind gift this Valentine's Day. Sign up before February 14 to make video valentines for your loved ones (or your business), and get 20% off your annual Professional subscription while you're at it.
Discount automatically applied at checkout.


Hi Brittni,

Valentine's Day is coming up this week!

Because we love you, we're offering 50% off your cart when buying 5 or more lessons or bundles.*

Just enter code VDAY18 at checkout.

Let's Go!

*Excludes Common Sense Education and TIME for Kids lessons.
Offer expires February 21st, 2018.

Share the love!

Is there a special teacher who has had a big impact on you this year? Send them this exclusive deal, along with a message about how they leave you inspired to give students your best each and every day.

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Lessons for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

Social Studies

Dive into the history of Valentine’s Day with this lesson on the origin and meaning of the holiday.

Valentine's Day Math


Practice multiplication and division in the sweetest way possible: with a Valentine’s Day themed lesson that is ready-to-teach for your classroom.

VR Explorations

Poetry (Grades 6-8)


Engage your students towards creative writing and the love for language, and give them the tools to express themselves this Valentine's Day by exploring the power of poetry.

Emotions (Grades 3-5)

Life Skills

Help students build healthy relationships by learning how to understand and process their emotions with lessons on self-control, social awareness, and more.

Writing Lessons

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives


Tell your Valentine how you feel! Use these evidence-based grammar and writing lessons to help students learn syntax, homophones, word choice, and more!



Writing Valentine's cards in class this year? Help your students articulate eloquently with Big Word Club! Each multi-sensory lesson expands your students' vocabulary.


Happy Valentine's Day!
We love, love, love how you amplify,
the vocal, creative, and sometimes shy.
So, we created this code just for for you,
to show our love when you upgrade or renew!

The promo code flipgridlove is good through February 18th! Please share the code with all of your educator Valentines and enjoy a special Valentine's Day.

Love from Minnesota,
Team Flipgrid
Let's Do This!