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Innovations in Technology's Shop

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My goal is that my students have fun while learning valuable life skills. I design lessons that help them be independent, life-long learners. Students take ownership in their learning as they create their own questions and are motivated to assist in finding their own answers! Lessons are created primarily for middle school (grades 6, 7, 8), but many are easily adaptable to upper elementary or secondary learners.

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My goal is that my students have fun while learning valuable life skills. I design lessons that help them be independent, life-long learners. Students take ownership in their learning as they create their own questions and are motivated to assist in finding their own answers! Lessons are created primarily for middle school (grades 6, 7, 8), but many are easily adaptable to upper elementary or secondary learners.
First Day of School - Skyscraper Team Building Activity
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First Day of School - Skyscraper Team Building Activity

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This project is a great way to get students moving, interacting and working as a team the first day of school. It also is an exceptionally memorable activity that students remember and talk about throughout the year. Set the tone of your classroom as a student led, cooperative and supportive classroom as students work together to build a skyscraper that will withstand wind using limited supplies. You can use this as a first day of school activity or as a one-day activity at any time during the year. This lesson was created for 7th and 8th grade, but could also be used successfully in upper elementary grades. Files included: • Teacher Instructions • Skyscraper Building Activity Instructions (printable for teams and display sized, suitable for a projector or SmartBoard) • Team Drawing Sheet
Learning about Copyright WebQuest (Internet Scavenger Hunt)
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Learning about Copyright WebQuest (Internet Scavenger Hunt)

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This Webquest / Internet scavenger hunt is a perfect one day activity for middle schoolers to learn more about copyright, fair use and academic honesty This is a fun lesson for technology classes, English classes, or history classes. The lesson includes teacher and student resources, the student handout and an answer key. This is a great lesson to leave with a sub too!
Design & Create a Board Game
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Design & Create a Board Game

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What middle schooler isn't excited by playing games as a part of their lesson? This activity takes their love of games to a new level as they work with a team to create a new board game, test them for "fun appeal" by playing and critiquing others' games and then making the necessary modifications to complete an awesome final product. Created for middle schoolers, this project based learning lesson is a great addition to technology classes that teach programming, phone app creation and other game design as a way for students to really focus on what makes a game addictive. Lesson includes teacher resources, including web links, design ideas and guides, student expectations and rubric, and student worksheets. This lesson can be completed entirely OFF computers, without computer access for students, making it great for those days you have to give up your technology lab for standardized testing. My 7th and 8th graders loved this and I hope yours will too!
Learning Google Sheets - Beginner Lessons, Tutorial and Activities
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Learning Google Sheets - Beginner Lessons, Tutorial and Activities

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Learning Google Sheets - Beginner Lessons start students with no previous knowledge of Google Sheets on a path of learning the most important and frequently used commands to give them a quick start. Each lesson has a short, step-by-step tutorial that includes screenshots to walk students through the new tools they will use in the lesson. Then, they are given a creative task to solve, using those skills to create a spreadsheet. There are five lessons, each taking no more than two class periods. Files Included with this Lesson • Teacher Notes and Resources • 5 Mini Lessons with Tutorial and Creative Project including rubrics
Exploring Careers:  STEM Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
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Exploring Careers: STEM Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

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This career unit gives students an introduction to the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career cluster and what a career in this field would be like. This is perfect for a career, technology, CTE or business class. The included PowerPoint presentation can be used by the teacher for whole class instruction, or provided to the students electronically (or as a printout) for them to review individually. Students use close reading skills with a short informational passage to learn about the career field and answer questions to use critical thinking skills and demonstrate their understanding. Two different puzzles are included to learn different jobs in the career and to reinforce vocabulary skills. An individual research project to learn more about a famous scientist using Microsoft PowerPoint (or Google Slides) offers students an opportunity for a real-life look into this career. A group lesson to use the Engineering Design Process and build a catapult is provided to simulate the career and allow students to utilize critical thinking skills and teamwork. Finally, a short reflection questionnaire gives students the opportunity to reflect and analyze their learning as they determine if this career field is of interest to them. The project was created for grades 7-8 but could easily be used with high school students. The teacher can choose to use some or all of the provided lesson options included in this resource. Files Included with this Lesson • Teacher & Student Notes and Resources • Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Careers PowerPoint presentation (editable) • Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Careers Research Reading and Questions • Vocabulary Crossword Puzzle (includes answer key) • Job Type Word Search Puzzle (includes answer key) • Research Project - Famous Scientist: Project expectations, resources, and rubric • Catapult Challenge Group Project Instructions, Worksheet and Rubric • Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Career Reflection Questions (MS Word)
Learning Google Docs - Beginner Lessons
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Learning Google Docs - Beginner Lessons

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The “Learning Google Docs” Beginner Lessons start students with no previous knowledge of Google Docs on a path of learning the most important and frequently used commands to give them a quick start. Each lesson has a short, step-by-step tutorial that includes screenshots to walk students through the new tools they will use in the lesson. Then, they are given a creative task to solve, using those skills to create a document. There are five lessons, each taking no more than two (50 minute) class periods. Files Included with this Lesson • Teacher Notes and Resources • 5 Mini Lessons with Tutorial and Creative Project including rubrics
Learning Google Slides - Beginner Lessons
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Learning Google Slides - Beginner Lessons

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Learning Google Slides Beginner Lessons start students with no previous knowledge of Google Slides on a path of learning the most important and frequently used commands to give them a quick start. Each lesson has a short, step-by-step tutorial that includes screenshots to walk students through the new tools they will use in the lesson. Then, they are given a creative task to solve, using those skills to create a presentation. There are four lessons, each taking no more than two (50 minute) class periods. Files Included with this Lesson • Teacher Notes and Resources • 4 Mini Lessons with Tutorial and Creative Project including rubrics
Winter Holiday Pixel Art in Microsoft Excel
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Winter Holiday Pixel Art in Microsoft Excel

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Need a fun way to introduce Microsoft Excel to upper elementary or middle school students? This great lesson incorporates Winter Holiday (Christmas, Hanukah) themed art as students learn the basics of Microsoft Excel. First, they'll create a quick pixel art from a given example and then they'll create their own! These are also fun lessons to use if you just need something for a one day lesson. This download includes: 1. Teacher & Student Resources 2. Introduction to Excel Pixel Art Tutorial and Lesson (Excel Project) 3. Legends and Sample Pictures for 6 Additional Pictures 4. Complete, editable examples in Microsoft Excel 2013 with legend for all pictures I've used this with 7th and 8th graders who used their free time to create even more art! I hope your students have as much fun as mine did learning Excel! Remember to leave feedback for credits on future purchases!
Computer Hardware & Software - Build a Computer
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Computer Hardware & Software - Build a Computer

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This lesson teaches the basics of computer hardware and software while letting students explore what's inside the computer! Start with a PowerPoint presentation to the class, then students create a PowerPoint to reinforce their knowledge of computer parts. Next, they'll use Excel in a project to research and "build" from scratch two computers of their own. Unit includes: 1. Unit overview and Teacher Resources 2. PowerPoint presentation (hardware and software) 3. Student Project: Learning the parts of the computer (PowerPoint) 4. Student Project: Research and Build a Computer (Excel) 5. Excel Template for Students for Project #4 My 7th and 8th graders loved this project - particularly when they got to take apart and reassemble old computers that were donated to us at the end of the unit! I hope your students enjoy it as well.
Computer History - WebQuest / Internet Scavenger Hunt
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Computer History - WebQuest / Internet Scavenger Hunt

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This short computer research WebQuest/Scavenger Hunt is a fun activity to lead into a unit on the history of computers and technology. It is also a great quick activity to fill a day prior to starting a new lesson or to use with a substitute teacher. The lesson includes student handouts, teacher resources, and a grading key for the teacher. This lesson was created for middle school, but would work well with upper elementary or early high school also.
Design & Build a City - Project Based Technology & Engineering
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Design & Build a City - Project Based Technology & Engineering

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In this project based learning unit, middle school/early high school students learn about city planning and architecture as they research and design their own city. In addition to using Internet search skills, they'll utilize CAD skills using Sketchup (free download) and finally build the city from chipboard and other recyclables and name their final creation. . Unit download includes: 1. Teacher Resources and Materials List 2. Expectations and Overview of the Unit 3. Introduction to City Planning (research and vocabulary) – includes key 4. “What’s in the City” – team worksheet 5. Project Proposal – group planning worksheet 6. Create the City in SketchUp (CAD) 7. Building the City Information (hands on construction) 8. Student Team Work Log 9. Student Daily Work Log 10. Building scale information and examples 11. Sketchup and Building Examples 12. Project Written Reflection I've used this lesson with an 8th grade Engineering class and every year students start work on this BEFORE the bell they enjoy it so much! I know your classes will enjoy it too!
Pixel Art in Microsoft Excel
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Pixel Art in Microsoft Excel

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Need a fun way to introduce Microsoft Excel to upper elementary or middle school students? This great lesson incorporates art as students learn the basics of Microsoft Excel. First, they'll create a quick pixel art from a given example and then they'll create their own! These are also fun lessons to use if you just need something for a one day lesson. This download includes: 1. Teacher & Student Resources 2. Introduction to Excel Pixel Art Lesson (Excel Project) 3. Legends and Sample Pictures for 6 Additional Pictures I've used this with 7th and 8th graders who used their free time to create even more art! I hope your students have as much fun as mine did learning Excel!
History of Video Games - Research & Presentation Project
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History of Video Games - Research & Presentation Project

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What student does love games – especially video games! In this lesson, students learn more about the origin and history of video games. Students choose a time period in history from a provided list, research that era, and then choose the software they will use to showcase their research. Students can choose to create a presentation, a brochure, or a video using Web 2.0 tools such as Prezi, Adobe Spark, eMaze, Canva, etc. (free, no download needed) or by using Microsoft Office or Google Apps. A full list of software/technology options is listed in the student lesson instructions and includes links to tutorials. For classrooms with limited technology, this lesson can be completed with students working in pairs or small groups. The completed presentations can be shared with the rest of the class if the teacher chooses. This is a great activity for a social studies or history class, career exploration class, Principles of Arts, A/V Technology & Communications class, or any technology class. This lesson was designed for middle school (grades 6-8) but could be used in high school as well. Files included: • Teacher & Student Resources • Student Instructions, Expectations and Grading Rubric for individual lesson • Student Instructions, Expectations and Grading Rubric for partner/team lesson
Entrepreneurship - Create Your Own Business
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Entrepreneurship - Create Your Own Business

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Give middle school students a chance to learn more about careers and business as they work with a team to create their own teen business! This project based learning unit contains 8 individual lessons as students work together to decide on a business idea, create a logo, sales and marketing materials and budget utilizing Microsoft Office. Individual lessons include: 1-Business plan (Word) 2-Logo Design (Paint) 3-Letterhead and Business Card design (Publisher) 4-Tri-fold marketing brochure (Publisher or Word) 5-Budget (Excel) 6-Sales Presentation (PowerPoint) 7-Advertising (Publisher or Word and Moviemaker) 8-Reflective essay (Word) I've used this with 7th and 8th graders and they love having a chance to think about turning one of their passions into an actual money-making business. Lesson includes teacher resources, all activities, and samples of projects to help students be successful!
Mobile Apps - Research and Design Your Own App
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Mobile Apps - Research and Design Your Own App

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Students love their phones and all the apps that are available for them! This lesson lets students research some of the most popular apps and learn more about the software engineers who created them, and then create an app of their own. A Microsoft PowerPoint presentation starts the lesson as students learn about how apps are designed. Next, students work individually, with a partner, or in small groups to research an assigned app and create a presentation in their choice of software (suggestions and web tutorials are included). Next, students present their findings to the class. Finally, students work together to create their own app, using App Inventor (free software from MIT). Links to teacher instructions for App Inventor set up (provided by MIT) are included in the provided teacher resources below. All files are fully editable, allowing the teacher to customize the lessons. Additional resources and extension lesson ideas include free sites for students to create their own mobile app. Perfect for a technology, engineering, or business class, this project was created for grades 7-8 but could easily be adapted for older students. Files Included with this Lesson • Teacher & Student Notes and Resources • Introduction to App Design & Creation PowerPoint Presentation (fully editable) • App List for Assignment (fully editable in MS Word) • Popular Apps and the Software Engineers(s) Who Designed Them – Individual Project Instructions, Expectations and Grading Rubric (fully editable in MS Word) • Popular Apps and the Software Engineers(s) Who Designed Them – Partner/Team Project Instructions, Expectations and Grading Rubric (fully editable in MS Word) • Project Sign Up Sheet – 3 versions: individual, partner and team (fully editable in MS Word) • Creating an App in AppInventor – Project Expectations and Grading Rubric (fully editable in MS Word)
Teach Technology WITHOUT a Computer
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Teach Technology WITHOUT a Computer

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Is testing taking over your technology classroom? If you're searching for something to do with your students on days where you are displaced to a regular classroom without technology, these three easy activities keep students learning about technology even when they don't have a computer. Lessons include: Computer Basics Reading and Questions (with answer key) Technology Terms - Crossword Puzzle (with answer key) Internet Terms - Scramble Word Puzzle (with answer key) BONUS: includes five additional Internet sites with other resources and activities that are technology/STEM related to use when you don't have access to a computer.
Black History Month Webquest (Internet Scavenger Hunt) & Activities
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Black History Month Webquest (Internet Scavenger Hunt) & Activities

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Three great activities to celebrate Black History Month this February! Activities include: --Webquest / Internet Scavenger Hunt (includes answer key) --Research / Poster project (Microsoft Word) (Student instructions, sample poster, and rubric) --Word Search Puzzle (includes answer key) These three short activities are a great way to raise awareness during Black History Month and can each be completed in one or two class periods. Resources for teacher and students are included with the unit. This lesson was created for middle school students (grades 6-8) but could also be used for upper elementary students.
Web Design using Weebly
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Web Design using Weebly

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Design a Web Site using Weebly utilizes the free Web 2.0 tool www.weebly.com which allows students to create a web site or blog free. No download is required to use the product, making it easy for teachers who are not able to download software on classroom computers to still give their students a choice in learning. In these lessons, students are provided with a quick tutorial, as well as links to other resources to help them with their designs. The tutorial is intended to help students get started with the program and then use the resources within the program to refine their creations. There are three projects included with this lesson to allow the teacher and student a choice in how to demonstrate knowledge of Weebly. Use one, all three, or let students choose! Files Included with this Lesson • Teacher Notes and Resources • Quick Getting Started Tutorial for Students • 3 Lessons for Projects with grading rubric including: o Create a Web Site o Create a Blog o Create an Online Portfolio • List of project ideas for each assignment Students love authentic work and sharing their knowledge with the world is a great way to teach creativity, pride in quality and the importance of copyright. I hope your students enjoy it!
Setting SMART Goals
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Setting SMART Goals

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Setting SMART Goals is a lesson that helps students identify and plan goals for school or their personal life by utilizing the SMART method of goal planning (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). This is a great lesson to start off a new semester or a new year. In these lessons, students are provided with an introduction to the goals methodology and suggested resources for whole class activities are included to introduce the lessons. Next, students brainstorm with a small group and then work individually to craft their own individual goal. This project was created for middle school students but would easily be adaptable to any age group. Files Included with this Lesson • Teacher Notes and Resources • Introduction to SMART Goal Planning (student handout) • Instructions for Group Brainstorming Activity • Individual Goal Planning Brainstorming Worksheet • Individual Goal Planning Final Goal Worksheet • Follow up Activity (progress check) • Project Rubric
Exploring Architecture: Design a Tiny House
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Exploring Architecture: Design a Tiny House

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Technology, CTE and Engineering classes are gaining in popularity at the middle school level. This fun exploration of Architecture is perfect for grades 6-8 to learn history, design and explore careers in this field through a variety of computer based projects. Included in this Unit: 1.Teacher & Student Resources 2.Architect Research Project (PowerPoint) Expectations 3.“Tiny House” Research & Design Project (Sketch Up) Expectations 4.Careers in Architecture Project (MS Publisher) Expectations Students start by researching some of the influential architects and create a PowerPoint to showcase their information. Next, they research and design a "tiny house" utilizing Sketchup (free software) to learn the basics of CAD while letting their creativity and problem solving skills help them design a beautiful, yet functional small living space. Finally, students explore careers in the field to learn more about different architectural jobs of interest and present their findings in a MS Publisher newsletter. My 8th graders loved these assignments and created some amazingly creative products! I hope your students will enjoy it too!