Fliptorial

Why Use Digital Notebooks

SketchNotes Post

Women's History Biography Project: Great Bulletin Board Display Leading By Example

Today I am super excited to have Joely here to share about how she has used my Women's History Biography Research Pennants in her classroom. You'll see how these can be used for your biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part about a biography project like this one is that the selection of notable women all "lead by example." For educators promoting a growth mindset in their classrooms, a biography study such as this one is ideal. The women have all lead an extraordinary journey with challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety.

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!
In my classroom, an inner-city district in Northern New Jersey, I want my students to be proud of who they are, whether that be as young women, as part of the Hispanic culture, as athletes, or as future leaders.  
When I came across Danielle Knight’s Women’s History Biography Research Pennants, I knew that this project would spark my student’s interest, open their eyes to some very accomplished women in our country and from their own cultural background, and teach them about women that they’ve yet to encounter.  And they could have fun doing it! Who would’ve thought?  So the printing of the pennants and the planning for our biography project began.


Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!

Meaningfully Pairing Students

I think the most important part of this biography project, and perhaps the hardest part, was giving out the distinguished women to my students.  Was there a method? Several people have asked me this question.  While some teachers might randomly hand them out and others let their students choose, I put a little more thought into it.  I thought of it this way, “If all of these notable women attended my school as 7th graders, who would they be friends with?"

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!
My thinking was if my students knew that they had something in common with their designated woman, they wouldn’t just do the research and complete the biography project for a good grade, they would do the research and complete the project because they genuinely were interested. I wanted to promote a growth mindset in my students by pairing them strategically.

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!
And so like a matchmaker connecting a couple, I started to pair my students with one of the women from the pennant activity. Reluctant readers and at-risk students showed a genuine interest when paired with someone who had a commonality with them.

One particular student of mine, let’s call him Steven, has a love/hate relationship with me, and in that I mean he loves to hate me. Steven’s life revolves around basketball, so I made sure to pair him up with Pat Summit, a college and USA basketball coach. I wanted to spark his interest from the very beginning. I wanted him to WANT to do this assignment and learn that success takes a lot of hard work.  

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!
When he saw Pat Summit’s picture holding a basketball, he said, “Ohh! I don’t know who this lady is, but she’s holding a basketball.” I thought, “YES! I got him!” He completed his work and did it well. It is those moments when we know, as teachers, that we won.

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!
This painting was inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe in that it has a blue curtain, which was her favorite color, and the student artist included nature outside the window, which Georgia O’Keeffe is known for.   

I continued to pair up students. Georgia O’Keeffe was matched with an art student, who later painted a picture inspired by her. Indira Gandhi was paired with a new student from India, who jumped out of his chair with excitement when he saw her name. A die-hard Trump supporter was paired with Hillary Clinton, giving all of us a good laugh, and I matched up a boy with Gloria Estefan because he posts amazing video clips of himself dancing on Instagram; they’ve both got the moves!  
Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!
While the students were doing the research on these authors, I casually placed the books on their desks.  They were very excited to see that I had the books written by the authors they were researching.  They were paired with authors because they have a love for reading and writing so it came very natural for them to just pick it up and start reading, especially after getting to know the authors.  

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!
I also paired my best readers and writers with some great noteworthy authors, and the effects were astounding! One girl is now reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings because she became enamored with Maya Angelou after researching her.  I matched two of my best writers with exceptional authors from their same cultural background. On their own, these girls are now reading The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan.  

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!

Are there some students that don’t seem to have anything in common with one of these important women? YES! But even something so simple will spark their interest.  For instance, I was having trouble assigning a woman to one boy, but after looking at his recent report card, I realized he had the highest average in Science in the 7th grade. Lightbulb moment! I gave him Marie Curie, a scientist, and I told him why. He was glowing for the rest of the day.   

Watch the Magic Unfold

Once all of my students were paired up with their designated women, the rest was easy.  A chromebook for each, some crayons and markers, a spool of ribbon, and a sprinkle of inspiration, and a small activity grew into something so much more. My students fully embraced it; they were interested, inspired, and having fun!  
My students didn’t just learn about the woman they were assigned; they were inspired by women of their same ethnicity, by women who have the same passion as them, and by women who they want to be like.  And I learned more about my students, which is the best lesson a teacher can ask for. Who would have thought a simple biography project could elicit such results?!

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!

Looking for another biography lesson to help promote a growth mindset? This post will help your students get excited about online research while learning.

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Joely Serios is a 7th grade ELA teacher in inner-city New Jersey. She's been teaching for 15 years and has experience with Special Education and ESL students. Always looking for new and innovative strategies to experiment with in the classroom, Joely has written curriculum and given professional development on literature circles. She also has a passion for anti-bullying and kind classrooms.
When she's not bouncing teaching ideas around with her special education teacher husband, Joely loves to read and write. She also has two mini dachshunds that keep her busy, and she loves traveling to tropical places.

Visit her on Instagram to see an inside look at her classroom, or go follow her on Pinterest.

Use this biography project with your upper elementary, middle school, or high school classroom or home school students. The best part? Your students will be excited to learn based on these strong women who all lead by example. You can promote a growth mindset by showing students the challenges, obstacles, criticisms, controversy, achievements, and notoriety these women faced. Use it with your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students. It also makes a great bulletin board!
I grouped them and hung them up by category. The categories included: Historical Heroines, Prodigious Presidents, Accomplished Authors, Grand Government Workers, Sharp Scientists/Doctors/xzcNurses, Awe-inspiring Athletes, Aesthetic Artists, Awesome Activists, Enchanting Entertainers, &  Fetching First Ladies.

How to Move Your Google Drive Teaching Lessons to the Top Education Apps

In many classrooms today, students are being exposed to the wonderful world of Google and all that it has to offer. Google apps are available basically everywhere there is an internet connection - whether it be the classroom, your living room or the car. 

As awesome as Google may be, there still are other educational platforms that are being used today. But don’t worry, if you are a GOOGLE drive fan, and you are implementing other technology tools in the classroom, I have the solution! Today I share how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons over to the top education apps. 

Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}


First, let's talk about Google, baby! Often, educators think Google Drive and Google Classroom are the same things, and to use Google Drive you have to use Google Classroom. This is not true.
  • Google Drive is not Google Classroom. Google Classroom is the learning platform for schools. It is very popular due to it being simple to create, distribute, and grade assignments.
  • Google Drive is a cloud sharing platform. It is an awesome file storage space and synchronization service. It is a great solution for educators to store files in the "cloud," sync files across different devices, and - the best part - share files.
Now that you understand the difference between Google Drive and Google Classroom, I'm here to help you connect your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Let's get started! 
Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}

The next time you are in Google drive,
check out the different ways you can export your files.

Below, I have compiled easy ways to integrate Google apps with the most popular educational programs today.
  • Google Drive to Microsoft OneDrive:  OneDrive is the ‘Google Drive’ of Microsoft Office apps, such as Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. For those students who use OneDrive in the classroom but also have files in their Google Drive they wish to add to their OneDrive account, the exchange is easy. 
  1. From whichever Google app the teacher or the students are in, Docs or Slides, students should go to ‘file → download as’ and they can choose the Microsoft equivalent, such as Word or Powerpoint. 
  2. This will save the file to their actual computer, not a cloud anymore.
  3. Once the file is saved to their computer, they can easily upload that file back into OneDrive as they normally would.
*In Microsoft OneNote: Additionally, teachers can share PDF files or image files. OneNote has the capability to annotate with a stylus and a type tool. Very versatile!


  • Google Drive to Notability: Notability is a wonderful program for those students who wish to annotate and markup documents. Notability and Google apps work seamlessly with each other, making the use of the both in the classroom convenient and successful. 

  1. From the Notability account, the teacher or students should go to their settings and find the ‘manage account’ feature. 
  2. From there, they are to turn on Google Drive access. This will automatically create a folder in their Drive called "Notability ." 
  3. Teachers and students can upload/import their Google documents to Notability this way.

Shown here are sketch journals from Danielle Knight  


  • Google Drive to Schoology: Teachers who are utilizing Schoology in the classroom, the first thing they must do-

    1. From their Schoology account is to ‘sync’ their Google Drive to their Schoology account. This is found under the ‘Resources’ tab. 
    2. Then, locate the Apps section to find Google Drive. This will be added to "My Resources."
    3. Once the sync is approved by the student, files such as Docs or Slides found in their Google Drive can easily be uploaded and attached to the appropriate assignment in Schoology. 

    • Google Drive to Nearpod: Teachers who wish to utilize their Google Drive with their Nearpod account should register/sign in to Nearpod using their Google account information. This allows all Google docs and presentations to easily be available through the use of Nearpod. Syncing these two tools together is very easy and effortless. 

    Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}
    Nearpod photo credit: MYRANDA DOERING, from Keep Calm and Teach 5th Grade

    Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}
    Nearpod photo credit MYRANDA DOERING, from Keep Calm and Teach 5th Grade

    Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}
    Nearpod photo credit MYRANDA DOERING, from Keep Calm and Teach 5th Grade

      • Google Drive to Canvas: Utilizing Canvas your classroom? 

      1. The first thing you must do from your Canvas account is to find the User Settings.
      2. From the settings, find the option for adding services, in which teachers would select Google Drive. 
      3. Once Google Drive is authorized to be used with Canvas, teachers will have the option to import directly from their Drive.
        Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}
        Photo credit for Canvas by Ashley Bible from B's Book Love 
      • Google Drive to Edmodo: For those teachers and students who utilize Edmodo in the classroom:
      1. The first step in Edmodo is to locate the “backpack” tab at the top of their screen. This will let them ‘sync’ to their Google Drive account. 
      2. Once their Google Drive login information is entered, turning in assignments is easy. For each assignment, when the students click ‘turn in’, they will locate the Google Drive symbol.
      3. This will allow them to attach a Google file to upload directly to Edmodo.



      • Google Drive to Blackboard: Teachers who use Blackboard to deliver lessons in the classroom for their students to complete assignments, the integration requires a few extra steps. Teachers using Google Docs, Slides or Sheets, they need to ‘download as’ a Microsoft equivalent. 

      1. Teachers can go to ‘file-->download as’ to find the app equivalent, such as Word, Powerpoint or Excel. 
      2. Once the file is properly named and saved to the computer, Teachers or students can upload the file directly to Blackboard for completion.

      • Google Drive to Pic Collage: Teachers who want to use Google slides as an image, collage, or to make various edits, they must first save the Slides as an image. Ideally, the image size should be 8x10 or 8x11. To do so, on their screen, Teachers should view the specific Slide that they want to save.
      1. Once that slide is on their screen, they should go to ‘file-->download as’ and choose the file extension called. PNG. 
      2. This will save that slide as an image on their computer. They can import that image now into either the web site or the app on their iPad called Pic Collage. 
      3. Then their students can use their imaginations with their saved images.


      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}
      Pic Collage photo credit Erin Flanagan from Erintegration 

      • Google Drive to Padlet: If students are using the Padlet program and they wish to import that Padlet into their Google Classroom, this feature is located under the SHARE option. They will have the option to link Padlet to Google Classroom. 


      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}


      • Google Drive to EverNote:  Syncing to the Google Drive is very easy. 

      1. Once teachers are logged into their EverNote account, in the bottom left side of their screen, they should locate the icon for their account. 
      2. At the bottom of the screen and on the left, they will see an option that says "connected services."
      3. This will allow them to link their Google account to their EverNote account for easy integration between the two. 

      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}
      Evernote photo credit Stephanie Upton of  The Marvelous Middle 

      • Google Drive to SeeSaw: Are you using SeeSaw with your students? Incorporating files from their Google Drive is simple. The easiest way to get a Google Doc or a Google Slide folder into SeeSaw is to go to:

      1. ‘file-->download as’ and save that file as a PDF. That PDF will save to the computer your students are working on. 
      2. Once it’s on the computer, students can easily import that PDF into the SeeSaw program as usual. 
      3. Another way students can do this is by viewing the Google file they wish to import, clicking on the share button on the top right corner, copying the share link from Google, and pasting that specific link into the ‘Link item’ option in SeeSaw. 

      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}
      SeeSaw photo credit: Mrs. Beattie's Classroom
      I hope you have found these tips and directions for connecting Google Drive teaching lessons to be helpful! Being paperless is now even easier to incorporate into your classroom and your students will love the endless technology!

      Now that you have read how to use these cool apps alongside your GOOGLE Drive, check out some of these digital notebooks for your blended learning or 1:1 teaching lessons.


      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}

      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}

      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}

      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}

      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}

      Learn how to move your Google Drive teaching lessons to the top education apps. Great for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. You'll learn how to work with Notability, Microsoft One Note, SeeSaw, Nearpod, EverNote, Pic Collage, EdModo, Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft OneDrive, Blackboard, & Padlet. These great teacher lessons utilize paperless technology in amazing ways! {3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, & 12th grade}


      How to Get Students Excited for Online Research: Biography Lessons for Promoting a Growth Mindset

      One of the most important types of reading we can incorporate into our online classroom reading time and at ‘at-home’ online reading time is the reading of biographies. Many children and students might disagree- Where’s the fun? Where’s the fantasy? Where’s the excitement? Reading biographies provide something that nonfiction books cannot: Real life experiences. 


      How to Get Students Excited for Online Research: Biography Lessons for Promoting a Growth Mindset. Easily get your English language arts lessons filled with student engagement using NewsELA, Biography.com, and Britannica.com.

      Finding biographies online are easy. Finding approved, accredited, factual, and accurate biographies, well that's another story. They are out there. We just need to find them and stick with reliable resources for our students to engage in research. 

      One of the major benefits of our children and students reading more biographies is the knowledge of the real-world experience that these ACTUAL people lived through. Sure, they could read a book on the "Life of Harry Potter," which could be considered HIS biography, but it’s not real. Your students are never going to have the chance to experience what he did. Biographies are real. They are factual accounts of actual people. That is history! 

      How to Get Students Excited for Online Research: Biography Lessons for Promoting a Growth Mindset. Easily get your English language arts lessons filled with student engagement using NewsELA, Biography.com, and Britannica.com.
      NEWSELA is an awesome site for your students to do online biography research. Teachers and students have the capability to search online collections and for leveled readers.

      Okay, so they are real and factual. What else is so important about online biography research ? When our students read a biography, they are taken into a different time period. Students come to learn and understand other people a little better. Their view of the world changes because if it weren’t for their reading, they may never have known something from the book. 

      Their idea for their own future may change. They are exposed to how other people lived. Students are exposed to how other people interacted with others. Our students are also exposed to the struggles and hardships that famous people had to deal with and overcome.

      Biography pennants are a great activity where your students can complete all their research online and then add beautiful color and design. This activity is double the fun! It will decorate your classroom!
      In my opinion, that last sentence is THE most important reason our children should be reading more biographies. Nobody in this world is free from struggle. Each and every single one of us has our own personal problems, some larger than others. Each and every single one of us has to learn how to live, deal and overcome our problems. Even all of the famous people who have come before us- all of those famous people our children look up to and seek to be like- they all have had problems and struggles and they all have overcome them.

      This is where the relationship of reading biographies and growth mindset come in. A growth mindset is having the belief that where an individual's abilities are at this point can be further developed through dedication and hard work. (EdGlossary.com, 2017). Too often we encounter people who have a fixed mindset, or that they strongly believe that they can never improve, that where their abilities are now, that is where they will be forever. That is just who they are. 

      People with a growth mindset understand, "who they are right now, does not have to be who they are next week, or next month or next year." They can always change and improve to become something better. 

      How to Get Students Excited for Online Research: Biography Lessons for Promoting a Growth Mindset

      Ok, so how does this relate to students online reading and biography research? Young children are impressionable. They are easily influenced by people they know, trust and like. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When they read a biography of an individual they consider to be likable, they may start to want to be like them. They may love their life and their line of work and want to grow up to be them. They begin to realize that famous people have problems just like they do, and that they, too, can work through their problems and become a better person. 

      BIOGRAPHY.COM is filled with biographies. Teachers can utilize the large collection of videos, too! The videos are short enough to show at the beginning of a new unit of study. Using Biography.com for online biography research is a great site to promote a growth mindset into your lessons.
      BIOGRAPHY.COM is filled with biographies. Teachers can utilize the large collection of videos, too! The videos are short enough to show at the beginning of a new unit of study. Using Biography.com for online biography research is a great site to promote a growth mindset in your lessons. 

      Once students realize that these famous people, who they look up to and idolize, had to overcome their struggles to become as famous as they were, their mindset will begin to change. They may think, “Ok, if that person can do it, maybe I can also”. Before they thought that they could never change, that they will forever be ‘bad’ at something or could ‘never’ be able to do that one thing. But, by reading biographies of famous people, our children will understand that they CAN change and be whoever they want to be, despite their struggles, with enough hard work and dedication. They will see if they want the chance to be whatever they want to be in this world, that no matter what they are dealing with now, never ever give up. 

      The Britannica search feature auto-fills to ensure you do not spell a name wrong. I also love the list of articles for your biography study is listed which allows you to see them all in one place.
      Opportunities for teachers to create lessons using online biography research. Promote a growth mindset using biographies of notable people your students will look up to.
      The Britannica.com search feature auto-fills to ensure you do not spell a name wrong. I also love the list of articles for your biography study is listed which allows you to see them all in one place.

      Would all of these individuals be who they were or be famous for what they were famous for, had they just given up and told themselves they could never do it, over and over again? No way! What a powerful message for our students to receive. Encourage more biographies. Your children will thank you for it.

      Want to get started with bringing biographies into your English language arts lessons? Check out these education resources. They also look amazing on a bulletin board or on display in your school building.  

      I hope you found some ideas to help you infuse digital citizenship into any online lessons. I've linked up with 5 other incredible technology-integrating educators from the Tech with Us Facebook Community to share more digital citizenship lessons and ideas in honor of Digital Learning Day on February 23rd. 

      Digital Learning Day with ideas from Tech With Us! Click the links to learn more tips, ideas, and lessons for teaching digital citizenship on Digital Learning Day and beyond! Tips to Promote Digital Citizenship All Year Engaging Digital Citizenship Activity for Any Time of Year Digital Learning Day Ideas: 4 Strategies to Teach Digital Citizenship, How to Get Students Excited for Online Research: Biography Lessons for Promoting a Growth Mindset, Digital Citizenship Tips for Elementary Classroom, Ideas for Teaching Digital Citizenship with Edpuzzle.
      While the obvious goal of Digital Learning Day is to see digital learning find a place in schools all year long, it is also the perfect time to revisit digital citizenship a second time if you haven't yet this year. Here is a great way to collaborate and emphasize digital citizenship with your students in your classroom.

      This Digital Citizenship writing activity poster is triple the fun with the combination of coloring, creativity, and group work! All inspired by promoting good digital citizenship in your classroom. The collaborative poster comes with a discussion handout for, "how can you be a good digital citizen." The poster features social media, downloading files, posting messages and pictures, using apps, publishing content, a writing prompt and brain friendly fun.

      Click the links to learn MORE tips, ideas, and lessons for teaching digital citizenship on Digital Learning Day and beyond!

      Back to Top