1. 1. Comment Bank – Use the comment bank in Classroom’s grading tool to make commenting on student work and providing feedback more efficient. Frequently used comments can be saved for future use.
  2. Emphasize Words in Comments – Use shortcuts to emphasize words when inserting comments. To bold a word, put an asterisk before and after the word (*bold*). To italicize a word, put an underscore before and after the word (_italics_). To strikethrough, a word put a hyphen before and after the word (-strikethrough-). These shortcuts can be used in any Google tool that allows the user to insert comments.
  3. See the Process – Students don’t have to submit their assignments for you to see their work. When you chose “make a copy for each student” for assignments, each student’s work can be seen in the grading tool, even if it’s not submitted. Teachers can make comments and suggestions along the way.
  4. Feedback Before Student Submits – Provide feedback to students while their assignment is still a work in progress instead of waiting until submission. This will help the student better understand assignment expectations.
  5. Suggestion Mode – Use suggestion mode in Google Docs to make edits become suggestions in a comment.
  6. Feedback on Presentations and/or Presenters – Keep students engaged during presentations by having them utilize a Google Doc or Form to provide feedback on the presentation.
  7. Tag Collaborators in Comments – Tag specific collaborators in comments by using the @. Once the @ is keyed in, a list of collaborators pops up to choose who you want to tag. More than one collaborator can be tagged in a comment.
  8. Individualized Communication – Classroom can be used to communicate with individuals through email, private comments, and comments on assignments.
  9. Ways to Provide Feedback – Provide feedback to students through the grading tool, comment bank, or private comments.
  10. Delete Comments – Teachers can delete inappropriate comments.
  11. Peer Feedback – Allow students to critique and provide feedback on one another’s assignments.
  12. Mute Commenting – Teachers can mute student comments entirely if needed. Comments can be controlled through the settings menu or through the short answer question dialogue box.

Adapted from Matthew Lynch


This blog post contains links to outside sources. It is always good practice to make a copy for yourself that you can revise.



Just this past spring we learned of the shuttering of three major edtech services: Office Mix, and Ten Marks. Also a change in Padlet’s Terms of Service. Today’s Meet is also shutting down.

1) OfficeMix – Link below on migration tips. The link below that is on the “new” method.

2) – Below is a link for an alternative to the QR Code maker in Also bitly can be used to shorten URL’s and there is TinyURL

3) Alas I had just found out how much I like TenMarks Writing.

4) “FYI for those that use Padlet. Looks like padlet are now charging and bringing in a free and a premium service. If you’re already a member you’ll get a limit of 3 more padlets than you already have. New members will get 3 max. And to get any more you’ll need to pay. We’ll all need to be better at deleting old defunct padlets ” -
Links to alternatives for Padllet below: Lino, Wakelet, Dotstorming, Scrumblr, or Pinside

I’ve also posted a link to Padlet, in case you have not tried it yet.

For myself, I am currently willing to pay for the upgrade to Padlet. Why? They have added built-in audio and video recording recently. And I believe that it is a service worth paying for.

These are companies after all and must unlike us in the public sector, post a profit-otherwise they will be gone.

A member of my PLN, Lynn Hilt, puts it so well in here recent post. I have posted a link below.

QR Droid Zapper | QR Code Generator
lino – Sticky and Photo Sharing for you

Wakelet – The best way to share and collect content

Pinside – Virtual sticky notes, collaborative or private.
Padlet is the easiest way to create and collaborate in the world
Tools come and go. Learning should not. And what’s a “free” edtech tool, anyway? – Learning in Technicolor – shorten that long URL into a tiny URL
Important information about Office Mix Preview end of service – PowerPoint



Innovative & Interactive Response to Text

I’m sure that like me you might get frustrated by some of the obvious drawbacks PDF’s have. And, so many of our docs these days are in PDF format.

So, you may find this to be a relief.


“It’s so important in this digital age when so many students consume text online that they learn how to transfer their pen and paper annotation strategies to the online space. Kami is another fantastic tool for supporting active reading online.”

This is a quote from a fellow educator, Catlin Tucker. It was excerpted from this blog entry ==> Make PDFs Interactive with Kami

I started to have my learners engage with a PDF text and then suddenly in the back of my mind I remembered Catlin’s post from last spring.


Here is a recent example from my class illustrating our use of this tool. In order to protect my learner’s identity, the comments he posted have been redacted, only his highlights have been shared.

Setting Sail



Assignment Directions and Rubric

Read and Annotate

Learning Goal: Stop, think and react using a variety of strategies to understand

Read pp. 1- 9
On pages 7-9 keep track of your thinking using highlighting, underling and/or commenting with Kami.
*Stop to think and react to the information
*Ask questions
*Identify and consider big ideas
*Paraphrase the information in your own words
*Infer to fill in gaps
*Activate your schemaView the rubric below to guide your thinking and outcome.After you finish, find two or three others who have finished. Form a group to share your reactions to the article.
Think about the important ideas as well as any issues, questions, or thoughts you have.
Share your thinking with the whole class via the Padlet below.
Here’s a recent post from Jacqui Murray in support of PDF use in schools. The Case for PDFs in Class


In response to: “Fighting the battle of copy/paste cheating”

I don’t like the conclusion you reached because I know in my gut that it be true. However, I find it is also a time problem. I have 4 hours each week to plan, provide feedback, communicate, and create for Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary Work, Grammar, Mechanics, Technology, and Art Standards. Planning includes analyzing myriad assessments, personalizing, providing remediation, planning for whole class, small group, partner and individual instruction. Communication involves all stakeholders; students, parents, and fellow staff. It also includes writing progress reports and report cards. Creation includes designing units, lessons, and assessments since we often either do not have a guaranteed, viable curriculum or what we have has to be modified. Now throw in a recess incident, a discipline problem, a depressed student, an IEP, etc. and some of that 4 hours is gone. In my desire to be succinct I may have left out a few other requirements.

Obviously, the great load of teaching is played out behind the scenes while the bulk of our time is on the carpet in front of our learners. Hence, many use “activities”, TPT, Pinterest, etc.


And I love teaching. Yet, we find we are constantly striving for a sustainable practice. Sustainable for ourselves, our families, our students, our colleagues, our schools and our communities, all of whom we serve.


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