Monday, August 22, 2016

NEW Teacher Account Support Page

Teacher Account Support

Two pages were created to support CUSD teachers in logging into their accounts quickly, and also helping them retrieve usernames and passwords for those programs in an efficient manner.  Please visit our page from the STAFF pull down on the new website
On that page, you will find single links to the multitude of accounts within Central, and also the link to the accounts support page that asks you to enter information about the account needed.
Here is a direct link to the Account Login Page
And the link to the Account Support Page

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 selected as standardized keyboard program for CUSD students 1st grade-12th grade has been selected by the Tech PCC district-wide for typing instruction next year.  With the ever growing requirements for students to type, including new common core writing standards and SBAC prompts, CUSD has chosen to move forward with as the standard program for next year.

Updates for Teachers Next Year

Teachers in grades 1st-6th grade can use the resources on for center work, computer lab time, or student free time.  Secondary teachers can assign and use in all areas where students support is needed.  PCC team suggestion was 20-30 minutes per week to help them build skills that they will need to be college and career ready.  The program has  sets of reports that let you know how your students are progressing and how much time they have logged.  All of the features will be available during training this next school year as well as a set of "getting started videos" teachers can view on their own time.

Engaging Curriculum for K-12/College

Your students will love our fun and entertaining typing curriculum. Featuring engaging exercises, interactive typing games, and positive reinforcement, is perfect for all age ranges and skill levels.

Free & Unlimited is and always will be free. Unlimited classes. Unlimited students.

Grade & Track Students

Using our free Teacher Portal, managing your classes and students could not be easier. Coupled with's Real-time Student Monitor, you can see exactly what your students are working on, in real time.

Single Sign-On & District Syncing

Skip the sign-up form, and log in directly using your Google Apps or accounts. Clever will even sync your entire class roster automatically!  Both types have been set up and are ready to use for Central students.  Clever is recommended for students in 3rd grade and below because of the ease of use.

Typing Games Reinforce Learning

A host of exclusive typing games such as Keyboard Ninja and Tommy Q Zombie Defender keep interest peaked while reinforcing lesson content.

Aligned with Common Core's proven curriculum aligns with the Common Core State Standards Initiative for Writing, preparing your students for typing mastery and success.

Powerful Reporting

Access and export detailed student improvement and progress, with reports covering all levels of data.  Another great feature of is our ability to roster classes to the program with Clever integration.  This link provides you with step-by-step directions for rostering your students to and providing your students with easy access to the site.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Front Row

Guest blog post by Frances Sias, 2nd grade teacher Biola Elementary School

Overview of Front Row:
  • Assignments can be given individually to students or they can continue their differentiated program at their pace.  
  • Manipulatives can be used within software and students have a mini-"whiteboard" to the right of each Math problem.  
  • Indania.jpg
    Idania is working on a math problem that involves area.
    Practice sheets can be printed and sent home as homework.  
  • Practice sheets are not simply "worksheets"!
  • Front Row creates a practice sheet-- with student's name on it-- of the Math concept students are working on that the student needs more practice with.  Wow!  Differentiation to the Max!
  • Free Front Row version allows for a max of 5 Reading/Writing assignments per month.

Joel is working on a math problem that involves
putting toy soldiers in order from greatest to least.
I have used some Reading assignments whole class on Promethean Board--especially when students were first beginning, so they could understand how they could use a Thinking Map to structure their reading and aid them in answering the passage.  Reports are available on all student work.  Front Row Reading gives detailed class report showing how each student answered and questions they missed.  Data can be used to create class groups based on students needs.  There are some great Inquiry lessons which are free and you can use whole class, but it you want more, school admin must purchase site license.  Detailed reports to parents are also provided.  Numerous data reports for teachers that aid in creating differentiated groups for peer to peer support or teacher center grouping.
Tiffany will write a short statement about the Statue of Liberty.
Front Row differentiates by assigning leveled reading articles.
I have been using it all year except for the Rdg./Wtg/Inquiry lessons.  Those were added later in the school year and my class started using them after Winter Break.  The Math portion has been used all year.  
I don't know if  it was because we were using Front Row Math all year,  OR  if it was because of their work on the Daily Math Challenge, OR if it was because of the other Math Apps we use daily in Learning centers,  OR if it simply was because we are always singing Math songs!!,  BUT....
my students went from 4 of 25 passing Math PTask #1  to 22 of 29 passing Math PT#3!

Raphael is working on an "SBAC-like" passage about sharks.
He reads the passage (at his reading level), and can highlight
words or sentences to refer to so that he can go back to it
after he reads the questions on the right side.
Thank you for letting me share my student's work and my feedback about Front Row!

If you are interested in learning more about Front Row and how to use this free program with your students visit their website

Students logon to the Student Dashboard at

Friday, May 13, 2016


Synergyse is a Chrome extension that puts a virtual guide into Google Apps, training you to be productive and stay up to date with changes.

Synergyse built a virtual coach inside of the Google Apps interface, built on Google Cloud Platform. With voice and text interactive modules that are searchable by topic within Google apps, Synergyse will help your teachers and students get up to speed quickly — including when new features are rolled out. The trainings are always up to date, thanks to the power of the cloud. Organizations that use Synergyse see on average 35 percent higher adoption across Apps products, meaning those organizations are more likely to be productive, collaborative and embrace digital transformation.

Product support these tools:
  • Google Apps training for Classroom, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, and Hangouts.
  • Automatic updates for all future features & apps
  • Unlimited usage

Enhance professional development.

Synergyse training can help teachers master Google Apps for Education, and count towards their professional development requirements. Administrators are able to generate detailed usage reports that include lessons and training hours.

Utilize as an effective teaching tool.

Many teachers use Synergyse as a teaching tool in their classrooms, allowing them to clearly demonstrate features in Google Apps for Education, and assign lessons to students to take at their own pace.

Look for the Synergyse icon in your favorite Google Apps for Education tools.  The number next to the symbol indicated the quantity of tutorials available for that tool.

When you click on the icon, the options will expand to include a list of the trainings available, as well as a search option.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Chrome Extensions for Education

I know that as a teacher I am always looking for little tips and tricks to help save time.  Today I came across a Chrome extension, Dualless, that I think could be useful for both teachers and students.  Dualless allows you two view two different Chrome Broswers on your computer screen.  Students could easily have a Google Doc and a website open side-by-side without having to go through the hassel of resizing windows.
Another Chrome extension to take a look at is Word Cloud Website Preview.  If you are a fan of displaying word clouds for your students or having your students create word clouds themselves, this Chrome extension allows you to create a word cloud from a website with one simple click.  Options are limited, but you can select the number of words to view by clicking on the "Options" link in the bottom right corner.

Do you have any Chrome extentions that make your life as a teacher just a little bit easier?  Please let us know and we will feature them here. #sharethetech

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Middle School Teacher Gives Students 20 time

By Jason Horsman

Carrie Faria is an ELA teacher at El Capitan Middle School.  This school year she is trying an innovative approach to allow her students to get creative.  She has allocated 20% of her in-class time for students to work on any project they like.  The focus of 20 time is to create a socially aware project that could give back to others.  Student's have taken this idea and created projects that range from teaching piano to learning another language.  The idea stems from the technology industry, where places like Google and Apple give their employees time to "get creative" with any ideas they like.  Products like Google Classroom and the iPad have come from those times.  Carrie hopes it will expand the quality of projects coming from her students and allows them to work on things that are interesting to them.  "Wednesday's are our 20time days.  Students are given this day to work on anything of their choice.  We are in our 7th week so most of the students are out of their research phase and into the actual creating or inventing portion."  Recently the school purchased a 3D printer for her classroom so that students can fully realize their inventions.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

MAD SQUAD Launches Its Second Year at Madison

By Emily Hill

Madison Elementary School is giving its students the tools they need today to become the tech leaders of tomorrow through a club known as the MAD SQUAD.

MAD SQUAD meets every Thursday with the Instructional Support Coach and Technology Aides for one hour.  The goal is to provide skills needed to thrive in today’s virtual world.

The club is comprised of students in 4th through 6th grade.  They had to fill out an application and get teacher and parent permission to join.  We currently have ten members.  It empowers students to provide technology support and leadership in their school.

Cassandra said, “My favorite part of the MAD SQUAD is helping the school out.  It has supported me in learning new technology.”

Technology Aide Mr. Nguyen added, “MAD SQUAD directly involves students with the technology troubleshooting process and gives them firsthand experience at a time when technology is evolving rapidly.”

Students support other classes by troubleshooting, downloading applications for students, setting up Google accounts, and teaching various applications to students and teachers.  We are currently working on Google Classroom, Google Docs and Lexia.  Some of the students are learning to code and will soon be teaching classes how to do that.  If a teacher has a special request we learn how to do it one week and go in and teach the class the following week.

Dr. Yost said, “As a new teacher here in Central Unified, I appreciate the assistance and tech support these young leaders have provided to my class as we are increasing the  use of our tablets. The MAD SQUAD is an invaluable asset and those kids have saved the day for me more than once!”

Priscilla said, “Her favorite part about being in the club is we get to help the little kids with their tablet problems.”

The students said they have learned a lot so far and are looking forward to sharing more of their knowledge with others as the year goes on.

5th grade student Hayden said, “I have learned a lot in MAD SQUAD.  One of the things I learned was how to work with more applications and better understand technology.”

The students have been a huge support for both students and teachers.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bloom's Taxonomy with Apps

If you are looking for ideas of new apps to use in your classroom you might want to take a look at Kathy Schrocks' Guide to Evenything, Bloomin' Apps page or the Android 4 Schools blog.  Both sites offer a wide variety of apps that will work on Android Tablets.  If you are specifically looking for apps that support a Bloom's Taxonomy level,  Bloomin' Apps might be a nice place to start.  Kathy Schrocks has a list of Apps that apply to each level of Bloom's Taxonomy.

While I was on Android 4 Schools today I discovered an app, Clarisketch, that allows students to annotate while voice recording over a picture or saved image.  The recording can then be shared to Google Classroom where the teacher could see and hear evidence of the student's thinking.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Celebrating Technology Use in the Classroom

Several school sites are developing professional development models to increase the technology capacity of their staff.  At Liddell, Tech Time is an on going technology professional development opportunity where staff are given the chance to share new technology tools with each other.

Recently, Glacier Point offered technology trainings on two diffeerent Wednesday afternoons.  Their model involved giving teachers a choice between learning three different technology tools in a more indepth session.  This allowed teachers time to ask questions and become more familiar with the technology tool of their choice.  Teachers selected from three sessions, Google Tools (Basic), Google Tools (Advanced), and Promethean Board.

Both Central High campuses recently participted in a technology professional development in which teachers had the opportunity to attend two sessions of technology training run entirely by teachers.  The afternoon was devised so that each session was run twice, allowing teacher the freedom to select the technology tool they were most interested in from a selection of 6 different sessions.  Sessions at the high school campuses included Google Classroon, Google Forms, Kahoot!, Google Sites, Tablet Integration and Research, Nearpod, Five Star Set-up Scan, and PDF tools/Sound Recorder/ QR codes.