OneNote and Remote!

It’s the most Omicron time of the year!

I have a fair number of students out this week, so hybrid teaching is once again in full swing! I have been surveying my students to make sure they can see and hear each day. It has been going remarkably well, so I thought I would share what I have been doing.

iPad. I am Zooming from my iPad and it has been wonderful. It is much better than Zooming from my computer like I did last year. I bought an iPad case with a handstrap so I can easily carry it around class with me. I detest being “tethered” to the front of the room. Now I can walk around the room instead of being stuck at the front next to my computer. My remote students can hear me very clearly, even with a mask, and I can hear them as well, as I am holding the iPad as I walk around the room. I share my iPad screen so students at home can see what I am writing with very little lag time. When students in class have a question, I walk over to them before they ask so that the remote students can hear them well. I can then write the explanation out on the iPad so students at home and at school can see my work.

OneNote.  All of this has been working seamlessly because of Microsoft OneNote. OneNote is a free notebook app that is very easy to learn! I have tried many other notebook apps, but OneNote has the most features and draws really well, which is important for math teachers. I have the app on my iPad and computer, and can also log in to OneNote in my browser. Everything syncs up almost instantly, so when I write on my iPad, it updates on the computer automatically. This allows me to carry my iPad around with me as I teach, and write on it, while projecting what I am writing on One Note from my computer at the front of the class.

  • Remote students are on Zoom, which I have started from my iPad. I am screen sharing on my iPad so they can see my work on the OneNote app. 
  • In class students can see my work at the front of the room, where I am projecting One Note from my computer.

One Note has many amazing features, especially if you use the “Class Notebook”. I used many of the Class Notebook features last year when we were fully remote. You can even insert, write, and solve math equations inside the Notebook! However, this year I am just using One Note in the most basic way, as I do not need students to upload files to me since we are all in person.

To use OneNote, just create an account using any email. Then create a Class Notebook and add your students. This year, I mainly use three sections of the OneNote Notebook, the Collaboration Space, the Content Library, and the Teacher Only.

One Note Sections I Use:

  • Collaboration Space – students can work and write together as if it is a Google Doc. They can also create pages. I post all work from math help sessions here, so students who are not able to attend can see extra help.
  • Content Library – students can see and download content, but cannot edit. This is where I put everything that we do in class. I have a section for each chapter, and then a page for each day. You can add files that the students download. And, when you add a file, you can chose to “print out” the file on the page so you can write on the work. 
  • Teacher Only – this space is invisible to students, they cannot see any folders or files. I keep all of my plans, assessments, and answer keys in this section, by chapter. 

Here is a sample of what my OneNote Notebook looks like for AP Calculus:

OneNote Organization

Here is my Collaboration Space looks like, I use it mostly for Math Help Sessions:

Collaboration Space for Math Help

Tip: If you are using OneNote on your iPad and it is not updating, or it freezes, just close the app on your iPad and open it again. I’m not sure if this is a One Note issue or a WiFi at my school issue.

Tips for getting started with and using One Note:

Add Events from Google Sheets to Google Calendar Automatically from Thom Gibson

If you have a spreadsheet of your assignments for your students, then have all of the assignments automatically added to a Google Calendar, this post is for you!  This post will also help those who have MANY dates they need to enter onto a calendar at one time.

As a mom of three teenaged boys, I have many, many sporting events to attend this fall, 49 in all.  The though of adding ALL of these events to our family calendar was daunting, so I decided that I wanted to try to automate it all.  Yes, this took much longer the first time as I had to figure it all out.  But it was worth it as I’ve since used this method to add other events, en masse, to my google calendar.  So, it has saved me tons of time!  I’m blogging about it so I won’t forget how to do it the NEXT time (lol) and so you can try it too if you want!  I’m a newbie, so I probably won’t be able to answer technical questions if you decide to try it out.

I first tried a Google add on, but the creator was in Paris, so it took me hours to figure it out.  Then Thom Gibson tweeted me, so I used his script and it was much easier!  This is the one I will use from now on. Thank you Thom!  🙂

To learn how to add Google Calendar events from a Google Sheet, watch Thom’s video.


  1. Spreadsheet: You will need to copy his Google spreadsheet to get the FormMULE script.
  2. Permissions:  You will need to permit Google to let you use this.  It will say it’s unsafe bc it isn’t a Google Add on.
  3. Date Time:
    1. Be sure your cell is formatted in the Date Time format if it is not an all day event so you can add the start time.  Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 2.27.04 PM
    2. I used the same end time as the start time.
  4. Updates:  There is a way to update it the calendar, but there is a different Update video.

Have fun!

Blog Posts for the First Days of School!

It’s back to school time!!

Here is a compilation of posts that will hopefully help with all of your “Back To School” planning.  I thought that putting them all in one place would be helpful. Happy planning and welcome back to school!

Customized Sticky Notes and Stickers!

I love the fun stickers that Sam Shah and Allison Krasnow make for their students!  I haven’t created customized stickers for my students in the past. Instead, I usually make customized sticky notes.  I love using sticky notes because the students can return them to me.  My favorite new sticker that I made is one that students write their name and number (for quick alphabetizing) on, and then I stick it on their group folder.  I love that they are sticky because I can easily re-arrange them when I change groups.

Individual Sticky Notes

Name sticker for group folder.

Group folders are another awesome Sam idea that I keep meaning to blog about! At the beginning of the year I use a “Home Enjoyment” sticky note where I can check off improvements I would like to see in their homework.  I have an, “Oops, I’m tardy!” sticky note, where they write the reason for their tardy on the note.  I also made a “See me after class” sticky that they return to me. Once they return them to me, I stick them onto a page in a binder so I can keep an accurate record. These come in handy for parent meetings. Sticky notes are usually cheaper unless there is a sticker sale, especially when you cut them in half!

I completely forgot to order more sticky notes last year.  But seeing Allison Krasnow’s My Favorite at TMC19, reminded me, and even made me want to order stickers!  I can’t wait to encourage students with these stickers, on their best as well as their worst days.

Here are the sticky notes that I created, and the notes and stickers that I created from Allison (and Sam’s) posts.  The round stickers are 1.5″ because they were cheaper.  I usually shop at Vista Print when they have a sale!  The stickers and notes are so easy to create because Vista Print has so many ready made templates!



My Room

Friday was our open house. It was so great to see all of my students! I cannot wait until Monday. My room is pretty much the same as last year. The only things left that I need to do are put the days of the week on the homework board and make a backboard for trasketball on the front wall. Enjoy!

Hanging Wall Organizers for Absent Work

Seriously, I cannot tell you how much this one idea has simplified my life.  The past two weeks, our school has been hit by a nasty cold bug AND strep throat.  I’ve have so many absent students!  But, with my hanging wall organizer for absent work I have been taken COMPLETELY out of the mix.

My dear friend Megan took me to the Container Store in St. Louis during TMC and showed me these fabric wall mount magazine holders.

I bought one for each subject I teach (6th and 7th grade), then I labeled each pocket for one day of the week.  The remaining bottom two pockets are make-up quizzes and returned papers for absent students.

So, when a student isn’t in class, I label their paper with their name on it and then put it in the appropriate day.  When they come back, THEY DON’T HAVE TO ASK ME FOR THE MAKE-UP WORK! 

I don’t to shuffle through my files (or my desk if I haven’t yet filed it) to find their work!  They don’t even ask me, they just go and get it!  Also, this way students can make-up quizzes during work times when other teachers are covering because they always know where  their blank quiz is.  AND, if I hand back graded papers when a student is absent, I just fold it over (so the grade doesn’t show) and put their name on the back of the paper, then put it in the holder.  They can get it when they come back to school.  If they are excited about their grade, they can even come in early morning and get it without having to ask me.  This has so greatly simplified my life.  I need more great ideas like this!  Thanks so much Megan!  🙂

Update:  The letters are from Target.  They are a pack of giant post-it letters for about $3.  To label the pockets, I used the Martha Stewart fabric labels that I got at Staples.

My Favorite Mega White Boards

I have taught translating verbal models into algebraic expressions for many year.  However, with all of the new idea garnered at TMC and through Twitter, I really wanted to do something new this year.  I loop with 6th and 7th, and my 7th have had this lesson before.  I was sure they forgot some things, but didn’t want a vocab/lecture lesson.  I decided to use my Mega White Boards that I made after reading Frank’s post and ended the lesson with Cheesemonkey’s block game.  The entire day was a fabulous success, and I really can’t say enough good things about these giant boards.  They are large enough for students to work in individually AND together on them.

I had each group separate their board into 6 parts.  They put math symbols in each part.  I used addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, grouping symbols, and “turn around words”.  For each section, the had to come up with a word that expressed the symbol, a verbal model (word problem) and an algebraic expression.  Since it would be an algebraic expression, it had to have a variable in it. 

At first students picked which one they would do.  I heard, “I’ll do addition, you do subtraction.”  But almost immediately they were brainstorming to create the phrases together, especially on the harder ones.

The groups had a pretty easy time with the first four, but got stuck on the last two (grouping and turn around words).  I’m not sure who thought of it first, but soon all of the groups were in the “Student Center” searching for their Math Reference Notebooks that they made last year (win!).   I did not tell them what to look for, so I was very happy that they knew not only where to look but WHAT they were looking for.  Some students even found the Math Into Words poster on my wall!  Win!

After they were finished I had the groups come up and fill in the grid on the board (one group per grid).  We discussed their expressions and brainstormed more words.  Then, I gave them a new “Words to Math” graphic organizer to glue into their interactive graph books.

Finally, they were ready to play Algebraic Expression Blocking game from Cheesemonkey.  We didn’t have much time left at the end of class so I plan on breaking this game out again!

Table Motivation Labels – My Favorite Friday

I almost didn’t make this Favorite Friday. This was the first week of school (for teachers only) AND the first week all three boys had soccer. And, two of them had an extra day – EACH. I had at least one breakdown this week. My poor husband. 🙂

BUT, I finally got my room (mostly) organized. And, I am so ready for a new year in my most amazing room. After seeing my students today, I cannot WAIT to get started. I love those kids.

All I’m doing today is showing off my AMAZING new labels. I labeled the tables and the supply caddies (all color coordinated, btw). I even labeled the cups INSIDE the caddies! Thanks so much to Julie Ruble for taking me to the dollar store. I found brightly colored Microfiber clothes that color coordinate with my table labels. It inspired me and easy excellent.  (And yes, Julie Ruble is THE super famous food blogger).  🙂

I used Shelli’s super cool sign clips that I found on I found the “Smart Questions” on Pinterest then again on Lisa Henry’s blog. And, I used most of the sayings from last weeks post. The table labels are in the air thanks to sign clips. They have the table number and a motivational saying on one side, and smart questions on the other. I love them and they make me happy! I also love the adhesive number lines that I got from eNasco last year.  I just stuck them to the tables.