Creating activities using Google Spreadsheet Gadgets

Hello there,

I learned how to create exercices using Google Docs Spreadsheet last year and have been trying to write about it on my blog but I always get caught doing something else. So here it is, I am finally sharing:

Do you use Google Docs?

Yes? Are you and your students getting the most out of it?

No? It is a very useful tool to use for your classes. In the district I work in, all the students have Google e-mail so we all share documents through Google Docs, it is easier to share their homework, projects or quizes with their teachers and classmates. It is a great way to work on projects together and collaborate with each other using a common document. I have been using Google Spreadsheet to create activities for a while now. Here is an example:

To create this exercise, I have:

1) Logged into my Google Docs

2) Click on Create – Spreadsheet

3) Wrote the words on column A and the definitions on column B

4) Select column A and B and click on InsertGadget

5) Selected Flash Cards Gadget By Seth Glickman and clicked on add to Spreadsheet

6) On the top right hand corner there is a drop-down menu. click there and select move to own sheet…

7) Once you have done that you will have on the bottom of your spreadsheet two tabs, one with the list of words and definitions and one with the gadget.

Hope you enjoy creating your own activities! If you have any questions on how to create different activities using Google spreadsheet do not hesitate to ask. Please share your creations, I would love to see the activities you have created.

Reposting #ELTchat: the loss of eltchat.com – Plan B

I was directed to Cecilia Lemos’ Blog after reading Shelly Terrell’s post on Facebook. I have not participated in an ELT Chat yet but I am always following the educators’ comments about it. I am currently teaching Spanish but I have taught English as a foreign and second language for over 8 years. I keep reminding myself the importance of participating in the ELT Chat because it is a great opportunity to gain and share knowledge and build my Personal Learning Network (PLN). I was very sad to hear what happened with their domain (eltchat.org). To know more about what happened, please read the post below in its entirety.

This is a repost of Cecilia Lemos’ blog:

For the last – well, almost two years now, since September 15, 2010, #ELTchat has kept us on our toes and forged hundreds of professional and personal relationships amongst its followers who turn up on Twitter every Wednesday to talk about  topics they have suggested and voted on – a community of peers which was created by a small group of colleagues – which grew and grew some more and became something that counts as an important  part of our continuous professional development.

Like many great ideas, it didn’t hit just one person but several. And that is how #ELTchat was created.

The website to keep up the communication of its members, a base and repository of our ideas was one of the first things we all thought of creating – the wiki came later.

Andy Chaplin was keen to join the moderation team and help with podcasts and technical stuff; he was quick to buy eltchat.com and announced the good news to us after the fact. A few months later, right after TESOL France 2011,  he suddenly disappeared – some say for reasons of health. We never found out for sure. We never received a single word of response to our emails. eltchat.com was and still is registered in his name.

And yesterday we lost it


On August 8 the domain expired and we have no way of taking over unless it goes up for sale again; it was very sad that Andy Chaplin did not find it appropriate to renew.

The news is really upsetting.

The work we have put in on this website cannot be told in a few simple words – but it has been a labour of love and we have got so much out of it that we have never regretted one single moment

We are pretty upset at the behaviour of this individual – disappointment is one big understatement.

But we trust that our community of #ELTchatters, our PLN for short, will again gather round the new domain which we have purchased – eltchat.org

It will take us a few days to put the website back on its feet

And all will be as it was before – all the posts in place all your thoughts and comments, all the polls and great summaries which got us on the shortlist of the ELTon Awards nominations

We will be back with a vengeance

We are not just a website – we did not get on the ELTon awards shortlist as just another website!!!

We are a great community of teachers and we have a Plan B!

See you all in September!!!

Marisa Constantinides – Shaun Wilden

Cecilia Lemos

P.S. We would greatly appreciate it if any of you belonging to this great community of teachers,  teacher educators, bloggers, #ELTchat followers,  reposted this on your blog

If you decide to do this, please add your name to the post under ours.

Marisa Constantinides – Shaun Wilden

Cecilia Lemos

Camila Sousa

Google Sites

I have created a tutorial for my students in order to have an e-portfolio for our Spanish class, in this tutorial they will learn how to create their Google Sites. Why Google Sites? My school district is very concerned about publishing students’ work online so this way, only teachers and other students inside our school district have access to our “private” sites. Not even parents can access our Google Sites, if they desire to do so they would have to use their children’s ID and password. Our blogs or sites are restricted by a district user ID and password and this makes it safer for the kids, especially because they are Middle School students who sometimes act without thinking or fearing the possible consequences.

Although we have private sites, we like to interact with other Spanish classes and for that reason we use websites such as VoiceThread that allow us to collaborate with other classes. I have created an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that is signed by the parents in the beginning of the school year regarding the release of their pictures and projects, I also create a form that students and parents sign for my class listing the technologies we will be using during the school year to request their approval for publishing on my public blog or wiki so that I can showcase their work to the “world”.

This tutorial was made in QuickTime Player. I simply opened the application, clicked on file, then new screen recording and recorded the tutorial. To publish it, I posted it on Vimeo then hosted on my wiki.

Click HERE to watch the tutorial.