Clever is a PCCS hub for resources and supports a single click for logging in to external resources like Brain Pop, IXL, and more! It’s a great place for teachers to place collections of links to give students.

🗓️ The Classic Teacher Portal will retire in July 2024 and the Enhanced Teacher Portal will become the official Clever Portal for all teachers! Learn more about the timeline and the portal here🗓️

You may still have access to the classic portal for now, but for the 24-25 school year,  you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with the new Enhanced Teacher Portal – which is helping teachers find resources 50% faster; so here are some resources to help!

QUICK NOTE: The student portal IS NOT CHANGING. Only the teacher portal. 

  1.  🗺️ Take a quick, clickable tour of the new portal
  2. ❣️ Find your Teacher Page faster by favoriting it. It will be the first thing you see when you log in!

Interested in learning more? 🏆 Qualify for PD credit when you become an Enhanced Teacher Portal certified educator.

Orbit Note Premium

orbit note logo

What is OrbitNote?

  • OrbitNote is a Google Extension made by the Texthelp company which also makes Read&Write for Google
  • OrbitNote makes PDF documents accessible!
  • OrbitNote can be used with PDF documents to:
    • Have text read aloud
    • Annotate on PDF documents
      • Type on documents
      • Highlight, underline, and circle words and phrases
      • Freehand draw on documents
    • Access speech-to-text
    • Access math tools built into the OrbitNote toolbar

Texthelp has agreed to provide all staff and students with FREE OrbitNote Premium until the end of the school year! Just make sure you are signed into Chrome with your P-CCS Google account.

Add the OrbitNote extension to your Chromebook or laptop and try out all premium features!

Check out the Ditch that Textbook blog post on 20 ways to use OrbitNote in the classroom.

Newsela: May Resources

image of may calendar

Did you know the district has access to premium Newsela? Open in it Clever or link up your class with Canvas. Newsela provides teachers and students with engaging, articles, videos, and text sets on a variety of current topics. You can print off an article, display it for the whole class to model reading strategies, or assign an article for students to complete individually. Ready to give it a try? Check out the May content calendar to find resources that are ready to go.

If you want to learn more about how Newsela’s content aligns with Michigan standards, check out their state-specific resources.

Great Summer Learning Opportunities

Check out the great, free summer learning opportunities offered by Wayne RESA.

CT in the D

Join us at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on June 18th and immersive yourself in strategies for helping your students solve problems creatively using computational thinking. Project Tomorrow will help facilitate the morning session as we take a deep dive into computational thinking and how you can integrate it into your curriculum. In the afternoon, DIA staff will take us on a learning walk throughout the DIA and connect computational thinking to art. Our day will conclude with a hands-on learning activity.

Register Here

Cultivate Creativity in Nature

Join us at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge on August 6th to explore new ways to engage students with nature and learn in unexpected places. It will be a day filled with hands on learning activities.

Register Here

Google Read&Write Refresher

image of read and write toolbar

Did you know that all P-CCS students have access to Read&Write for Google? The toolbar is added in Chrome as an extension. Students likely notice the puzzle-shaped toolbar pop up on certain sites. If you would like to learn more about what tools are available, explore this interactive image or take a look at this toolbar tips sheet.

Additionally, if you have students with Dyslexia, you can look at this resource to see how it can help their overall performance. Elementary teachers, in particular, may find it useful for building listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in their students.

You might use one of these activities to help students learn how to use the tool or to explore it for yourself:

These tools can  help students as they work on year-end projects. Some of these tools mimic the digital tools available on M-STEP and other standardized tests.

Things I Wish I Would Have Known-Canvas Edition: Use the Calendar

calendar blog

Using Canvas can feel overwhelming if you are new to it or haven’t done much with it since the 20-21 school year. Want an easy place to start? Go to the calendar.

calendar icon on dashboard

Once there you can add assignments, course events (including recurring events), personal events, and appointment groups. When you open the Calendar, think about upcoming tests, due dates, and reminders. Click on the associated day and add it to the calendar.  If you need to change a due date, you just need to drag and drop it to a new date.

If you create an event from Calendar, you add a minimal amount of information and you have the choice to click “More Options” to add more direction.

add assignment on the calendar

This is a great way to get started with Canvas to share important assignments and events with students and families. Take a look at a secondary student’s calendar below:

view of student calendar

Things I Wish I Would Have Known: Canvas Edition-Google Assignments

blog series

Introducing a new series, Things I Wish I Would Have Known: Canvas Edition. We will highlight things we wish we might have done differently when we started using Canvas and what you might consider updating in your course going forward. When back to school time hits it can be overwhelming to consider what updates to make in your Canvas course. Our hope with this series is that you will consider some changes you can make for next year and start implementing some of those new ideas now.

Three Big Reasons to Try Google Assignments in Canvas
  • If you used the predecessor to Google Assignments, Cloud Assignments, they are being deprecated in June 2024. Learn more about this in our earlier blog post. If you have any assignment that look like the one below, please be sure to take action.

screen of Google Cloud assignment

  • If you have Google Document that you ask students to make a copy of, you may be creating unknown barriers for students. Many students forget if they have already copied and started an assignment. If they did already start it, they may not be able to find it again. With Google Assignments, each student receives a labeled copy organized in a dedicated Drive folder, making it easy to keep track of submissions, and peak and their progress while they work.
    • In earlier years using Canvas, some teachers did not like it because:
      • You couldn’t use the Canvas Speedgrader, you had to use the Google grader–you now have the option to grade with Speedgrader.
      • People reported problems with it. In the early years of Canvas, there were a lot of problems talked about but these days I seldom hear of an issue.
  • One of the standout features of Assignments is the availability of originality reports. These reports scan student submissions against hundreds of billions of web pages and millions of books, helping you identify potential instances of plagiarism or missed citations. Each course is allotted five originality reports. When enabled students can even check over their originality report up to 3 times to help catch their errors. This feature would be an excellent reason to give Google Assignments a try before the end of the year.

Tutorial: Create a Google Assignment


Upcoming Virtual Days? Tips for Success

With State testing season upon us, you may have a virtual day coming up on your calendar. Please follow these tips to find success:

  1. If it has been a long time since you have opened Zoom, you will likely need to install an update. This is NOT as simple as clicking “update.” Please follow the guidance in this blog post.
  2. In an effort to manage funds, not all staff have licensed Zoom accounts. When you login to Zoom be aware of any notice that you have a limited account and are limited to 40 minute sessions. If you see this type of messaging, please submit a tech ticket so your account can be upgraded.
  3. Have students practice joining your Zoom, if possible. Related to that, check your Canvas page, do you have multiple Zoom links visible (perhaps in the Course Navigation Menu and near your name/room # on the homepage). To reduce confusion:
    1. Remove one of the options.
    2. Ensure that the duplicate links go to the same meeting.
  4. Add any necessary co-hosts following these directions. Bear in mind, page 8 of the manual gives directions specific to adding co-hosts to a Personal Room if that is what you intend to use.

For more Zoom resources, please visit our Zoom resources on the P-CCS Tech site.

If you are unsure about any of these steps, please submit a tech ticket for assistance.