How to Cross-List your Semester 2 Courses

As we approach Semester 2, those of you who are teaching multiple sections of the same course might consider cross-listing in Canvas. Cross-listing allows you to move section enrollments from individual courses and combine them into one course. This feature is helpful for instructors who teach several sections of the same course and only want to manage course data in one location. Many teachers who have tried it have asserted they would never go back to the old way since cross-listing is such a big time saver. However, this action should only be done before a semester starts. Indeed, Canvas recommends it be done before a course is published. If it is done after a course is published and notably student work has been submitted, that student work will be lost. Please review the slideshow below carefully to help you decide if you want to do it. 

Please reach out to a Technology Integration Specialist if you need help deciding if this is right for you or if you want assistance setting it up.

Recent Canvas Updates

December Updates

  • Course Import Warning Message: When you use the “Copy To” option in Canvas, you will now get a warning about overwriting existing content. This displays regardless of whether the actual content was previously imported or not. It is just there to remind you to be careful.
  • Image Option Percentage: Embedded images can be customized by pixels or percentages.
  • To Do Speedgrader Link Tab Setting: Under Settings and Feature options, instructors can choose to open their To Do items in a new tab. This setting is turned on by default.

January Updates (1/15/22)

  • New Quizzes Partial Credit for Matching: You can now choose if students will receive partial credit if they get parts of the matching set wrong. Previously, if they got one wrong, then entire section would be marked as wrong. Release Screencast
  • Ability to Collapse Course Navigation Menu: You will be able to hide the Course Navigation Menu like you can minimize the Global Navigation Menu.
  • Missing Status Removes When a Grade is Entered: If an assignment was marked as missing, when you enter a grade for the assignment, it will no longer have the missing designation.
  • External Link & Tool Module Link (Open in a New Tab) Setting: When you add an External Tool or External Link to a module, you are given the choice if you want the link to open in a new tab or not. The choice you make will now be “sticky” and will remain the default until you chose a different option.
  • Unposted Comment Warning: In Speedgrader, you will now get a warning if you try to navigate away before posting the comment.

Please reach out if you have additional questions about these updates.

End-of-Term Review Templates

As we draw near to the end of the first semester, you might be looking for some ideas to put students in the driver’s seat of reviewing for exams or projects. Here are a few ideas and templates.

  1. Thin Slide Study Guide
    • Thin Slides is a versatile, collaborative slide deck. Generally, each student gets one slide, one picture, and one word to create and briefly present on. This study guide version has a twist in that it has key terms and students write the definition in their own terms and find a picture to represent it. On following days, the process it repeated but each student get a slide someone else has already done. The included template also has an explainer video for the teacher.
  2. Hexagonal Thinking
    • A few years ago, the Cult of Pedagogy blog and podcast posted about Hexagonal Thinking. It serves as a visual way to make connections between ideas. It generates thinking and discussion as students realize the various connections that other people made and explain their own thinking. You could provide the terms you want them to connect or see what students are able to generate on their own with this template.

Submit a tech ticket if you have questions about implementing these strategies in your classroom.

Canvas Quizzes: Accommodations, Matching Partial Credit, & New Date for Classic Quizzes Sunset

Classic Quiz Sunset Timeline Extended

Canvas has announced that it is delaying the sunset timeline for Classic Quizzes until June 30, 2024. Our district may begin restricting the creation of new Classic Quizzes later this year, but existing Classic Quizzes will be available longer than originally anticipated.

New Quizzes Update (January 15): Partial Credit in Matching

In the past, many teachers have bemoaned that partial credit cannot be awarded on Matching questions. Starting January 15, New Quizzes will now have that option! See this post for more information.

Quiz Accommodations in Classic and New Quizzes

We recently received a question about how to accommodate students tests/quizzes in Canvas. There are a lot of moderation options in Canvas, but the specific question was around students that may begin their quiz during class and receive extra time during their Resource hour. Below you will find a resource on how to accomplish this as well information on how students can resume a Quiz, moderating New and Classic Quizzes, and how to reopen an attempt for students.

Please submit a ticket if you have additional questions about this.

You may also view this collection of resources here:


Technology housekeeping before break, please and thanks!

Tech break checklist

Happy holidays all.

For those of you about to begin a well deserved two week winter break, which we hope will be all you hope for and a bit more, before you leave Friday afternoon…

WOULD YOU PLEASE SECURE ALL VALUABLES in the classrooms and office spaces you inhabit. This includes laptops, document cameras, Apple TVs, remotes, and interactive pens.

Further, would you please make sure all iPads and ChromeBooks are in their carts and those CARTS ARE LOCKED and plugged in before leaving.

Finally, would you please also POWER OFF any of the following equipment, if it is equipment you handle:

  • projectors
  • sound amps
  • SmartBoards
  • desktop computers
  • monitors
  • printers

THANK YOU for your cooperation.

Tech break checklist

New Google Slides Option: Show/Remove Filmstrip

image showing to go to view and check or uncheck filmstrip

There is a new option for your screen when working in Google Slides. You can view or hide the filmstrip. What’s filmstrip? It is the vertical display of slides to the left of the slide your are working on.

image showing to go to view and check or uncheck filmstrip

Take a Look at the Difference

comparison of the 2 viewsWhy would you want to use this feature?

👉🏽 You are presenting, but still want to be able to edit on the slide, this gives you more space

👉🏽You have a drag and drop activity for students, you can utilize more of the gray area on the sides

👉🏽 You want to keep upcoming slides hidden

Interested in drag and drop activities for Google Slides? Check out these resources:

Winter and End-of-the-Semester Activity Ideas

As we approach the end of the semester, you might consider some new ideas for end-of-semester final projects. Matt Miller, the founder of Ditch that Textbook posted a few great ideas on his blog. Ideas include creating a series of podcast, producing an unboxing video, and connecting with a cause. Read more about his ideas here:

You many not be looking for end-of-the-semester activities, but perhaps you are looking for activities that will engage students as we move toward Winter Break. Eric Curts, of Control Alt Achieve, has put together a collection of “googley” wintertime activities that will allow students to be creative and practice some content skills. Check out his great templates here:

Mobile Tips for Teachers and Students

Time Saving Tip: Many students and teachers end up accessing Google tools from their phones. As a result, most of us are logged into multiple Google accounts on our phones. Up until last week, I would click on my avatar in the upper, right corner and then select the account I wanted to switch to. But did you know you can save a few nano-seconds by just swiping up or down on that avatar and Google will switch between your accounts? This works in Google Mail (Gmail), Google Drive, Google Keep, Jamboard, Slides, and Docs. It works in most of the Google apps except for Calendar. Video Demonstration.


App Smash: Canva, Flipgrid, and Canvas

Canva now has ready-to-go Flipgrid background templates. These templates are great for teachers and students to give book reviews, teach about main ideas, or building community.

Search “flipgrid” when you are in Canva and you can select a template that works for you. Customize it to your liking, download the image, and then add it as a background in a Flipgrid video (students and teachers can make stand-alone videos with Flipgrid Shorts).

If you are doing it for a student assignment, students can easily submit the video in Canvas as a website URL or by downloading the video and uploading it to Studio.

See the <4 minute video below on how this can be done.

Canva blog post:

Student Tutorial for Uploading a Video to Studio to Submit:

Student Tutorial for Submitting a Website URL:

If you want to learn more about how Canva and Canvas integrate see our previous blogpost or enroll in the asynchronous Canvas course.


Supporting English Learners Using ELLevation

ELLevation is a one stop shop for learning about the Multilingual Learners (aka English Learners) in your classroom. Teachers have access to 3 components of ELLevation:

  • ELLevation Platform: You can access English Language testing history, proficiency level descriptors, and ELD support plans for the MLL/EL students in your classroom.
  • image of teacher dashboardELLevation Strategies: Looking for ideas for how to meet the needs of learners in your classroom? ELLevation strategies offers strategies to support content and classroom teachers in reaching all students in their classroom. These strategies include resources, videos and differentiation suggestions for the students in your class based on their language proficiency.
  • image of teacher strategiesMonitoring: You can complete monitoring forms for Former ELs (FELs) in your classroom. The quick check in allows you to communicate any concerns you might have with students who have exited EL services but who continue to be monitored for 4 years after their exit date.

image of monitoring

Interested in learning more? 

We have a 3 hour Canvas course available for SCHEH credit. Educators can also access the ELLevation Academy (click on the little graduation cap in the navigation bar once you log into your account) to learn how to navigate the site.

To get started, you’ll need to create a password for your account HERE. Be sure to log in with your PCCSK12 email account.

Not seeing what you’re expecting? Please complete this form and we’ll help you get the access you need!

Any additional questions or support requests can be sent to Denyaz Farhat, K-12 MLL Instructional Coach.