Email Summarizer

Create document summaries from Gmail labels. This is an apps script that I deployed as a web app. It allows you to create a daily trigger that will create a document based on labels in your Gmail. You just need to create a filter that applies a label to incoming emails. (Thanks to Educator Alexander for the idea in our Google Innovator group!)

ClassDojo Attendance Extension UPDATES!

I have made some updates to what my extension can do. The first update is that you no longer need to have the attendance screen open. You ONLY need to be in the class window. So you just need to put in your attendance and save. Then you are good to go!

The more important updates are that you can save your data into a spreadsheet on Google Sheets now!

There is a little bit of a setup that I will explain here.

First you need to create the sheet. This can be a brand new spreadsheet, or just create a new sheet inside an existing spreadsheet. Follow the format below:


Then you need to open the options menu:


Finally, select the spreadsheet with the file picker.


You are now good to go! You can use the ‘Update Spreadsheet’ button inside the extension. This will grab the most current attendance information for the class you have open and post it into the spreadsheet.

This new feature will also grab the student’s current avatar and point information. I added these for a long-term goal of gamify-ing some of the tasks in my classroom. Since my students already love the avatars that they get from ClassDojo, I figured I would be able to use them for a more visual appeal to whatever gamification I add later.

How would you use ClassDojo avatars for gamification?

Trying out Digital Breakouts at the Teacher Retreat

After trying out Digital BreakoutEDU for the first time this weekend, and I came away from it with a number of ideas. Especially since a number of the ways to format things, doesn’t work perfectly on the iPad.

In order to use the code below, you need to do a couple of things to setup your Google Site that I want to explain. It would really help to have gone through the information that has been made available by Mari and Justin on the actual Digital BreakoutEDU site.

First, create the Apps Script in your ‘Manage Site’ menu.


Next, you need to cut and paste some code into the script editor. I have provided my ideas at the bottom of this post. One is the ‘Hidden Text’ code. The other is a ‘Crypto’ display. Please play around with them!

Once you have cut and pasted the code into your script editor, save and close it out. You need to put the Apps Script onto your page somewhere, as seen below.


That should place your script onto your page. Please send me suggestions and ideas for more ways to use these in a breakout.

Hidden Text

Crypto Display

Coding with #COL16

I participated in a Hangout on Air with Daniel Sharpe, and the result was pretty great! We sat down and coded a decent start to an app that displays form responses in the style of Pinterest or Padlet. My internet crashed 4 times during the recording, but despite my terrible connection we would up with a decent product

Probably not for the absolute beginner, but I think there is something in there to be learned for an aspiring coder. (Experienced coders will probably ridicule my lack of style)

Do people want to see more of this? What can we introduce as we go along? Tweet at us @rheajt and @get_sharpe


Take attendance with ClassDojo with a single click!


I enjoy using ClassDojo. More importantly, my 5th grade classes enjoy when I use ClassDojo. There is something they really dig about being able to customize their own little monster avatars.

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My only complaint was that I was taking attendance on ClassDojo, but I still had to send an email to the school secretary every morning and whenever a student was late. I was basically doing the same job twice, and any programmer will tell you that is a sign of sloppy coding. In this case, real-life coding.

Raising hand

So, during a meeting today I came up with what I think is a solution. A Chrome browser extension! All you have to do is:

  1. Install the extension from the Chrome Webstore.
  2. Input a couple of emails. The person who takes the attendance in your office is the first input box. This person will get the email. The second email is your own email. This is so that the program can blind carbon copy yourself for your own records.
    1. Right-click on the icon in the upper right corner of your browser (see below)  right-click
    2. Input the requested information.
    3. Click SAVE

Once you have done that, go to your class attendance page in ClassDojo. Left-click on the browser icon and the rest is automatic!

Please let me know if you think of any other things you wish ClassDojo could do! These are the kinds of things that I love building. My entire Google Innovator Project is designed about finding the great ideas that teachers have and making them reality.


40 Recommended Extensions for Teachers, Research, and Language Learners | Tech Learning


Source: 40 Recommended Extensions for Teachers, Research, and Language Learners | Tech Learning

This is a great list of browser extensions that are designed to save time and add functionality. I have recently been interested in programming these for myself. In the Google Innovator cohort I designed a replacement ‘New Tab’ window for Chrome browser. It has links to several of the files that we have been using in the preparation weeks before the conference.

One day, I hope to have my an extension that I build on a list like this!

What am I even working on? Update!

It is nearing the end of the school year, which as any teacher knows demands a significant amount of time outside of the classroom. I have been working on finishing up grades on some projects for the end of the year. My students have an important test in one of their other subjects, so I am also trying to give them a little bit of leeway on preparing for that.

Here is just a brief update on my own various projects:

  • Finish the React.js and Sass challenges on FreeCodeCamp. I decided to pay for a month of CodeSchool to learn React and Sass and after I finished those courses, I decided to complete a few other exercises as review for myself. The goal is to be finished with these challenges at the end of May.
  • is coming along, but it is in store for a big refactoring. I want to update the way projects are displayed so people can get a better sense of what is in progress and what is just suggested.
  • Refactor the UBD Templater add-on to automatically use the Common Core objectives, but allow a teacher to put in their own objectives. These need to display in a more readable format on the main page. The entire project probably needs me to go over the whole things again. Also finish by the end of May.
  • Summer time projects: FINISH THE FLASHCARD APPLICATION!!! The entire idea of the application is great, but was poorly executed by me! Now that I have gotten a lot better at using Angular.js (in my own mind, anyways) I can hopefully do a lot more with that tool.

On another note, as much as I talk about speeding up my workflow as a teacher I have no idea why I am not using Gulp! Seems like such a great tool that I should be making use of. Hopefully, I have a few minutes where I can learn how to implement that into making my life as a developer easier!

Grading curves with your Easy Online Gradebook

Can we create our own functions in Google Sheets? YES!!!

Using the template that we setup in a previous post, we can add some custom functions to make grading even easier. This can seem a little intimidating since it does require looking at code. However, HAVE NO FEAR! All you need is the ability to copy and paste and you will be good to go.


Create flashcards based on student results.

The goal of this project is to create flashcards that are individualized for each student based on assessment results. Quizlet provides teachers with a breakdown of how students performed on an assessment and even each individual question on the assessment. Google Forms can even be setup to provide a teacher with this information. A teacher should be able to generate review materials from these spreadsheets!

Currently this project is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION but feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or anything else helpful in the comments below or at

Easy Grader for Google Sheets

Making using google sheets as a gradebook a little bit easier.

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I enjoy using spreadsheets to hold a lot of grades. There are many services that will send you reports in spreadsheet files, so it just makes sense to keep you other grades in that format.

The thing that started to frustrate me was entering grades from classwork. I created this add-on to try and alleviate those struggles.

After you install the add-on, open it inside of the spreadsheet where you want to enter grades.


The sidebar is fairly straightforward. The select box at the top allows you change which column your grades will go into. Use the settings at the bottom to change which columns the Easy Grader will consider as grade columns.


Once you are setup, just select the box for student name. It will use the first three columns as its search field. Just type a few letters of the name and it should appear. Hit enter, then tab, type the grade, hit enter again. The grade will automatically appear in the spreadsheet and the focus will return to the student name box ready for you to enter the next grade.


As always, I appreciate feedback! Let me know how I can make this better.