Displaying items by tag: Canvas

Canvas is a great tool for organizing content and being prepared with content. Despite our best abilities to keep things on pace though, sometimes life gets in the way. The day you have a project planned and there could be a fire drill, or an assembly went long, or you were quarantined. You need to be able to quickly adjust due dates and re-arrange your schedule. 


Quick Adjustments in Canvas 

Move Due Dates in Calendar View

Using a due date is important to give students a date to complete a task. It adds the assignment to their schedule (Elementary) or the To-Do (Secondary). Opening each assignment is time-consuming and makes it difficult to see the entire course view. If you bump one assignment a few days, that will influence the following assignments. Using the Calendar you can click and drag the assignment to adjust the due date. This makes it much easier to move and you can clearly see “the big picture” of your course. If you don’t see your event check the colored box on the right side of the calendar for the course you’d like to work with. 

If you have multiple due dates (maybe for different periods or sections) you will see multiple blocks on the calendar. 


Edit Assignment Dates in Bulk

If using the Calendar to shift dates is not fast enough you can also use the Edit Assignment Dates tool to shift them in bulk.  Navigate to your course Assignments page. Find the three dots in the upper right corner. Select the Edit Assignment Dates option.

Select the assignments you’d like to adjust by clicking the checkbox.

Click on the Batch Edit button :

Choose how many days to shift.

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Can you believe it's midterms already?! Since this year we have more teachers using Canvas than ever before, we felt it was a good time to look at the sync process from Canvas to MyStudent. Most of you probably have this information memorized and could cite the exact hours your course syncs over but for the rest of us, it's good to have a reminder. In order for an assignment to sync over to MyStudent there are few things that have to be set in order for it to qualify. These may seem obvious but before reaching out to your EdTech Coach check to make sure all of these are in place.

Four Things for Grade Syncing

First. the assignment must have points assigned. Without points, there's no information to sync. 

canvas points

Second, the option to include the assignment in the sync must be selected.

canvas sync

Third, the assignment must have a due date that is within the quarter's dates. This is how the sync process knows that it belongs in the quarter's grades. The sync will look for any date that is assigned to either a section or everyone and will utilize the first date.

canvas due dates

Lastly, the assignment must be published. Any unpublished assignments are ignored by the sync process. 

canvas published

One more thing to check. If you select the option to not count the assignment on the final grade then our sync will also ignore it. Make sure it is not selected.

canvas do not count assignment towards final grade

To quickly check that everything is set up correctly, navigate to your Assignments Page. Here you can check all 4 settings in one view. Look down the list and make sure the basics are set.

canvas assignment sync

A few more helpful reminders:

  • Before you delete an assignment make sure to remove the sync status.
  • The sync only travels one direction Canvas ---> MyStudent and not the other way.
  • Be patient. If you grade late at night (you know who you are) it may not show up until later the next morning in MyStudent.

So what does this button do?

mystudent canvas sync button

Think of the sync as having three distinct locations. Using the illustration of a few buckets below with each bucket holding grades information that will be transferred from one to another during certain processes. When you update grades in Canvas that information is stored there until the sync runs Monday through Friday from 7 am to 9 pm hourly. That process initiates on the hour, meaning that pouring all that data from one bucket (Canvas) into the next bucket (Cache) may take up to 40 or so minutes for your data to come over. Waiting around two hours during those time slots would ensure that the process has had sufficient time to run. Once that data resides in the Grades Cache location it waits until MyStudent is either opened or refreshed to pour the updated information. If you open your gradebook in the morning at 7 am unless you close the gradebook and reopen or click the Canvas Sync button, your data will remain what was loaded at 7 am. The Canvas Sync button takes the information waiting in the Grades Cache location and brings it into your gradebook (MyStudent). It's more of a refresh button. It doesn't initiate the sync but instead pulls any info waiting from the sync process.


 buckets of data with arrows

 If you are interested in reading our FAQs about the sync process click here.


More Canvas Sync Information
- Mon-Fri 7am-9pm hourly
Course creation and enrollments 
- Elementary: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm hourly
- Secondary: Mon-Fri 4am-4pm every four hours
- WOL: Mon-Sat 3:30am
- Library courses: Sat 12am
User creation and updates
- Students/Employees: Mon-Fri 7am-4pm hourly
- Guardians: Mon-Sat 3am

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How to use a Jamboard in Canvas.

Published in Jamboard


Over the summer Canvas released a new update that simplifies navigation for younger students. This Homeroom view eliminates the need to create cross-course buttons. The navigation is broken down into four main categories.

canvas homeroom navigation

The student's course cards are now contained in the homeroom. Announcements and Important Dates are displayed to communicate with students. In the Schedule tab, students will see a breakdown of all the assignments and events that are available to them in every course. This makes the question "what do I need to do?" much more accessible for the student. It also includes missing tags so they know what they still need to accomplish. 

canvas schedule

The grades tab makes it easy to see an overview of the grades in each course and Resources allows teachers to post the most relevant and "important info" for their class. 

canvas important dates

Important dates are posted on the homeroom page and make it easy for students to see what is coming up without visiting the calendar. 


For the end-users, our students, this new navigation eliminates much of the many clicks it would take to get to today's assignments. On the teacher;s end, this is less to manage, since you won't have to create and manage multiple buttons that link to various locations in the course. Don't worry! You still have all the same functionality in your subject courses. To set up your Homeroom and use all of its features there are five main steps.

  1. Designate a Course as your Homeroom.
  2. Create a Homeroom Announcement.
  3. Add important dates on the Calendar and/or Assignments.
  4. Edit the important info page.
  5. Set home pages on individual subjects.

Here is a video that walks you through the 5 steps:



If you are missing the old dashboard you can change your view by clicking the three dots in the upper right corner. Select Classic View. This is a user setting and will only impact your view. Your students will continue to utilize the homeroom view.

canvas change view

For more extensive write-ups on using the Canvas For Elementary homeroom view. Visit our page loaded with tutorials on working with this new navigation.





Published in Tech Tip Tuesdays


Instructure recently released a new update for Canvas aimed at making things a bit easier for elementary teachers and students. Remember the old-timey days of painstakingly making all those subject buttons for your homeroom courses and checking the links thrice? Now Canvas will do that for you: All you have to do is designate your homeroom course, and all the other courses any given student is enrolled in will appear automagically as course cards below your homeroom.

Canvas for Elementary also includes tabs that list all a student's grades in one tab, important info, and more! For more info, check out the handy guides linked below!

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Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. You made it. Can you believe we’re even talking about this right now? It’s the end of the year. When approached with the opportunity to teach during a school year that would look differently than anything you learned about in college or experienced in your career,  you rose to the occasion. A consummate professional, you took it all in stride because you know just how important our work is. And, while none of it came easily, you made a difference.

We’re not talking about a pandemic; we’re talking about Canvas. 

You Can Take It All with You

Starting your school year with Canvas, like many other teachers, you probably operated on a “How can I make this?” basis in Canvas. Ever since Canvas ASCEND last summer, that has been the question. Throughout your professional career, there were materials, projects, activities, and lessons you used in your class. By the end of this school year, your awesome work has more than likely found its way to Canvas, and while you will always find yourself making new materials for your classes, your relationship with Canvas can look a little different next year. You learned a great deal along the way. 

Your relationship with Canvas is about to enter a “How can I make this better?” phase.

Making It Better Starts with Importing Your Course to Commons

As a teacher, there will always be units of instruction that you feel like tearing down to the foundation and rebuilding. But, that’s certainly not the case with everything you’ve built. Next school year, rather than reinventing the wheel in your classroom and starting from scratch, Canvas will allow you to pick up where you left off this year. Canvas makes this a really easy three click process.

Step 1: Go into the course you want to backup and click “Settings:”

This button will show up at the bottom of the menu buttons on the left of your screen.

Step 2: Click “Share to Commons:”

This button will be in the upper right corner of your screen.

Step 3: Check the Appropriate Settings and Click “Share:”

Select who you would like to be able to view this resource (more than likely, you will want this to be “Only Me;” however, you have the option to allow other WSD teachers or any Canvas educator to see it, as well. Be sure to add a little description to your course, add an image for it, and select the grade. Lastly, click “Share,” the blue button in the bottom right corner.

That’s it! You’re ready for next year!

Wrapping Up

After exporting your course to Canvas, you will no longer exist solely in the “How can I make this” phase but make your way into the “How can I make this better?” world. All teachers improve their craft in the classroom each year, and now that your classroom includes a physical and digital space, you’ve given yourself more room to grow. 

To use this material next year, simply log back into your Canvas account, click “Commons,” click “Shared,” select the course, click “Import/Download,” and throw it into your Sandbox (remember, it’s always best to develop your materials in your Sandbox before copying them to a live course; this helps avoid learner confusion).

As always, if you have any questions, fire off an email to your ISM or EdTech Coach! They would LOVE to hear from you.

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Sometimes the best way to say something is actually to show something. A GIF is a moving picture. Unlike a movie (mp4 or MOV), a GIF will play over and over without the need to press play. Click here for a tutorial on how to make a GIF in WeVideo.


Cool, but how would I use this?

Ways to use a GIF


Showing students where to click or how to submit something on canvas:

Remind students of something, or send a quick message.




Making flash cards.




There is a new submission type in Canvas called Student Annotation. Teachers are now able to add “student annotation” as a submission type for all assignments. This enables students to annotate .pdf documents that teachers choose using fully native and functional Canvas tools (for example, “missing” and “late” statuses will be automatically applied for assignments with due dates). Here’s a quick video detailing how to set up an assignment.


What will happen to my Canvas Course?


Wondering what to expect in your Canvas courses as the end of the school year approaches? Have no fear! We have you covered! Take a look at this End of Year Guide for Canvas written by our Canvas Team. 


Published in Tech Tip Tuesdays

Grading in Canvas is simple, and a great way to simplify one aspect of our jobs as educators! This week I’d like to share some quick tips and tricks when it comes to utilizing speedgrader, especially when it comes to leaving feedback.  Let’s do it! 


Sorting Students

One way to speed up the grading process is to organize the order in which students appear in the speedgrader.  To do this, you’ll select the settings option in speedgrader, and open the options tab.  There, you can have speedgrader sort students by those who have submissions that need grading, no submissions, and already graded.  This makes flipping through submissions quick and easy! Once you have this set up, speedgrader will organize students this way from now on.  

Issuing Feedback 

For me, one of the hardest parts about soft closure last spring (and my school has had several this year as well!) was being able to give helpful feedback to students.  This took a lot of time and energy, and often there seemed to be miscommunication.  NOT ANYMORE! Speedgrader offers a myriad of options for issuing feedback, and I utilize all of them.  


Option 1: Attaching a file
This is helpful if a student needs to be reminded about specific instructions, rubrics, etc.  By clicking on the paperclip icon, you can attach any file.

Option 2: Video feedback

This is my most used feedback tool! This tool allows you to record audio and visual information to send to your students.  For example, a math teacher could demonstrate how to do a problem correctly! This tool allows me to explain what my students need to know or correct, but allows them to see my face! No more fear of the red pen.  This makes the feedback more friendly and eliminates possible misunderstandings. So many options here, and all you need is a webcam (our Chromebooks have those)!

Option 3: Voice Recording

By clicking on the speaker icon, you can record yourself explaining the feedback.  This works like the video recording, minus the visual component.  I find that speaking the feedback, rather than typing it out, is quicker and more efficient.  This would also be a great way to help give feedback to students who may struggle with reading comprehension!

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Today’s Triple T is an add-on to last week’s Triple T!  What are the secrets to easy, eye-catching designs that will draw attention from any audience?

The secret to any good design lies in the way its visual elements are organized and positioned in relation to each other. This is exactly what layout design is all about. One of the easiest ways to achieve an organized design is to apply a grid system. Grids are the backbone of all layouts, infographics, fliers, and presentations. It’s a tried and tested technique.

Layout design involves using one grid or a group of grids, depending on what needs to be achieved. The grid system helps align elements based on sequenced columns and rows. We use this column-based structure to place text, images, and functions in a consistent way throughout the design.

Adobe Spark Grid Layout

Start from scratch

Sometimes a template is exactly what you need, or sometimes you have ideas of your own. That is where the background layout comes into play. You can select your layout and then add your own elements.

These layouts can be used for all sorts of creations by you and your students. (Remember, everyone has full access to this awesome tool!) Here are a few ideas for your classroom:

  • Brochures
  • Photo collage
  • Display student work
  • Invitations
  • Book report magazine cover
  • Cereal box covers
  • Classroom newsletter
  • Memes
  • Book covers
  • Comic strips
  • Motivational quote cards
  • Class highlights
  • The list goes on…..

Watch this short tutorial video to find out exactly where these layouts are located. You’ll also find out a few tips and tricks along the way! Happy “Sparking’ !

To download and share the design, click on the download option in the upper right corner.


PNG and JPG work great for sharing on your website or through digital means.

PDF is excellent for printing or higher resolution uses.

Click start download to create the file.

Canvas - All Those Unpublished Assignments

Now that it’s the beginning of 4th quarter, teachers have probably noticed all the unpublished assignments that they have imported in their course showing up on the Canvas Gradebook. Since there is no due date for those assignments, Canvas just assumes that you will use them in the 4th quarter. Have no fear, if they are unpublished students can’t see them, and they are easy to remove. In the View menu go in and click to remove the Unpublished Assignments. 

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