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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Google in our Classroom: Part 1

This is the first of a series of posts focused on Google in our classroom. We have had a blast using technology this year, and I want to be able to share with you our triumphs as well as growing pains. 

Our year began with the blessing of Chromebook carts to share throughout our school. I currently share a cart with two other teachers. We chose to split and keep a portion of the Chromebooks each day so that they could be used all day, instead of only for a segment.  I have been doubly blessed by gracious donors on donorschoose.org, and have now also added 10 more Chromebooks that stay in my classroom. That gives me 17 CHROMEBOOKS each day, ALL DAY! I love it. 

After attending a Google bootcamp over the summer I came into this school year with numerous ideas. 

**And visions of
grandeur as to how each
and every idea would
play out to utter
perfection without
a flaw**  

Ahem...Back to reality. I stepped into my first grand idea with caution. Which was probably a good thing, because it led to the kind of jump off lesson that kindles a love for learning. (WHEW) The title of our first assignment was "Picture This". For this activity my students used Google Slides (preset with a snapshot...taken by yours truly) to apply their knowledge and understanding of pronouns and reflexive pronouns. Below I'll give you a brief play by play of how I rolled this out in my classroom. 

Day 1: Introduction
Day one was very simple and mostly whole group. 
**Before class I had preselected a photo taken earlier in the year and added it to a Google slide.**

To begin our lesson I pulled up my Google slide on our active board. They instantly noticed the photograph (especially students who were in the photo 😊) and engagement was instant. During our whole group lesson I gave a basic run down of how to use Google slides: how to insert text, change the color, insert clipart, and speech bubbles. Very basic, very simple. I chose not to go into great detail, because I wanted this to be a chance for my students to grow and learn through experience. Throughout this lesson I called "AllSTAR" students up to help me add each new element to the slide, so that it was more than just me working through.

Day 2: Debrief and Discuss
This day began with a brief review to see what my students could remember about the basic elements of adding things in Google slides. After our debrief students were assigned to groups and given a Chromebook. I placed them into groups of 3 (mostly because at this point in the year we had only 8 Chromebooks and not 17). Once in their groups students logged into Google slides and opened their assignment to view their team picture. Some groups had their members present in the picture, while others had a picture that did not include anyone from that specific group.

**Quick sidebar: For this first assignment my district, and I were still working out the kinks of having students in elementary log on to use the Google apps. For this assignment they had to log in as me to have access. This is now remedied and they each have an email and have been connected to my Google Classroom!!!! Much better arrangement. If you have any questions about this, or ideas to help you implement Google Apps in your classroom please comment below.**

Day 3-4: Off to the Races

This was probably the most anticipated day for my students. This was the day the actual group work began and teams began building their Google slides. Let me just say......🙌 AMAZED! I stood in awe as they changed the background color, changed the font, added amazing clipart to give their slide a theme, etc. My students ROCKED it! I was proud that they problem solved and just plain out experimented with Google slides. Their projects turned out phenomenal!
(Here are just a few)




P.S. It was National Talk Like A Pirate Day Photos that were the focus of our Google Slides! 😀

Day 5: Presentation Day!

This was the day that teams got the chance to see their work on the "big screen." Each team came up and shared, loud and proud, their work and what they included! I was so impressed by all they did that I printed out their slides, mounted and laminated them, and am turning them into a class book!

Google Slides are now a staple in our room. The students love creating them, and I enjoy seeing all the ways knowledge and understanding are applied!


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