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iteachk2010 iteachk2010 is offline
Joined: Jun 2011
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iteachk2010's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,189
Senior Member

Old 05-13-2017, 10:08 AM
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My school district went all Google this year. I teach kindergarten and I am using Google Classroom with my students. I have been learning as I go along so it has been a lot of trial and error. I am excited by the possibilities.

At the beginning of the year I had to introduce the iPads to my students first. I have 8 student iPads in my classroom. We do not have a computer lab. I assigned 2-3 students to each iPad-Partner A, Partner B, Partner C. (After surveying the students, Partner A students were ones who had some familiarity with technology or iPads.) Initially, when I introduced something, I introduced it to 4 Partner A students first. Next, I introduced it to other 4 Partner A students. Then Partner A students buddied with Partner B students. As I introduced to Partner B students, their Partner A buddies gave them feedback, prompted them on what to do next... I repeated the process with the Partner C students. At this point in the year, I am able to introduce to the whole group.

The Google apps do not have the same functionality on the iPad as they do on Chrome books. i.e. There is no Google Draw. You can't do Image Search in Google Slides when you are on the iPad. It is a little tricky for my little guys to drag shapes. So I had to come up with some work-arounds. My students draw in the Doodle Buddy app, save their drawings and then insert those into slides. They use the iPad camera to take photos, save those photos on the iPad and insert those. Sometimes I let my students use my desktop computer if they need to do an Image Search.

I have been using Google Classroom since October. It definitely saves me a lot of time. Once you create an assignment, you always have it. Next year will be even easier because I can use those assignments I already created. I am going to work this summer on some ideas for what I'd like to add next year.

I can assign the activity to the entire class or to specific students so it allows me to differentiate. I can set it so each student gets his/her own copy of the assignment. I can set it so a group of students get the same assignment and can work together on it or I can set it so all my students can collaborate on the same assignment. (If students are working on a slide show where each student will contribute a slide, you can color-code the slides, attach numbers on the slides or even have their name on the slide so they don't accidentally work on the wrong slide.)

Google Classroom organizes everything for you. It creates a folder when you create the assignment. It puts the students work in the correct folder when they complete and turn in the assignment.

I use Google Slides when I create many of my assignments. Below are some examples of thngs I did this year. Your students would be able to do so much more.
  • I insert videos into GS for students to watch. (Love that the embedded video rewinds so they don't see the advertising or click on other videos.) They can orally share what they learned with the class or I can include a slide for them to put responses like having them draw a picture (in Doodle Buddy) to show what they learned, draw/write to show what they learned.
  • I create a sorting mat and make it the background on a slide and have pictures along the side of the slide for students to sort and drag onto the slide. You could do the same thing with words in text boxes. For math, I created several shape sorting activities. For science, sort animal pictures-Hibernate, Migrate, Adapt.
  • I create a timeline and set it as the background and have pictures for students to drag onto the timeline. You could have students sequence events that happened in history or in a story.
  • I have them sequence pictures to show a life cycle. Students drag the pictures from the side of the slide to put in order. Then they drag words in text boxes from along the side of the slide to label the life cycle.
  • I have students draw and label a picture. Students draw in Doodle Buddy and insert the image onto the slide. Then they add text boxes to type in the labels.
  • I create a weekly Fix It Writing Activity. I set a sentence with mistakes as the background. I add editing marks that can be dragged. Students read the sentence, find the mistakes in the sentence, drag the editing marks, and then type the sentence correctly.
  • I have students compare and contrast. I set a Venn diagram as the background on a slide with pictures or words in text boxes along the side of the slide for them to drag onto the Venn diagram.
  • I created a slide where students inserted a photo of themselves as Lincoln or Washington. Then they typed two sentences about the president.

I did not do formal keyboarding training with my student or have them work on keyboarding apps. My students first became familiar with the keyboard by typing in usernames and passwords for other apps we use. That progressed to typing a word in a text box to add labels. From there, that led to typing the sentence into the text box for the weekly Fix It writing activity. Now my students are getting ready to do informational reports. (I have 6 resource center special education students in my room for whole group language arts activities, phonics, science, social studies and free choice center time.) They have been able to do most of the activities with the help of their buddy.

I also used Google Forms in Google Classroom. I created different forms to use for quizzes, exit tickets, quick check ins, and surveys. Students even voted for the President in November.

I have some suggestions that you might find helpful. Read Alice Keeler's books on Google Apps and Google Classroom. (I think she has published three different books.) You can watch you-tube videos. Connect with other educators using Google Classroom-follow people like Christine Pinto #GAFE4Littles, Alice Keeler on Twitter, follow educator and educational technology blogs, create your own PLC with your grade level colleagues to explore together...

Last edited by iteachk2010; 05-14-2017 at 05:23 AM..
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