How to Use Google Slides in the Real Classroom
Google Slides are an extremely versatile tool, and probably saved my bacon during last year’s distance learning adventure. Maybe you feel the same, and now you are wondering, what do I do with all those Google Slides? The answer is, you use them, of course! You put blood, sweat, tears and money into creating or buying them, and they have a place in the Real Classroom! Here are four ways I am using them this year, with my real, live, in person students!
One thing teachers often forget is that you can print Google Slides and use them as Task Cards. And who doesn’t love a Task Card? It’s very easy to print. This 1-minute video walks you through it. I recommend using the Print Preview option so that you know what you are printing. Below the video, I’ve also included step-by step instructions.
Click here to grab the Holly-themed Volume Task Cards today!
Printing Google Slides as Task Cards
- Open your Google Slides.
- Click “File” and then “Print Settings and Preview”.
- Choose the print configuration you like. I prefer “Handout – 2 Slides Per Page” and “Portrait” orientation.
- Click “Print”.
Pass the Pencil
This is a fun game that you can play with the whole class. You will need one recording sheet for each pair of students, a timer and your computer and projector.
- Copy one recording sheet for each pair of students.
- Find a timer that you can set for 10-15 seconds. Choose a quicker time for multiple choice Task Cards or content that your students are comfortable with. Choose a longer time if there are steps to complete or the content is newer. For example, every year I use these Thanksgiving Order of Operations Cards with my students. Because they have to work out Order of Operations problems, I give them 15 seconds. This year, I may even give them 30 seconds since we are a little behind where we would usually be in November.
- Put students in pairs. I group them strategically with one student who is confident in the content and one who is struggling.
Playing the Game
- Each pair of students has one recording sheet and one pencil, which they pass after each question. They are working together to get the highest team score possible.
- Project the first Task Card and read it to the students. Make sure you are in Present Mode so the students don’t see the thumbnails of the next problems. Then, start the timer.
- The pair of students work together to solve the first problem, but only ONE student gets to hold the pencil. The second student can “coach” them, but can’t write! Generally, the second student rereads the problem, gives pointers and hints and checks for accuracy.
- The first partner does the work and records the answer on the recording sheet. If a pair gets the correct answer in the time you have set, their team gets a point.
- Then, students “Pass the Pencil”. You project the second Task Card and read the problem to the students. Then, start the timer. Now the first partner is the “coach” and the second partner does the work.
- Play continues with each partner passing the pencil and doing half of the problems. The partnerships earn 1 point for each problem they solved correctly in the allotted time.
- At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins!
What makes the game so fun is the fast pace. Both students have to look at the cards and solve the problems, even if only one of the partners writes the answer down. This is a quick way to fit in some practice with a key concept or skill before lunch!
Using Google Slides with Menus
We all know that choice is an important motivator for kids, and grown up people too! Last year I discovered how easy it was to use Google Classroom to create digital Menus for students and I will never go back to paper! Some of the benefits of digital Menus:
- Motivation – They say variety is the spice of life, and menus give students plenty of variety! Students set goals and make choices, which is hugely motivating! Imagine a classroom where the kids ask for extra math time…. Yes, it does exist and Menus can help it be a reality in your classroom! (More on that in a future post!)
- Differentiation – You can easily put different leveled tasks and scaffolding when you go digital. For example, with my Gifted students I can offer a set of 6th Grade Google Slides, and for my struggling students, I can offer 4th Grade Google Slides. When I assign them using the Google Classroom, they don’t even have to know that there are different assignments.
- Fewer papers floating in the bottom of my teacher bag…. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!
Small Groups – Intervention and Extension
We are all frantically trying to find ways to make up for missed instruction and learning time over the past two years. Google Slides can be a terrific way to help you differentiate your small group instruction to extend kids who are reading and intervene for kids who need more support. They are interactive and colorful, so there is built in engagement.
I often have my students join me for a small group with their Chromebook and a whiteboard. I assign the Google Slides to just that group of students in the Google Classroom. We use the whiteboards to work through the first few slides and then I leave them, in a group, to work together on the rest of the Google Slides. In 5-7 minutes I can get the group going and then leave them to practice while I move to the next group. That saves me time and still gives the students the practice they need to catch up!
Assigning Google Slides in Google Classroom
I buy and sell Google Slides on TPT, so these directions walk you through how to assign Google Slides you have purchased from TPT.
- Check out this blog post for step-by-step instructions and a video on assigning Google Forms in Google Classroom. The process is the same for Google Slides.
- When you purchase Google Slides, TPT will automatically add it to a Google Drive folder called TPT Purchases. Make sure you have logged in to TPT using the account where you want to save the resource.
- I recommend clicking on the Google Slides and Making a Copy. Move the copy to the folder where you want it, and call it the Master Copy. This will remind you NOT to delete slides from this copy.
- Then, make another copy, and feel free to delete slides to create the assignment you want.
- In the Google Classroom, Click “Create” and “Assignment”.
6. Fill in the details of the assignment, and then click the triangle icon in the bottom left corner. That will take you to your Google Drive and you can attach the slides.
Google Slides have so much utility and versatility! If you need to pick up a few, this link will take you to the Google Classroom page on my TPT site, and you can grab the resource highlighted in the video and other Google Slides and Forms.
So, dust off those Google Slides and put them to use. I think you will find that they save you time and improve student learning.