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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Best Friend: Google Classroom!

This school year I was fortunate enough to attend technology training that introduced me to Google Classroom.  Since our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders participate in the 1:1 initiative, each of my students were able to use Chromebooks this year. In addition to Google Classroom, the students learned all about Google Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, and of course navigating through email.  I was THRILLED to learn about Google Classroom and here's why....

1.  It makes learning interactive.
2.  The students are more engaged and more motivated to learn.
3.  It provides students with opportunities to enhance their word processing skills.
4.  Students learn what it's like to post on forum boards as an additional form of communication.
5.  Grading and reviewing student work is SO much easier.

I could go on and on about this topic, but I would rather show you some screen shots of what it actually looked like this year in my classroom!

Once your students have been added, this screen is similar to what will pop up on their account to show there is an assignment for them to complete.  Here, you can see the teacher view - letting me know that seven students have not completed the assignment.

For this lesson, I wanted my students to review Main Idea and Details through a nonfiction text. The following slides were created by The Creative Apple Teaching Resources, in which I purchased from TpT.

The text included a few paragraphs about sloths (two slides total). The students read the text and then completed the following graphic organizer to demonstrate their understanding of main idea and details.

For this activity, students had to revisit the text and find 5 key details about sloth; providing a written (or typed) complete sentence.

Based on their key details, students then had the identify a topic sentence, main idea, and support the main idea with three of those supporting details. 

Applying everything they learned about sloths, on this slide the students typed their summary of the text including the main idea and supporting details. Looking back in the text to provide evidence of for their summary was a very crucial part of this activity.

It's unfortunate that some of our students have never been to the zoo to see what these animals look like and how they behave in their habitat, so I added this slide to the assignment for a little fun. Students knew this was a video because of the camera icon at the top left corner. Clicking on the slide/link brought the video to life and they learned a little more!

Embedded into the picture on this slide is a link to a Google Form that I had created. After the video, students were to click on the picture for the link and follow it to the Google Form. Once they submitted their answers, they had completed the assignment.

The quiz was easy. I wanted the students to get used to the format and I needed to learn how to collect the information from Google Forms, myself.   For their first activity like this, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did.... and how much they enjoyed it!

Looking ahead to next school year, there is still so much that I need to learn, but one thing is for sure.... I will be using Google Classroom and all of the extensions that go with it on a frequent basis. I have even started creating my own Google Slides tasks and will be sharing them with the TpT community.  Look for my first series now - Digital Destinations - Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing book study!