Google Slides have been a great tool to allow you to organize your instruction and guide students through daily work. However, Slides can do so much more to bring engagement and fun to your elementary classroom! Check out these 3 easy tips on how to use Google Slides for student engagement and virtual classroom management.
Virtual Classroom Slides
To begin, virtual classroom slides are interactive “rooms” built with layered images, videos and linked resources in Google Slides. Virtual classroom slides rocketed to popularity last spring with Facebook groups such as Bitmoji Craze for Educators. While Bitmojis (avatar versions of yourself) aren’t required, many teachers use them to bring a personal connection to virtual classroom slides.
For students who navigate between home and school for learning, virtual classrooms can provide consistency between the learning spaces. Do you list your lesson objective on a whiteboard at the front of your classroom each morning? Your virtual classroom slide can easily feature a white board in the “room” with the same objective listed. Do you have a classroom library nook? Teachers have created similar book nooks in their virtual classrooms, often linked to titles in the school’s digital library or to readings of the books on Youtube videos. Also, consider incorporating your morning meeting slides into your own virtual classroom!
Interactive Games and Choice Boards
Google Slides also allow us to create interactive activities for your students. You can find templates online or make your own interactive games and choice boards!
First, here are some tips to get started:
1. Elements that are NOT interactive should be added in the background – often on the master slide.
2. Elements that are movable/interactive are added as layers to the slides or the desktop area around a slide in normal edit view.
3. Games that ask students to drag and drop elements must be shared with students in edit mode. Present or view mode won’t allow them to move anything on a slide.
4. Students may use the version history to reset a game file to play additional rounds, or the undo button to reset an element they did not mean to move.
You can get so creative with interactive games and choice boards on Google Slides!
Finally, small group work in hybrid learning environments brings an extra set of challenges for student engagement. However, using a collaborative group notebook or file built in Slides, combined with some instructional strategies can make small group work engaging and productive for students and teachers alike.
Generally, you create one collaborative file for the class to work on in real time. Each small group is assigned one slide to use to capture their small group work. (This strategy is great for a topic jigsaw). Students work independently in small groups via Zoom breakout rooms while the teacher visually monitors work from all groups at the same time by watching content they add to the slides in real time. Teachers only visit breakout rooms if they notice a group is not adding content to their slide or if students ask for help.
While students are working in breakout rooms, the teacher stays in the original Zoom or Meet room and has the file open in edit mode and switches to grid view in the lower left. Use the Zoom out tool to see all Slides on one screen. If you notice a group is not immediately adding content to the slide, jump into their breakout room to help get them started, then leave the room. This method allows you to “raise the level of concern” for all students since they know you are watching all of them work at once.
Have you created any virtual classroom slides or customized a template for your students? Check out these ways to use slides as for student engagement and virtual classroom management!