Sunday, February 28, 2021
Monday, February 22, 2021
February is a time of year that I struggle. In Ohio, the weather is gloomy and cold, and I feel like we've been stuck inside the house for "long enough". I am not a big fan of snow, and this year we've gotten plenty of snow. Being inside always makes me look around and see clutter ... everywhere. I usually take time and doing some purging and organizing. And not just in my closets and living areas. I also look digitally.
My first step also coincides with a question from a couple of teachers about graphic organizers. The possibilities are limitless, but at the heart, there are some very basic graphic organizers that work in multiple different contents and for multiple different reasons. I did some searching and digging and I have brought together - in ONE Google Slide deck - 25 graphic organizers. I have kept them pretty generic. The reason for that is that I've also included a video on how to "better" use them in your classroom so they fit you and your students perfectly. [My favorite tip is to use the "Master slide" to help limit the "oopsies" of accidental deletions.]
Now, what I'd really LOVE to do, is collaborate with you and make this a really beefy collection of graphic organizers. After checking these out, the final Slide has a link to a Google Form where you can share a link to a graphic organizer you have created/used/found helpful and a link to spreadsheet that will become populated with links to all of these various graphic organizers that people share. Please share and encourage others to share theirs, too! Can you imagine what this collection will look like and the awesomeness that will be created with it?
Here is my Google Slide "Graphic Organizers Galore!" where I also share the video on "How To: Copy & customize a graphic organizer using the Master Slide". Below this, you will find a link for you to make a copy for yourself.
Sunday, February 7, 2021
I was inspired last Monday to create an activity for a group of kindergarteners for Groundhog's Day. I had just watched a video about a new extension called Mote. (Website - https://www.justmote.me/) I thought it would be perfect to use, if it worked the way that had been explained. It absolutely did what it said - easily inserted audio onto Google Slides.
I shared the activity via Google Classroom and I got to see first-hand these kiddos doing the activities I had designed. For the most part I was thrilled! But I also saw some things I had not anticipated. I knew I could do better and I wanted to do better! So this week, I sat down and took all of that in and created what I am sharing below.
One of the things I realized very quickly is including audio is a VERY important step, especially if we want to encourage independence. Adding audio in short snippets and locating it in strategic spots is also important. Something else I realized is these kiddos like choice. I try to use a variety of activities that use different skills. I also wanted to make sure there was several activities so the kiddos who can do more have more to do. Keeping each slide simple is also important.
Finally, more than ever, I see how valuable the master slide is for this age group. Being able to put text or visuals on a slide with little ability for students to accidentally delete is critical. I have been intimidated by the master slide for awhile, but I'm embracing it now and loving the benefits!
And ... if you've not yet checked out Mote, don't waste another minute! I cannot tell you how easy it is to use!!! (And it saves directly to your Google Drive - but not in a specific folder, so make sure to organize the recordings right away.)
The slides below are created for kindergartners, but you are welcome to make your own copy and modify it to better fit your students! The links are below.