Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fun with Google Slides

You may have noticed a pattern that I absolutely adore and love Google Forms and use them daily in my classroom. In the last year, I’ve discovered a deep admiration for Google Slides. Not only are Slides my go-to for projecting the warm-up questions, posting instructions during class, and direct instruction (sometimes I use screencastify to create in-class flip videos!), but also I’ve transitioned quite a few student assignments over to Slides. On top of it all, the new Pear Deck add-on in Slides is amazing!
Students can insert a picture of their paper airplane directly into this slide. Then, they describe it on the left side boxes.
Students can insert a picture of their work into their slide.
 
We are 1:1 iPad, and the Google Slides iOS app is easy to use. It doesn’t have all the features of the web version, but it has just enough that we need on a regular basis.


Slides with Students
This year, I’ve transitioned all of my science labs to Slides. Instead of giving students a Google Doc to edit, or a PDF to work on in Notability, I’ve moved everything to Slides.


Tables in Slides that allow students to enter their data from the heart rate lab
Heart Rate Lab data slide
I love using Slides because it chunks down the lab into manageable parts. Instead of students staring at a long Google Doc, feeling overwhelmed at everything they are being asked to do, we can focus on one slide at a time. Bonus: I’ve noticed a positive difference in my students’ lab behavior--they are more on-task because they know exactly what they need to get done!


I was using Docs last year, and we had trouble when trying to insert pictures, especially in data tables. Students had trouble cropping images or making them easy to see. Slides is an excellent solution!  


Students resized the three bars on this slide to quickly make a bar graph from their lab data.
Students resized the bars on this slide to quickly
make a bar graph from their lab data.
If we were on Chromebooks, I would extend this by using the Screencastify extension to have students explain what they did and what they learned in the lab.


Here’s an example of a Heart Rate Lab and Paper Airplane Lab we did using Slides. On the Heart Rate Lab, you can see I color-coded the different steps, making it easy for me to quickly check that we’re all on the same slide.


Slides for Teacher Creation
A few months ago, I blogged about Virtual Vikings, my #BathroomPD newsletter I create for the staff bathrooms at school. I change the page setup (File > Page Setup > Custom > 8.5 x 11) to make it printer paper size.


I use Slides to create handouts for class, including Cornell Notes (here’s my template!), I love how easy it is to add in and format text and images. It also makes it quick to print class handouts (I use analog interactive notebooks).


Master Slides
I’ve just started diving into master slides, thanks to inspiration from friends like Michele Osinski who is a pro! I’m still figuring it all out, but I love that I can customize my Slides templates to make it easy for specific layouts and formats. Here’s a quick video (I didn’t make this one) that explains more.


What are your favorite ways to use Slides?