Afraid of starting all over this fall? Don't recreate the wheel for distance learning! Convert worksheets you already have using Google Slides.
Hybrid learning is out and virtual learning is back, at least in my district. With one week left before school, there isn't a lot of time to recreate the wheel for distance learning. So now I'm looking at all of those worksheet resources that I use and trying to figure out which ones I can convert to Google Classroom resources. Although this sounds difficult, I have found a very simple way to prevent myself from reinventing the wheel. So I am spending this week turning assignments into things I can use in Google Classroom.
Choosing the Correct Format for Google Classroom
When I am creating assignments for my class using Google Drive, there is always a debate about whether to use Google Docs or Google Slides or Google Forms. Each format has it's own benefits and drawbacks.
Google Docs provide students with the option to type as long as they would like without "running out of space". They are also very easy for teachers to copy and paste pre-created prompts or assignments into. This is great for essays. However, Google Docs allows students to have complete control over formatting, which can be challenging, especially with younger users. Additionally, if students need to create a picture, they have to create that picture using the "insert picture" function that is slightly challenging for kids to use. I use Google Docs predominantly for writing assignments and long response reflection responses.
Google Slides allows you to put a picture as a "background" and use text boxes to complete a worksheet. Additionally, students can create pictures right on the slides, which is super helpful with math activities. However, due to the limited space of each slide, assignments need to be broken down into appropriate steps before handing them off to students. Also, because assignments are often broken down into one piece on each slide, students need to be trained on how to navigate the slides to find what they are looking for. I use Google Slides predominantly for math problem solving or for worksheets where the formatting helps guide students through the activity, like my math projects.
Google Forms grades quizzes for you, providing students with immediate feedback on their work. Additionally, Forms is an easy way for students to look at a large group of student work very quickly. It even gives you graphs of student responses! However, Forms will not grade written responses for you, unless it is a number answer or a single word, given in a specific format. This means that Forms are most effectively used for multiple choice activities. While you may add a picture to a form when you are creating it, respondents can't add pictures to a form. Additionally, if a student starts a form today, they cannot save their work and come back to it tomorrow. I use Google Forms predominantly for multiple choice quizzes and quick check exit tickets.
Turning Worksheets into Google Slides
As you can see, I use all formats: docs, slides and forms, when creating activities for my kiddos. However, recently my focus has been on Google Slides. To turn a worksheet into a Google Slide, I take a screenshot of the worksheet. Then I set that screenshot as the background of a slide in Google slides. Finally, I insert text boxes into all of the places where I want kiddos to write. Personally, I leave my text boxes "invisible" without borders or shading. Then, when students open the Google Slide, they see just the worksheet, but as they click where they would like to type, the text box will be there waiting for them.
It does take a little bit of training for students to remember to click on those text boxes, but they get the idea quickly. I also train my students on how to add their own text boxes, in case they accidentally erase the ones I have provided. This skill is just one of many Google Slides navigation skills I teach my kiddos, including how to draw, how to add shapes, how to highlight, etc. By the end of the year, the kiddos are often better at Google Slides than I am!
Save More Time, Use My Pre-made Google Slide Worksheets
Don't have time to create Google Slide Worksheets? I am working hard on updating my more popular items into Google Classroom assignable activities. Here are a few that are ready and waiting for you to download from my Teachers Pay Teachers store and assign right away:
Ice Cream Shop Project
Be an Architect Project
Holiday Shopping Project
Party Planner Project
Balanced Checkbook Project
Holiday Recipe Project
Field Trip Planning Project
Student Created Video Project
Graphic Organizer Sheets
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