Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Teaching Dictionary Skills with Google Slides

Hi there!

So, I'm going to state the obvious. I've abandoned my poor blog for a while. I know I don't have to tell y'all this, but life gets busy. I'm committed to sharing more on here, though, especially as my new teammate is a rockstar Blogger. Check him out here, especially if you are a math person or new teacher (or have a slight minion obsession, ha!).

I wanted to share with y'all a collaborative, techy lesson that my kiddos did last week. I wanted a cumulative activity for students to demonstrate all their dictionary skills that we've been learning (pronunciation, syllabication, guide words, multiple meaning words). In addition to that, I wanted to use technology, because what better way to engage learners and encourage creativity? I also LOVE the no paper aspect as our copiers can be persnickety at times. ;)
We started the week by simply learning about the skills. I utilized some Nearpod lessons I created to teach kiddos syllabification and pronunciation, practice identifying which words would belong on a page with certain guide words, races between classmates to find words in the good ol' fashioned dictionary itself.... etc.
Next, it was time to bring it all together. I was inspired by this article by Alice Keeler on how to differentiate using Google Classroom. Now, I'm not THAT advanced at this point (ha!), so I did not use the spreadsheet, however I used the inspiration behind it. I grouped kiddos ahead of time (and was able to determine which level of difficulty of word to assign them, yay differentiation!). She also wrote this article on how to manage collaborative Google Slides. I loved the balance of ownership of one's own slide and collaboration among all the slides at the same time!

I instructed the kiddos to open up Google Classroom. We read through the instructions together, and I had each kiddo click on the Google Slides presentation that listed his/her name. From there, the kiddos used a good old fashioned dictionary to find the necessary information about their assigned word. After all the information was input, students were free to let their creative juices flow using fonts, backgrounds, images, etc. Once everyone in the group was done with their slides, the students worked together to alphabetize the slides. Each kiddo took a screenshot of his/her finished slide to turn in on Classroom. Finally, we shared the presentations whole class!
The lesson went swimmingly. The kiddos were 100% engaged and putting their skills to use without even noticing that they were working. I loved how my students were working together, but each kiddo was still responsible for his/her slide. Moving forward, you can bet I'll do more collaborative Google Slides!

Do you use Google Classroom to differentiate or Google Slides to create projects? I'd love to hear more ideas about how to use it in the classroom.

Only 8 school days left til the break!! We got this.

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