3 Ways to Use Google Slides in Your K-1 Classroom

I'll be the first one to admit that when we started distance learning I was sorely lacking in knowledge about many of the digital resources that are out there!  I decided I would dive head first and learn all I could.  Many of the resources I tried were more appropriate for older students and seemed to lack engagement factors that our youngest students so desperately need.  However, I found that Google Slides activities were perfect to get students learning, give them hands on practice, and keep them engaged.  

Here are the three reasons why YOU should try using Google Slides with your students!

Ha ha ha!  Who am I kidding?  Digital Learning is HERE yall!  Even before distance learning became a necessity, our students were working on computers and tablets almost every day.  Technology has become an important way that we teach students and an important way that students interact with and learn from the material.  

Students are exposed to technology everywhere they go, so it's no surprise that technology has become a teaching tool as well.  Google Slides can be used on computers and tablets.  If you are using a tablet, you will want to download the app.  I've found that the Google Slides activities can get really glitchy if I'm not using the app on a tablet.  

If your students are brand new to using a computer or tablet, no worries!  Even your youngest students can access Google Slides with a little bit of help.  Utilizing activities made for Google Slides will help students learn to drag & drop, click, use the keyboard, and more!   

Engagement is a fun buzzword that has become commonplace in the education world today.   We know what engagement is and we know why it's important, but how do we keep students engaged?  

Google Slides activities are made to be engaging.   Students will not simply be clicking through slides aimlessly.  Google Slides activities require interaction in many ways.  Some interactive activities will ask students to drag and drop items into the correct places.  Some activities will ask students to click on the correct answer.  Some activities will have students listening to content and responding in some way.  

It's important to point out that while activities are FUN and engaging, students are also learning.   I have Google Slides activities for math and reading that are appropriate for K-1 students.  Yes they are fun....but they are also great practice for students in those basic skills we are all working on!  

It's true!  It may seem overwhelming at first, but I promise you that anybody can get the hang of it with just a little practice!

Google Slides is kind of like Powerpoint....for Google.  LOL.  You have Powerpoint Slides and Google Slides. Seems simple but when I first started out, I had no idea what Google Slides was or how it was used or even how to access it.  Most of the functions that are available in Powerpoint are available in Google Slides and you will find the interface very similar.  

There are two main ways I use Google Slides activities in my classroom:  Present Mode and Edit Mode.   
The slide above is shown in EDIT mode.  If you want to change to PRESENT mode.....you would simply click the Present button that is circled.  (think of this as the play presentation button in PPT)

So in EDIT mode, students will be able to drag and drop items.  There may be moveable pieces that students will interact with.  There may be spots where students will need to type.  After students finish working through their slides, you can either check them right then and there on the screen OR you can have students turn them in through Google Classroom for you to check.  All of these types of activities need to be used in edit mode, since in presentation mode, these moveable pieces would not be moveable.  Here are a couple of Google Slides activities I've created that are designed to be used in edit mode:


In PRESENTATION mode, students will be interacting with the slides but there will be no pieces that move.  Students will be clicking on things in the presentation and then will be directed to the next slide.  Here are a couple of Google Slides activities I've created that are designed to be used in presentation mode:


 Using Google Slides in your classroom may seem overwhelming at first.  I was there.  But it is relatively easy to learn to use once you get a good grasp on a few basic ideas.  

Are you ready to start using Google Slides in your classroom?  My best advice is to just dive in and start seeing what all you can do!  Google Slides are a great way to add that technology piece to your classroom activities in whole group, small group, or even independent work stations.  

I do have a FREEBIE that you can download and try out to get a feel for things.  It's a scrambled sentence activity that is designed to use in EDIT mode (so don't hit that PRESENT button lol).  

In this activity students will drag and drop words into the correct order to create a sentence.  Check it out and let me know what you think!  If you've already been using Google Slides in your classroom let us know in the comments any tips and tricks you've found so we can all learn together.  

Digital Centers for Young Learners

Let's face it....things are becoming more and more digital every day!  And our youngest learners are no exception when it comes to needing access to digital learning in the classroom!

I've started creating digital centers that are designed specifically for K-1 students!  These first sets of centers are perfect for those of you who are just beginning to introduce your students to digital learning.

NOT FAMILIAR WITH GOOGLE CLASSROOM?  No problem!  You can use these centers on any computer/tablet that can run PowerPoint!

LOVE GOOGLE SLIDES?  Great!  You can upload these centers into Google Slides and have students access them that way!

Each center allows students to work at their own pace and work independently.  Each center has its own recording sheet where students will write their answers.  There is a slide at the end of each center that allows students to check their work.  Of course you can remove this slide if you wish!

The Digital ELA Centers focus on beginning sounds, middle sounds, ending sounds, and CVC words.  Simply print out the response sheet and students are ready to work independently!

The Digital Math Centers focus on missing numbers (to 10 and 20), counting sets (up to 10 and 20), addition (to 5 and 10), and subtraction (to 5 and 10).  

Now if you are a teacher who is familiar with Google classroom....these next centers are for YOU!  These digital ELA centers are designed to be accessed in Google Slides and students will use PRESENTATION MODE to interact with the slides.  The great thing about these centers is that they are self-checking and students can work through the slides independently!

This set includes beginning sounds, ending sounds, middle sounds, and CVC words!  Check out the bundle below and let me know what you think!!

Take a look at the centers above and let me know if you have any questions about how you can use them in your classroom!  I'm always happy to help!

Easter Egg Hunt With a Twist!

Have you ever tried an Easter egg hunt with a TWIST?  I did something completely different one year and it was a lot of fun.  I found this idea on the internet, but can't remember where or when I saw it.  If you know whose idea it is, let me know and I'll gladly give them credit!!

So here's what we did....we basically turned an ordinary egg hunt into something a little more academic.  I know, I know!!  It doesn't sound fun....but I promise my kids had a blast and were way happy with their goodies!!

I asked each student to send in 6 plastic eggs filled with a small toy or candy.  Then I had a parent volunteer come in and write one word on each egg.  The words were:  I, little, have, six, my, eggs.  So 20 eggs had the word I.....20 eggs had the word little......etc.

After the eggs were hidden, I let the students know that they each had to find 6 eggs that had the 6 sight words on them.  To help them, I created a recording sheet where they could cross off each word as they found each egg.   If you'd like to grab it for the future, you can download it here!

They were so funny hunting for the sight word eggs.  I could hear them calling out "has anybody seen the word little".......and "hey I need have"!  It was really cute to watch them trying to find all of the words and making sure they marked each word off on their sheet!!

After students found all 6 of their eggs, they headed to the sidewalk to complete the rest of the sheet.  They had to take out their 6 eggs and unscramble the words to make a sentence (I have my six little eggs.)  This was pretty easy for most students, but others needed a little bit of help.  Then they wrote the sentence on the lines.

The last thing they did before opening any of their eggs was to record the color of each individual egg, by writing the color word in the boxes.

Finally after all of that hard work......they got to open their eggs and see their special treats!  They were so excited!!!  Not a single one complained about having to hunt for sight words or do "work" afterwards.  They actually were laughing and smiling the whole time, so I consider that a WIN - WIN!

If you're looking for more Easter resources, I've got a couple things you may be interested in!  Check them out below!  Math and Literacy!

Winter Olympics 2018

As a child watching the Olympics was one of my favorite things to do!  So you can imagine how excited I am about the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang!  I am even more excited to share this experience with my students!

As I was perusing Pinterest I came across this super cute poem by Ken Nesbitt called "The Winter Olympics Are Practically Here."  It's a cute take on how the Olympics would go if animals were involved instead of humans!  It's a fun read that I bet your students will love!  Click on the poem below to download a copy for your classroom!

I always love creating edible treats for the classroom.  I think these Olympic Torch treats are simply adorable!  Get some ice cream cones and some popcorn (cheddar would make cool flames) and you've got yourself a fun edible torch!

Edible Olympic Torch from A Small Snippet

Here's another fun edible treat you could make to celebrate the games......Olympic Rice Crispy Treats!  Whip up a batch of rice crispy treats and add some M&Ms on the top to represent the Olympic rings.  There's no black M&M, but the brown ones get the job done just the same!

Olympic Rice Crispy Treats from Janice's MashUp

If you're looking for some engaging activities for your Kindergarten or First Grade classroom I've got some brand new additions to my store you might like!

This Winter Olympics 2018 headband is perfect if you just need a quick activity to get your kids excited!  Students will decorate their very own Pyeongchang headband/crown.  They can also choose their two favorite winter sports and paste them onto their headband! Check it out HERE or click the pic below.

I also have a Winter Olympics writing & literacy set that includes tree maps, labeling, scrambled sentences, write the room, and more!  It will definitely be a wonderful addition to your classroom study of the Winter Games!  You can check it out HERE or click the pic below. 

If you have anything fun planned for the Winter Olympics this year I'd love to hear about it!  I'm always looking for new ideas to make it exciting and fun for the kids! 


The 2017 Solar Eclipse

2017 Solar Eclipse

Will you be in school on August 21, 2017?  If so, you may want to see if you will be able to see the 2017 Solar Eclipse that is taking place that day!  My town is lucky enough to be in the path of totality and I am super excited about this!

So if you will be watching with young students, read on.....I've got some things you may want to consider.  After all, kids will be kids!

 Our younger students are just learning about the world around them.  That includes things like the sun and the moon.  So they might not have any idea what an eclipse is.  Here's a great Brainpop video that might be useful to show your students to help them understand what will happen
I'm excited and you might be excited.  But our kiddos may not fully comprehend how rare this event is going to be.  If they have to miss something "fun" like center time or recess in order to view the eclipse, I can see them being even less enthused about the whole thing.  I have great plans to try and get them excited--just hoping my excitement wears off on them. HA!
So if you're in the path of totality, you will experience a couple of minutes of total darkness.  Day will literally become night.  I will be in awe, but I am betting some of my little ones might not be so impressed.  I am going to make sure my students are fully prepared for what will happen and I'm planning on doing some role playing too.
This one's going to be tough, but it is going to be SO IMPORTANT.  Seriously.  My kids can't keep anything on LOL.  So I'm betting that they won't want to (or won't be able to) keep the flimsy safety glasses on.  They will be too big or too small.  They will fall off randomly or will blow off in the wind.  Yall know how it is!  There will definitely be some safety lessons done beforehand so my students know not to look directly at the sun.
Ok this one's just a given.  It always seems that there's one kid who has to go to the restroom right in the middle of a fire drill or a guest speaker or a school-wide assembly.  I definitely don't want to be trekking back inside the school building and miss the whole eclipse, so I am planning to take the entire class for a restroom break BEFORE we head outside!

Will you be watching the solar eclipse with your students?  I'd love to hear about any fun things that your school has planned.  

If you're looking for a kid-friendly way to introduce your students to the solar eclipse and help them understand what will happen--check out my Solar Eclipse Writing and Interactive Reader Set.  It includes several writing activities and an interactive book for students to read and complete.  

Enjoy the eclipse!  I know I can't wait!!

Debbie :-)