Today, to start our lesson, I remind the students of the research we completed yesterday! I ask the kids to share a couple of facts they learned about the invention they chose to research, and allow a few students to share those facts.
Then, I lean in close, and I say, “Boys and girls, wouldn’t it be neat if you could share everything you learned about the invention you choose with me on the computer? And, wouldn’t it be even neater if I could send you a message about how you’re doing with your work, and you could write me back?” The kids are instantly interested and are nodding yes-this sounds cool! So, I say, “Well, we can do that! And today, I’m going to teach you how! We’re going to learn today how to get going on our own Google Presentations!”
To start, I pull up our school district website on our SmartBoard. At this point in the lesson, I’m going to show my students how to access Google Drive through our district student technology portal. In your district, how your students access Google Drive may be different than mine, so basically at this point, you just have to make sure you know how your students will get into Google Drive. But, once my students know how to get to our student technology portal and how to log in, it’s time to show them the basics of Google Presentation!
I begin by showing them that there is a menu to the left once you log in, which includes choices such as “My Drive” and “Shared with Me”. (See Image 1 in the Resources.) I let the students know that later in the year, I may share assignments with them that I’d like them to complete, and when I do this, they’ll find those assignments in “Shared with Me”. However, since each of the students are creating their own presentations within Google Drive that they are going to later share with me, these presentations will be created and found under “My Drive”, because those presentations belong to the students!
I show the students how to click the “Create” button, which then offers a new menu of choices. Today, since we’ll start new presentations, we’ll click on “Presentation”. (See Image 2 in the Resources section.)
Once students have clicked on “Presentation”, a brand new Presentation opens up. Students will be asked first if they’d like to choose a “Theme”. (See Image 3 in the Resources section.) A “Theme” is a decorative feature that will be applied to all slides once chosen. I teach my students how to “fancy up” their presentations during another lessons, so I ask the kids to close out of that for the time being. Now the students see a brand new presentation in front of them. (See Image 4 in the Resources section.)
I tell my students that there are two things that we must do right away before we begin putting our presentation together: 1) name our work, and 2) share our work with Mrs. Hesemann. So first, I show the students how to name their work.
To name their work, students need to click in the upper left hand corner on the words that say “Untitled Presentation”. (See Image 5 in the Resources section here.) Once they click here, a new box opens up and allows students to type in their title. (See Image 6 in the Resources section here.) I ask all students to start with their first and last names, a hyphen, and then the assignment (in this case, “Invention Research Presentation”). Then they can click the blue “Ok” button and their work is renamed. (See Image 7 in the Resources section here.)
Now students need to share their work with me. I find this a particularly important step because instead of waiting for students to be finished with their work to go in and see how they’re doing, it’s way easier to have them share their work with me from the beginning. Then I can go into my “Shared with Me” drive and look at their work at anytime! To share their work with me, students need to go to the upper right hand corner and click on the blue button that says “Share”. (See Image 8 in the Resources section here.) Once they click “Share”, a new box will pop up. (See Image 9 in the Resources section here.) Toward the bottom, there’s a spot that says “Invite People”. I teach my students how to find me in Google Drive by beginning to type my name. (You may need to have your students enter your g-mail address if it is not automatically recognized.) Once my name pops up, I have the students click on my name so that it appears in the “Invite People” box. Now, before I allow the kids to click the green “Share & Save” button, I first ask them to uncheck the “Notify People Via E-mail” box. If this box remains checked, I’m going to get an e-mail for every student that shares their work with me, and so I’d rather avoid all those e-mails if possible! So, I always remind the kids to make sure that box is unchecked. (See Image 10 in the Resources section here.) Once the box is unchecked, the kids can click the green “Share & Save” button!
Now students are ready to begin typing! I show the students how to change the title slide by typing in their own title and their name on the first slide. (See Image 11 in the Resources section here.) Now students are ready to add other slides. I ask the students to have one slide per question (from their notes on their invention research). In order to add slides, the students need to click on the little plus sign in the upper left hand corner. (See Image 12 in the Resources section here.)
Once students click on the plus sign, a new slide will appear. Students can go in and rename their slide by changing the title and then adding their information in the text box underneath the title. (See Image 13 in the Resources section here.)
At this point, students know the basics of how to get into Google Drive, how to create a presentation, and how to add slides and enter text. The kids are really itching at this point to get started, so I tell the students: “Alright third graders! I think you’ve got the basics on how to get started! We’re going to go down to the computer lab and get started!” The students grab their notes from their research yesterday and we head down to the lab!
Once students are in the lab, I allow the students to log in and get started. I walk around and provide assistance for any students that may need it, but I’m actually surprised how well my students do! They take to getting into Google Drive and setting up their own Google Presentation so much easier than I ever would have guessed! This time is actually a great learning experience too, because students get to just get in and play around to see what works and what doesn’t! This is such a valuable time for students to explore and expand their technology skills!
During this work time, I remind students that they need to make a slide for each question in their research notes and add their information underneath each question. Some students finish earlier than others, so I always have an additional task that students can do, including visiting our classroom website, checking out one of our virtual field trips, etc.
At the end of our lab time, I ask the students to log out. Before we do though, I let the students know that all their work is automatically saved and will be found tomorrow again under “My Drive”. Students are usually surprised by this, that they don’t have to do anything special to save their work, so I always make a point to explain this clearly to students so there are no worries! Then, once students are all logged out, we push in our chairs and head back to our classroom. I ask the students to store their notes in their writing folders for use again tomorrow, because tomorrow we will work on learning how to use some advanced features of Google Presentation!