Today, to start our lesson, I tell the students how proud of them I am! They have learned so much already this week all about Google Drive and Google Presentation! I am so proud of their progress and just want them to know that I am so impressed with their work so far! Now, I ask the students if they’re ready to learn more about Google Drive today. The students again enthusiastically give me a “Yes!”, so I know we’re ready to begin! As I’ve mentioned before, incorporating technology into my lessons is always extremely motivating for my students, so their response is again really no surprise!
To start, I pull up our school district website on our SmartBoard. Today, I ask the students to walk me through the steps of how to get logged into Google Drive and find our presentation. I do remind students here that their presentations were automatically saved yesterday in the “My Drive” section because they created the presentation.
Once we’re logged in, and we’ve found our way back to our presentation, I ask the students to review for me how to change the text in our presentation. I also ask them to explain the steps in how to change the background and/or the theme of the presentation. Lastly, I ask the students to help me remember how to insert an image and resize it and move it around. Reviewing is a nice way to make sure all students have heard again how to do what we’ve experienced so far before we begin to add to our technology knowledge repertoire.
Our new learning today will be how to use the editing tools of spell check and how to collaborate with me on their work through the comments section.
We begin with learning about the editing tools. I say to the students, “Boys and girls, many of you have asked me throughout this week why sometimes, under certain words or phrases, you get little squiggly lines (see Image 1). Whenever we see these, we can say, “Thank you, Google! That was so nice of you to help me!” because these lines mean that we may have spelled a word incorrectly or that there may be something wrong with our writing.” I point out though that I said there MAY be something wrong. I want students to know there are times when Google or the computer may not recognize a word, even if it’s correct, or a phrase for that matter as well. I give the students the example of my last name. Sometimes the computer, or Google, doesn’t know my last name, and so it doesn’t know if this word is spelled correctly or not and so it adds the little lines underneath it. But, I know that my name is spelled correctly, so I’m going to ignore that. However, most of the time, the computer is being very helpful, so these editing tools are really nice!
Now we need to know how to fix these mistakes, so we go up to the top and choose the “Tools” button (see Image 2). A menu appears when we click on the “Tools” button (see Image 3), and so we choose “Spelling”. If there are no spelling changes to make, a little box will appear that tells us no changes are needed (see Image 4). If we do have changes, a box will appear that tells us the first word that may need some changes (see Image 5). Again, we have to think smart here and see if the word is a word we do need to change or if we can ignore the suggestion because it’s actually correct. If we can ignore it, we can click the “Ignore” button. However, if it is a word that we need help with, then we can look to see what suggestions they give us. If what we want is there, we can click it and click the “Change” button. But, if it’s not there, we can type what we want it to be and still click change. I let the students know that this is a good time to ask for adult support if needed-for example, if they’re not sure if their spelling is incorrect or not. If students have access to them, dictionaries (or online dictionaries approved by your school) would be a great resource, here, too!
When the spelling tool is all done checking our work, it will tell us there is not more to changing that needs to be done (see Image 4).
The last feature I want to share with my students today is the “Comments” feature. This is a great feature within Google Drive because this features allows all of our work to be collaborative in real time. So, for example, as the student is working, I can comment on their progress, they can read it, and then they can respond to my comment! Today, I want the students to send me a comment when they are all finished with their project, so I share the steps with them on how to comment.
To comment, students go to the right hand corner, and click on the “Comments” box (see Image 6). Once the student clicks on “Comments”, two choices appear: Notifications or Comment (see Image 7). I want the kids to send me an actual comment, not just a notice, so I ask them to click on “Comment”. When they do, a little yellow box appears with a spot for the student to type their comment (see Image 8). Students can type their comment to me (I suggest something like, “Hello Mrs. Hesemann! I am finished with my project! Please leave me your feedback!”), and then click the blue “Comment” button. Then I will see their comments when I go into My Drive to see their projects and I can comment right back to them! This is a great way to provide editing assistance with students, as well as to dig deeper into questioning students about their learning! Such a great feature!
At this point, students know how to use spelling check tools and insert a comment, and just as yesterday, the kids are really itching at this point to get started! I tell the students: “Alright third graders! I think you’re ready to edit your presentations and leave me a comment! We’re going to go down to the computer lab and get started!” The students grab their notes from their research 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 again surprised how well my students do! They are in Google Drive before I know it and are already using the spelling tool feature! When students say they’re all done, I remind them to make sure they’ve left me a comment!
As yesterday, 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. Be sure to plan for your early finishers!
At the end of our lab time, I ask the students to log out. Before we do though, I remind the students that all their work is automatically saved and will be found tomorrow again under “My Drive”. Then, once students are all logged out, we push in our chairs and head back to our classroom. I ask the students to turn in their notes as I will look at those along with their presentations. I also let the students know that this was our first time creating a presentation, so we will not yet present them, however, coming up shortly, we will also use the “Present” feature where students will get to stand and share their presentations with our class! And lastly, I reiterate what a fantastic job they've done with this first go at Google Drive and Google Presentation! What a great job they’ve done! Their finished presentations looked wonderful! The students never cease to amaze me!