Recently, I was fortunate to be a guest on the awesome Google Teacher Tribe Podcast. Not only are Matt & Kasey rockstars, but their show is my favorite education podcast. It was an honor and a blast.
It’s a tradition on the show for the guest to create a lesson plan that listeners can use. I chose to take a few ideas that I’ve posted about here and combine them into the Ultimate App Smash Lesson. The lesson combines #StopMotionSlides, Screencastify & FlipGrid. It can be used with any just about any content and is appropriate in most grades, starting in around 3rd grade.
You can find the lesson at bit.ly/ultimateappsmash. I hope you enjoy it . . . and I’d love to see some of what your kiddos create when you use it!
I’ve posted about #StopMotionSlides before and there are others out there (I think that Eric Curts’ and Matt Miller’s are both pretty definitive), but as usual – I like to encapsulate all good Googley stuff in GIF format. So here we go . . . some GIF-style tips for making really rad #StopMotionSlides projects. Continue reading Tips for Creating Stop-Motion Slides
Have a Google Slides-deck that you sometimes present in 45 minutes and other times in 75 minutes?
Change up the slides that you use in each class based on formative assessment or student interests? Have a set of Slides that you use in two different classes, one with more remedial needs and the other with need for enrichment?
It might be beneficial to hide certain slides, either to simply not show certain content (in the 2nd & 3rd questions above) or in interest of time (in the 1st question above). Using the “Skip Slide” option will help you do this. Just right-click (or 2-finger click) on a slide on the left and select “Skip slide.” Check it out in the animation below:
One function in Google Slides that most people don’t notice is there is “Edit Master.” This option is great for adding branding to your slides and much more. Here are some of the things that you can do in there, followed by a GIF of how to do it:
- Change the font style for all of your slides
- Add a logo or watermark
- Change background colors
- Make all slides match the theme of a lesson or presentation
- Change the layout (find that you’re always moving the title up to give more space to type? Do it here)
- Add new slide layouts (need a 3-column layout?)
- Change layout of all of your slides at once
- Lock objects in place (the pictures become part of the background!) for activities with students
- Create layouts for certain uses (i.e., Yearbooks, eBooks, etc.)
When I recommend Google Sites to people, it’s typically because it’s so easy to embed so many of the things that we regularly use. Google Slides is no exception. Here are a few notes about it, followed by a GIF animation of how to do it.
- Be sure that the Google Slides file has sharing settings that will allow the appropriate people to see it on the site. If your file is private and someone goes to your site, they’ll see a blank box where the slides should be.
- You can set the slides to auto-play when the site loads!
- With auto-play on, you can set the slides to auto-loop and modify the amount of time that each slide plays for.
- You can change the size and position of the embedded Google Slides presentation.
One thing that helps a lesson or presentation run smoothly is good time management with a visual timer. It’s a lacking tool in Google Slides. But, of course, there’s a hack for that!
Click Insert > Video and search for a YouTube video titled “x minute timer” with the appropriate x value filled in. Just about every time limit a teacher or presenter could ask for in available!
This isn’t my idea, but it’s one that I love, so I wanted to make one of my GIFs about it. I think that I first heard the idea from Eric Curts (@ericcurts).
Anyhow, Choose Your Own Adventure stories are a favorite from my childhood and if we can leverage them to help students be more active and engaged in the way that they show their knowledge of content, writing abilities or creativity – I’m in!
Here’s how to do it, first as a GIF, followed by step-by-step instructions. And remember, Eric’s post linked above is a great resource as well.
- Create your starting slide.
- In two separate text boxes (or with two separate pictures or with two separate words/phrases within a text box) provide options for the next step.
- Create 2 new slides – these are the possible next steps.
- Back on the starting slide, click on one of the text boxes, images or text within a text box.
- Use the hyperlink button (or Ctrl+k) to link to the appropriate slide.
- Repeat the process for the other option.
- Now . . . add steps that branch off of those 2 options . . .
If you or your students make a really phenomenal Choose Your Own Adventure Slides project, I’d love to see it!
They’re on your phone. They’re in a movie. They’re on clothes. They’re on social media. They’re probably tattooed on people. And yes . . . they’re in Google Docs.
Here’s how to enter Emoji (and other symbols) in Google Docs, Slides or Drawings. Once you click Insert > Special Characters you have 3 options:
- Change the dropdown that initially says “Symbol” to say “Emoji” and navigate to the Emoji that you want.
- Search by keyword.
- Search by drawing the Emoji.
Tip: The emojis are text items, not pictures. That means that their size is dependent on your selected font size.
There are plenty of flash cards sites, apps and ideas out there. And many of them are great. But… it’s nice to not have to add another tool to your classroom, another site to your list of resources, another password for your students to remember and possibly another account for your students to access.
So, if you don’t need a fully-featured flash cards solution, stick with what you’ve got (and know): Google Slides.
- Students can work together to create the cards.
- You can assign each kid a card to make . . . and 5 minutes later you have a whole deck.
- Cards can involve pictures from a Google image search, pictures from students’ Drive or webcams, drawings and videos.
- You can project it in class to have a class-wide review.
- Students can use it to study from their cell phones and other devices.
- If you have a class website, you can embed the Slides on the site.
- Students can make a copy of the Slides to make them their own, add information that helps them, delete cards they already know and add cards for terms they struggle with.
*Disclaimer: I’m really not a flash cards, vocabulary kind of guy. Knowing the lingo has some value, but in general… memorization of stuff that fits on a flash card is just that: memorization. Since I know that it’s an important part of a lot of classrooms, I want to share this strategy for doing it, but I hope that you do it along with other types of learning experiences, like Project-Based Learning and other inquiry-based strategies.
Listen, I get it – when you’re showing your students the chambers of the heart, you want to have “Total Eclipse of the Heart” playing. And, when you teach your class about the food chain, you need “Hungry Like the Wolf” rocking out of your speakers. But, guess who doesn’t get it? Google. No audio in Google Slides. Sorry, no music for you.
But! I’ve got your back. When you present about the states of water, you need to be playing this, or maybe this. I didn’t invent this hack, but I created a GIF to showcase it for you.
Step by step instructions are below the GIF.
- Insert > Video
- Search for & Insert the video for the song you want from YouTube
- Right Click, Video Options
- Select “Autoplay when presenting”
- If desired, set a specific start time
- Make the video tiny
- Rock out when in presentation mode
- Keep in mind – your song will stop when you move on to the next slide, so plan accordingly
Note – this is a copyright gray area (or worse), for sure. I always try to use Vevo videos, because we at least we know that those were uploaded by the companies that own the rights to those music videos.