Technology Focus: In this Classroom catalyst, you will be learning how to utilize Google Suite tools: Google Slides to create a digital science journal for Primary students and Google Classroom for submissions of student work.
Description: Google Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools to facilitate the creation and distribution of lessons, resources, and assignments in a paperless way. Educators can easily access and manage student work within Google Classroom. Google Slides is a presentation application that allows both educators and students to present information in a visual way.
Level: To utilize this technology, a basic to intermediate level of technical knowledge is required. All students and educators using these tools will require a GSuite for Education account.
*You will need to check with your school district for GSuite for Education account login information
Audience: This catalyst is targeted towards Primary Grades; however, Google Classroom and Google Slides can be utilized in Junior, Intermediate, Secondary Science Classrooms and it is applicable to all disciplines of Science and Technology.
Tool Highlights: This catalyst will highlight the use of Google Slides as Science journals with Primary students and submitting completed journals in Google Classroom using iPads.
Please note that this catalyst highlights the use of iPads. Other devices such as chromebooks, and laptops can also be used. Steps outlined and the process involved using other devices will differ from what is outlined in this catalyst.
Students will capture images of living and non-living objects during a class nature walk in the schoolyard or community using iPads. Teachers will have to pair students or place them in groups of 2 or 3, depending on how many iPads are available. When students return to the classroom, they will open the Google Classroom App to access their copy of the ‘Living and Non-Living Things Nature Walk’ Google Slide deck. Each student will import 2 images into their personal copy of the slide deck. One image should be an example of a living thing, the other should be an example of a non-living thing. Students will then name the object and explain how they know if the object is living or non-living.
Prior Skill Set:
Students should be able to log into their own GSuite for Education Accounts, open the GSuite for Education tools (Classroom and Slides) and be able to take photographs using the iPads independently.
Grade 1 - Needs and Characteristics of Living Things/ Kindergarten
2. investigate needs and characteristics of plants and animals, including humans;
3. demonstrate an understanding of the basic needs and characteristics of plants and animals, including humans.
2.2 investigate and compare the basic needs of humans and other living things, including the need for air, water, food, warmth, and space, using a variety of methods and resources
2.6 use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including investigation, explore, needs, space, and food, in oral and written communication
Steps (Inquiry on Living and Non-Living Things):
Visual Guide: For a visual step-by-step guide for the following (create a science journal using Google Slides and student assignment instructions, Steps 2 & 5), please view:
Open the Slides app: Ensure that you are logged into your teacher Google account. If you are not, click on the hamburger menu (top left corner), select ‘Manage Accounts’ and + ‘Add Account’. Enter your teacher GSuite for Education login information.
Create a New Slide: Click on the + icon in the bottom right hand corner of your slides landing page. Select ‘New Presentation”
Give the New Slide a Title: Enter the Title for your presentation in the ‘untitled presentation’ section. Suggested title: Living and Non-Living Things Nature Walk and enter ‘Name’ in the subtitle.
Add 2 Additional Slides: Click on the + page sign in the bottom left hand corner. Select the “Title and Two Column’ Slide. Repeat.
Your Slide is ready to post in Google Classroom for Students.
Visual Guide: For a visual step-by-step guide for the following (setting up Google Classroom and Posting Assignments, Steps 3 & 4), please view:
Set up Google Classroom
Open the Classroom app: Ensure that you are logged into into teacher Google account. If you are not, click on the hamburger menu (top left corner), select ‘Manage Accounts’ and + ‘Add Account’. Login with your GSuite for Education account. (Check with your district for further details regarding login to GSuite for Education Accounts)
Create New Class: On teacher classroom home page select the + and click the Create class in the pop up window.
Name The Class: Under ‘Class Name’ enter the name of your class. Under ‘Section’ add additional details about the class (optional). Click CREATE (top left) to finalize the creation of the class.
Add Students: Go to the student section of Classroom. Here you will find the class code. Give students the class code to join your classroom or alternatively, add students through the ‘invite’ option by inputting individual emails
Add Assignment: Under the ‘Stream’ section, click on the + (bottom right hand corner) to open a new menu. In the new menu, select ‘assignment’.
Please note: To add the Living and Non-Living Nature Walk Google slide template for your students under the ‘Materials’ section, you will need to ensure:
prior to creating and posting the assignment in Google Classroom
Edit Assignment: You can edit assignment details if there are additional details you would like to add or to make changes. In the ‘stream’ section, view the posted assignment. Click the ‘more options’ menu (3 dots). A new window will appear. Select ‘edit’ to add more details or make changes. Please note that if you did not ‘make a copy for each student’ when sharing the slide template, you will not be able to make this edit. You will have to ‘delete’ the assignment and repost.
(Student Instructions AFTER the Science Journal has been posted in Google Classroom by the teacher):
Impact on Student Learning; Allowing the students to collect, and classify objects as living and/or non-living using iPads, students are building their digital fluency and are engaged in developing their 21st century learning skills and redefining how technology is used in the classroom (SAMR). Some of the key skills students will acquire through this inquiry: Collecting samples, making observations, analysis, collaboration, making connections, communication, and critical thinking
Global Competency Development through the use of GSuite tools:
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:
Assessment strategy (for, as, of learning, rubrics (strands), peer evaluation sheets, other)
For Learning: Gather students for a whole group discussion. Possible questions to ask: How do you know if something is alive? What do living things need? How do you know if something is non-living? Record student statements. Digital option: Google Keep, docAppender extension.
As Learning: Take anecdotal observations of student conversations and statements during class nature walk. Educators can use Google Keep, Google extension: docAppender and/or photographs to document student learning
Of Learning: Retrieve individual student submissions in Google Classroom, grade, provide feedback and return to students in a timely manner
Next Steps/Extensions/Accommodations/Other Topics for this Tech Tool:
If a nature walk is not possible, teachers can ask students to search for photos of living and non-living things using the ‘ Explore’ option in slides.
If students are not able to type our explanation, educators can have students:
Students can find more than one example of a living or non-living things
Create an additional slide with a table for students to sort living and non-living images they have taken during the nature walk
Switching Between Multiple Accounts: