How To Make Distance Learning Easy By Using Google Slides

As distance learning has become a “normal” part of most classrooms, teachers are finding and creating fantastic tools that are useful for all kinds of learning. (Check out my virtual escape rooms here!) Necessity has definitely influenced the invention of new uses of technology tools- and Google Slides are a prime example.

Google Slides are quickly gaining popularity, and it’s easy to see why! 

Teachers are using Google Slides in their virtual and in-person classrooms with great success. Although they are perfect for distance learning, Google Slides can easily be transitioned into the regular classroom or in hybrid models as well. Although they can be integrated into Google Classroom, they can be used on their own and don’t require students to be logged in to Classroom.

 Teachers can create ONE slide that can be updated daily with new information. Each time students access the link, they will see the new version. Slides can even be accessed with low or no internet when teachers make them available offline. Google Slides are useful for any kind of subject matter. By inserting text, audio clips, or video, teachers can tailor them for any grade level or topic. 

Students can also access quizzes, puzzles, Google Forms, or any other assignments directly from hyperlinks in the slides. Teachers can easily incorporate Google Slides into their plans to support any kind of learning!

Perhaps the most convenient part of Google Slides is that they can be purchased pre-made and ready to use!

Teachers can find slides that match their needs, then immediately use them in the classroom. 

One of my favorite sets for first and second grade classrooms is Google Classroom Reading Comprehension and Questions

google slides

This set includes twenty passages as well as questions for students to answer. Students can use their mouse to drag words and answer the questions, making this perfect for little hands. 

google slides

Another useful set is Digital Calendar Math for Google Classroom.

google slides

These slides are editable, helping teachers create engaging daily calendar math experiences for any age. You can even add video, audio, text, or images to further explain concepts during calendar time.

google slides

 

Hopefully, you’re ready to take advantage of this amazing tool and add it to your own classroom!

 

google slides


 

 

Virtual Escape Room Ideas Students Will Love

Now that virtual learning is a much more common challenge for teachers and students, planning group lessons can be difficult. Great teachers know that students learn when they interact, stretch their thinking skills, and cooperate- but virtual classrooms can make that a little harder to plan. Fortunately, there are options that bring students together to accomplish tasks and solve problems while learning virtually! 

virtual escape rooms

One of the best ways to incorporate fun and learning online is with virtual escape rooms.

Like real-life escape rooms, these activities encourage collaboration and team building. Students work together to solve puzzles, figure out riddles, and complete other challenges. However, virtual escape rooms are designed to be conducted via Zoom or Google Meets. They can also be completed on a projector for in-person learning. 

As students complete various tasks they will unlock the “room” or solve a mystery. One caveat I like to share with teachers is that the virtual escape rooms are meant to be challenging for students. I recommend that teachers complete the challenge before introducing it to students so that they can help out if kids are stuck. 

Ready to try out some virtual escape rooms?

Visit this my shop to see my collection of escape rooms that will have your students having fun while using critical thinking skills! One of my favorites is the Wacky Wednesday Digital Escape Room. This activity includes practice with nonsense words and problem-solving. Kindergarten through second-grade students will love completing the fun tasks and unlocking the room.  It is a great activity to do during Read Across America Week also.

virtual escape rooms

virtual escape rooms

 

Many of the other escape rooms are perfect for seasonal activities.

There are options for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter Holidays, Valentine’s Day, and even the 100th Day of School! Your students will enjoy the opportunity to work together as they attack the challenges. Celebrate learning throughout the year with these exciting activities that are perfect for virtual classrooms. 

Escape Room SIGHT WORD MYSTERY is great any time of the year!

sight word digital

Are you using virtual escape rooms in your classroom yet? Let me know in the comments!

Read about an In-Person Sight Word Escape for Primary


 

 

4 Digital Holiday Centers For Kindergarten And First Grade

The winter holidays are such an exciting time for children, and bringing fun activities into the classroom creates happy students! Center activities are a favorite for teachers throughout the year as they can be completed by small groups of kids independently. Once activities are introduced and demonstrated, teachers can work with a group of students or rotate around the room as groups work.

 They are also exciting for students as they get to interact with peers and move around the room from activity to activity. Winter holidays provide great subject matter for centers and are the perfect addition to your lesson plans!

Read on to learn about four of my favorite holiday centers for the most wonderful time of the year. 

1.The Virtual Art Calendar is a great gift for parents, and is lots of fun for students as well.

holiday centers

This activity allows students to use Google Slides to create a unique 12-month calendar. The editable designs let kids get creative while they learn important calendar skills. Add artwork for each month, staple or bind with a ribbon.

 Since it can be completed digitally or printed out, it is a perfect option for digital learning. When students complete the calendar, they can print it out or even email it to their parents. A learning activity, virtual lesson, and parent gift combination is an awesome fit for 2020- and calendars are updated yearly so you will be able to use this resource every year! 

For more parent gift ideas, check out my post here. 

2. One of the most unique holiday centers idea for the holidays is the Ugly Sweater Writing Activity.

Students will use Google Slides to design their own ugly sweater, then write about it. Once students have completed their designs the slides can be compiled into a presentation for an Ugly Sweater Contest. 

You can add music and let students vote on their favorite designs. Graphic organizers and prompts are also included so students can write about their sweater. This will definitely be the most fun writing activity of the year! All materials are digital or printable, so this activity is great for digital learning.

3.Next up is the Holidays Around the World Escape Room.

holiday centers

Don’t worry- your students will stay safely in your classroom as they solve clues. This activity is great for reading comprehension and problem solving skills.

 Students will learn about winter holidays around the world and practice using the main idea as they attempt to break the spell of a bad elf. This activity could be completed during distance learning as well as it is 100% digital. You can increase the excitement by offering something special if they escape! 

4. Another escape activity is the Balloons Over Broadway Digital Escape activity.

holiday centers

In this lesson, students will learn about the designer of Macy’s holiday windows, parade balloons- the great puppeteer Tony Sarg. Students will listen to a short story, then use their comprehension and problem solving skills to “break the locks”.

This activity is digital so students can work at home, in small groups, or independently in the classroom. The Puppet Parade activity is ideal for first, second, or third grade students but kindergarten students can still enjoy it by doing it as a group with the whole class. 

 I hope your students have a great time working on these holiday centers! 

holiday centers


 

Kindergarten Google Slides and Escape Room Freebies!

When working with kindergarten students, it’s important to use interactive activities that get students involved and excited. Young students need the chance to work with subject matter rather than just receiving direct instruction. On the other hand, it can be difficult to have the time and materials to make every lesson hands-on. 

Luckily, technology can help in this area.

With distance learning being practiced widely around the world now, there are many digital activity options available to use in your classroom. Google Slides are a perfect way to help students interact with material in the classroom or during distance learning. They can be used in all subject areas, and are easily added to Google Classroom so students can learn from any location.

Google Slides are very user friendly, and kindergarten students can quickly learn how to manipulate the materials on their screens. Just be sure to teach your students how to use the “Undo” button and how to hold the mouse button to drag items. 

I love digital resources because with just a little practice your kiddos will be able to complete tasks independently while having fun. Digital activities completed in Google Slides (or Docs and Sheets) are easy to add to Seesaw portfolios. You’ll be ready to show your students’ growth in no time! 

Ready to try out some Kindergarten Google Slides activities?

Check out my completely free Google Slides Name Activity resource here.

Using this Google Slides activity, students will practice their names, colors, and shapes. They will have a great time personalizing their names, and will get important practice manipulating images with their mouse. Using this activity will add even more Google Slides activities to your plans. 

kindergarten google slides

Digital Escape Rooms

Another one of my favorite activities for kindergarten students are digital escape rooms. These exciting tasks are guaranteed to get students 100% engaged in learning, and are easy for you to implement! The best escape rooms for kindergarten students are those that don’t have real locks- so these are a perfect fit. 

Escape rooms help students learn problem solving skills, cooperation, and perseverance. They can work as individuals or as teams to solve the rooms. Digital escape rooms can be used during distance learning, letting students participate in fun challenges even while at home. For more info on why escape rooms are so great for elementary, check out my post here. 

You can download and try out a mini escape room activity for FREE by clicking here!

kindergarten Google slides

kindergarten google slides

 

Are you using digital activities in your kindergarten classroom? Let me know in the comments!