Google Classroom is the go-to for most schools that are online teaching at this time. It is such an amazing resource and I wrote about a few reasons to use it in this post. I want to share with you some apps, add-ons, extensions and websites I will be using accompanied with Google Classroom to teach 5th Grade Math and share some tips and tricks that I think will be useful for distance learning with my students.
These apps are the basis of Google and to know them is to love them!
Using Google Slides is fairly obvious for online teaching. I created a slide deck for each day, as I would normally for teaching, only instead of leaving the model blank, I have a video of me modeling the problem using a whiteboard. I’m not using anything fancy, just my phone propped up on whatever is near by aimed at the white board.
Google Forms are so amazing! If you didn’t catch my Uncommonly Google post, check it out here to see some fun ways to use Google Forms! Basically, the app can be used on a weekly or daily basis to check in with your students and their understanding of the lesson. I’ve also seen some awesome teachers on IG use Google Forms as mood/feelings check in for students. On my TpT store you can also find Digital Math Choice Boards using Google Forms, so go check that out and see how you can use it in your remote learning classroom!
Okay, I’m going to be honest I don’t use Google Docs in Math, however if you teach writing or reading also, Google Docs is going to be amazing! Don’t forget about the comment feature of Google Docs to give your students feedback on their writing as they are working.
Google Drawings can be used for so much! Students can create mind maps for reading or writing and show visuals for math. Teachers can create graphic organizers to help students solve math problems or write an extended response. This is where students and teachers can get creative.
Google Sheets might be my favorite G Suite app (don’t tell Google Slides I said this!) I took an online course on Google Sheets and it was so amazing to see the amount of stuff that can be done with the app in the classroom. I personally love using the app for pixel art, and my kids definitely love it also! I have a few pixel art activities on TpT for students to complete, so go check them out!
Still need that personal connection with your students when you’re online teaching? Google Hangouts (or Google Meet) will help you to video chat with up to 25 people at a time and have a group chat with up to 150 people! This is a great tool to host your office or conferencing hours while remotely teaching. Students can ask you questions in live time and you can have a live Q & A or discussion of the topic you’re teaching virtually.
Access by adding to the top of your Chrome browser.
Screencastify is a Chrome extension that allows you to record your screen. There are three options – record your whole desktop (computer), just the Chrome tab and record with your video embedded in the corder. This is great for when you want to walk student through an example using a virtual manipulative website. I’ve listed the websites I use at the bottom of this post and I wrote a few blog posts on virtual manipulatives as well!
The Bitmoji Chrome extension is a great way to add some fun to your slides or presentations. I use this add-on to keep it personal and put fun pictures throughout the slides to keep it engaging for the students. I also have a “How do you feel?” slide using bitmojis so that I can see how students feel about the topic I am teaching.
I discovered this add-on extension from listening to the Google Teacher Podcast and it is awesome! Basically, if you don’t have Google Classroom, but want to share a link of a Google App with students you can choose the type of link you can share with your students. What that means is you can create a Slides deck, Google Doc or Sheet and force it to make a copy for each student through the link you share with them, or create a PDF link that you can email or message them.
Google Apps Add-Ons
Access by adding through Google Slides, Docs, Sheets, etc.
If you’re using Google Sheets with your class, then the Crop Sheet add-on is going to make it a lot less confusing for them. When you’re creating anything in Google Sheets the mass amount of cells can be overpowering. You can crop those out to make it more visually appealing and less overwhelming for students looking at the data in the sheet.
MathType is an add-on that you can use to create equations and insert them as pictures into slides or docs. I find this add-on particularly useful when I am writing fraction operations on a Google Slide.
For those of you who love teaching with Nearpod, it is now Google accessible ! You can create an interactive Google Slide deck with the features of Nearpod that you love such as matching pairs, draw it, add audio, etc. Seriously you are going to love having this add-on installed right in your Google Slides app.
Similarly to the Nearpod add-on, you gain all of the features of Peardeck, only in a Google Slide deck. Check out the preview of the add-on to the right! You may have to pay for premium features if your school doesn’t have it, but the free version may be sufficient for your needs.
These websites are a great addition to your digital repertoire and will keep students engaged virtually!
Using virtual manipulatives has been a staple in my classroom, and now it’s time for these websites to shine! Here is a list of a few websites I use and my students love to use. Explore them and see which works best for your needs. You can use these together with Screencastify so that you can record how to use the manipulatives to fit the skill you are teaching.
- Mathlearningcenter.org – I love their base ten blocks app! It’s called “Number Pieces” on the website. I wrote a blog post about using this website here!
- Toytheater.com – I love this website for teaching with fraction bars! I wrote a post all about it and you can check it out here! Also there are other subjects besides math on this website, so if you teach other subjects look around and see what will help you.
- Geogebra – I am new with this website, but I’ve been having a lot of luck searching in Google “Geogebra ________” and I just fill in the blank with what skill I’m teaching. So far I found some great volume activities to demonstrate cube-packing and the concept of volume!
Teaching in the 21st century, I’m sure you’ve heard of Kahoot, Quizizz, Quizlet, Prodigy and code.org. If you haven’t – no fear I will explain how they are going to save you with online teaching.
- Kahoot and Quizizz are a great online game that you can set up or find pre-made to assign to your students. If you’re going live you can give students the code and they can play in real time with each other. You can also assign the games for “homework” where students can play at their own time.
- Quizlet is great for vocabulary review. You can create your own deck or find a pre-made one and assign it to your students. There are games students can play to learn the vocabulary words and then they can take a “quiz” to see what they learned.
- Prodigy is a free math game. I wrote a whole blog post about it here and my students absolutely love it! It’s a role playing game where students battle with their wizard and answer math questions.
- Code.org is a great website if you want to incorporate problem solving and STEM into your instruction. Once you set students up on the website, they can login and complete a self-paced coding program that will keep them engaged and motivated!
Okay, I know this is technically a Math blog, but I couldn’t let these two websites go unnoticed. They are great to assign paired texts and have awesome platforms for students to read articles and stories for ELA. I use these for my Saturday School classes and once you have your Google Classroom roster updated, you can link your accounts to your Google account and assign right to Google Classroom. You still have to go to the websites to check students work, but assigning it is easy and you don’t have to create another username and password for students because it uses their Google Classroom user information.
Right now, we’re all scrambling to gather materials for remote teaching and learning, so let me take some of the burden off of you. Please reach out to me if you have any questions about these and I will do my best to answer them! I hope these apps, add-ons, extensions and websites help you to be the successful and amazing virtual teacher you can be!
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