Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Google Drive in 2nd Grade

Our 2nd graders are our first group to get a GAFE account.  Beginning in February/March, I start introducing them to their accounts - how to sign in, the features of the different Google Apps, sharing, commenting, etc.  Other tech teachers in my district begin at the beginning of the year but based on our student population (many don't have devices at home, especially younger students) we wait until now.  Every year I tweak the lessons a little and since I teach all 6 2nd grade classes the lesson even gets tweaked a little as I move through the rotation.  When I first was looking for introductory units, I could not find much already created so I want to share with you what I have put together in the hopes that it helps someone else.

Lesson 1 - Log In and Explore
Students simply log into their GAFE account through our school homepage.  We go through the procedure and responsibilities. The last 5-10 minutes students are able to explore and create docs, slides, drawings, etc.  I really try and step back during these last few minutes to see if students can make connections between what we done in the Microsoft Office suite and Google Apps.

Check out the Google Slides presentation that I use.  Make a copy and edit to fit your school.

Lesson 2 - Google Drawing: My Perfect Bedroom
Students log into their GAFE account through our school homepage.  Students will create their perfect bedroom - this is the bedroom in their imagination.  I think this is important because some of my students do not have bedrooms so this helps create an even ground.  On the SmartBoard I review a few different features in Google Drawing before letting students loose on their computers.  It is important to move around the classroom to help students who get stuck.
Features that I review:
  • Change the background color.
  • Insert shapes and change their fill color and line color.
  • Turn shapes into text boxes by double-clicking.
  • Change the font style and font size of text.
  • Insert and re-size an image.

Lesson 3 - Google Docs: Imaginative Narrative
We start this lesson again by students logging into their GAFE account through our school homepage.  A couple of the classes are becoming more independent and as students work, I pull small groups to begin allowing them to practice logging into their accounts through Chromebooks. Today students will write an imaginative narrative based off a picture prompt.  I give each student a different picture prompt but you could provide one for your class if you wanted.  On the SmartBoard I review a few different features both with Google Docs and in using the keyboard.  It is important to move around the classroom to help students who get stuck.
Features that I review:
  • Change font style, size, and color.
  • Insert and re-size image.
  • Right click to fix spelling or grammar
  • Keyboard: Shift key vs. Caps Lock
  • Keyboard: Enter for a new line
  • Keyboard: The period key
I pulled together the unique photos from Pinterest.  You can search for your own or print the ones I used.  These photos are not my work and I do not claim ownership or credit for them.

Lesson 4 - Collaboration and Communication
Students log into their GAFE account via the school homepage.  Today is the day that they will start exploring the collaboration and communication features that are available through "Share."  We start with discussing the expectations when collaborating on a project together and when writing comments on someone else's work.  We put these ideas into a chart on the SmartBoard to reference later.  Make sure to also discuss what it would be like to jam their teacher's inbox with lots of sharing.
It is soon time to let them loose to share their work, collaborate, and communicate.  I have tried keeping strict rules on it, such as, you can only share with 1 friend and your teacher but then I found students without partners who needed to be with a group of more than one.  I soon opened it up to share with your classmates and your teacher.
I was scared I was going to be having students sharing work with all the time but after the first day it wasn't a big deal and they seemed not to bombard anyone's "Shared with Me" folder with unnecessary files.

Lesson 5 - Exploration Day
 This is the final day that the students can't wait for.  First, all students log into their GAFE account through Chromebooks.  This takes a bit of time and tends to be the actual teaching focus of the day.  It requires them to type in their whole email address instead of just their username so there is a little more room for typos and frustration.
I model how to access their drive through the App Array and then let them go.  Many students go back to their Perfect Bedroom drawing or their imaginative narrative.  But others decide on creating new documents with their classmates.  The Chromebooks are nice because students can move around and sit with their friends/partners.  I find that at a younger age it is still easier for them to collaborate face to face as they are working on the same assignment so they are not trying to do the same thing at the same time.

I hope you can use the lesson ideas to help you in introducing GAFE to your students! If you have other ideas or suggestions, please comment below!

1 comment:

Sara Stephan said...

Love this! I teach tech to K-2 in Jackson Hole, WY and my 1st and 2nd grade students have GAFE accounts. Would you be interested in brainstorming and doing a Google Hangout between classes?