5 Easy Ways to Use Google Slides for Beginners

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Creating Google Slides for your classroom can feel intimidating and time consuming. Seeing all those cute ideas on Pinterest can make you feel like you’ll never have time to make anything look that good. Don’t worry! There are some super simple ways to get started.

1. DIRECT INSTRUCTION – Presentation

This is the standard use for Google Slides, though not always the most exciting. It does serve its purpose though. You have information you need to share with your students and want a visual to keep them engaged. You can add images, videos, or just words to present. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just short and easy to read.

Ideas:

  • Present to students in the classroom to teach vocabulary, display a learning objective, or pinpoint key concepts.
  • Send to students digitally for distance learning.
  • Record yourself giving the presentation, then have students watch it later.
Display a learning objective.

2. STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

If you’re brand new to Google Slides and comfortable learning from your students, start here. You don’t actually have to know anything about Google Slides to start with students. Plan one teaching block as a Google Slides Exploration. Students LOVE this!! Ask students to create a new Slide and experiment with some features.

Ideas:

  • Ask students to share with a partner or class what they’ve discovered.
  • Create a Google Slides Challenge, giving students a list of things you would (secretly) like to learn. For example, how to insert a picture, add transitions, or change the background. See if students can figure it out on their own and share with you!
  • Once comfortable, students can research a topic and create a Google Slides presentation to share what they have learned. For example, animal reports, book reports, biography or author study, or step-by-step “how to” instructions.
  • Have students share with families at Open House too!
Student Example for Math Review

3. DIGITAL NOTES

Google Slides can be used to take notes for nearly anything! The best part is they never get lost and can be shared easily with their teacher. Students can also share with a partner to collaborate or catch up someone who was absent.

Ideas:

  • Reading Notes – A slide for each chapter with a title (or Main Idea) and 3 key details.
  • Digital Journal – Students can start a new slide each time they journal, or make a list of writing topic ideas they can refer to later for a writer’s workshop.
  • Math Vocabulary – Students can make a slide for each vocabulary word and fill in the definition below.
Example of Student Notes for a Book

4. INTERACTIVE SLIDES

If you’re starting to get excited about Google Slides and are feeling more confident, you can try out interactive slides. This time, you’ll make the slides and then make a copy for each student.

How to make a copy for each student if you’re not using Google Classroom or another management system that can do it for you:

Copy the link in Share settings. At the end of the link, erase the last part “/edit?usp=charing” and replace with “/copy” before sharing the link. When students click the link, it will prompt them to make a copy. Don’t forget to have students share their new copy with you!

This is also a good place to start if having your class explore freely doesn’t quite work for you or your class.

Ideas:

  • Fill in the Blanks – You can enter the vocabulary words, chapter titles, or writing topics at the top, and leave an empty text box to be filled in by your students.
  • Vocabulary Matching – List words (each in their own text box) on one side, and definitions on the other. Make sure they’re out of order. Students can drag and drop to match each word with its definition. It doesn’t have to be vocabulary either. Anything students might be matching will work.
  • Sorting – For geometry, you can add shapes and ask students to sort them according to their properties. List the properties yourself, or leave a blank box for students to explain how they sorted.
Google Slides – Sorting Rounded Numbers

5. ASSIGNMENT DIRECTIONS

If one more student asks what to do again, I’m going to lose it! If you’ve ever thought those words in your head, you’ll love this idea. Simply type up the directions to an assignment on Google Slides and present to the class. The next time a students asks what to do, look up at the presentation and point. Then breathe a sigh of relief!

Ideas:

  • Plan ahead and use with a substitute.
  • Type on Slides as you’re giving directions just like using a whiteboard. Great for directions you use frequently!
  • Great for distance learning to send to students who missed the directions you gave during your live meeting, or missed a meeting.

Ready to Get Started?

Hopefully you have some ideas and are excited enough to try out a Google Slide of your own. For more information, take a look at Google Slides Tips for Teachers.

Not Quite Ready Yet?

Try out some ready made Google Slides you can use with confidence now.

Interactive Math Google Slides for 2nd Grade3rd Grade Digital Math Bundle - Interactive Google Slides Google Slides Bundle - 4th Grade Digital Math 5th Grade Interactive Math Bundle - Google Slides

5 easy ways to use Google Slides in the Elementary Classroom

Math Tech Connections

Math Tech Connections

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