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How to use Google Docs in the Elementary Classroom

How to use Google Docs in the Elementary Classroom


Your students can create the world’s best bubblegum and assign a name to it. Here is how it can be done in Google Docs:

Description

Google Docs is a word processor program by Google. It is also available as a web application, desktop application, and a mobile application. It is quite simple to use and can also be used for collaboration purpose among a team working on a single project. It is not just about letters and words. It is more than that because it can perform various interesting functions. You can easily edit content, style and format it. There are hundreds of fonts available in it that you can use without any cost.
You can easily create drawing in it and add links and images to your work. Apart from this, there are many templates of reports, resumes and other documents available in Google docs that are designed to make your work simpler and easier. Whether you need to create a science lab report or write minutes of a meeting, everything can be done by using Google Docs.  You can get access to your documents from anywhere around the world even if you are not connected to the internet.

How Google Docs Works

Here is how Google docs works:
To create a document, follow this procedure:
1.      Open the web browser on your computer and go to the  docs.google.com.
2.     On the top left corner, you will see “start a new document”. Under this option, click on the “New +” button.
To format and edit your document, follow this procedure:
1.      First, open a document that you want to format and edit in Google Docs.
2.     To change a text, select it by using your cursor.
3.     Start editing and once you are done, you will not have to save your document as it will be saved automatically.
4.     If you have changed your mind and you want to perform the functions of undo or redo, you can click on Undo  or Redo  button on the top of your computer screen.
If you want to share your files with other people, use the following procedure:
1.      Go to Google drive or Google docs on your computer.
2.     Choose the file that you want to share with your colleagues and click on the “share” button.
You can also share your work with selective people and you will also have the option to choose how you want the other person to use your document.

Using Google Docs with elementary students

Google Docs is a useful tool that you can use with elementary students. Here is how you can do it:
*Ideas are inspired by members of the Technology Teacher Tribe Facebook Group

Creating the world’s best bubblegum

Your students can create the world’s best bubblegum and assign a name to it. Here is how it can be done in Google Docs:
1.      Open Google Docs.
2.     On the top left corner, you will see an insert tab. Click on it and under this tap, click on “drawing”. 
3.     Create the wrapper of the bubblegum but leave the space in the center.
4.     Think about a creative name of the bubblegum and write this name in the space you left in the center.

5.     Write a short description of the bubblegum and you’re done!


Your students can create the world’s best bubblegum and assign a name to it. Here is how it can be done in Google Docs:

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Brittany Washburn
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Coding Quests - Computer Science Printable Board Games

Coding Quests - Computer Science Printable Board Games


Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!


Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games! 
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Each of these printable board games practices a different coding or computer science skill in a way that is fun and engaging for students. They will be challenged to problem solve but will love every minute of it! 
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

The fun Pirate Theme makes students feel like they are on an adventure and far from learning about computational thinking. Each of the board games comes with the background knowledge students need in order to understand the concept. 

 Student Benefits

Jamie (K-5 Digital Learning Coach) Said: "They began to understand complex language and how to analyze whether or not they were supposed to move in a certain direction. They used strategy to figure out where to place obstacles on the boards and realized when they made a mistake and put their obstacles in the wrong places."

Teacher Instructions

No-stress teacher instructions mean that you'll feel confident introducing these games to your students even if you're not sure you've mastered the computer science concepts yourself. I do recommend showing students how to play first as a whole group before having them play it in small groups, especially for the little ones. There are student instructions and I did my best to make them visual, but some will take some reading skills that your students may not yet have. 

Prepping the Games

These games do take some time to prep. The average is about an hour, but if you use all 3 of the games available there are some pieces that are used across the series. I recommend printing on cardstock and laminating so that you can use the pieces year after year. With a few student helpers the process will be a breeze. 
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Teacher tips from Jamie: "I think playing the game as a whole was a great way to introduce it because the statements can be tricky. I laminated EVERYTHING! I made multiple copies of the game and labeled each game board and game piece with a different sticker so that if we have multiple games going at one time, when it's time to clean up they know exactly where the pieces go. I also taped a sandwich-sized baggie to the game boards so that the bags wouldn't get misplaced. Oh, and try not to run out of ink! :) Since I made so many copies, I needed more ink. I should have checked my ink cartridges first! "
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Here is a little time lapse video I made prepping the Directional Coding Board game:
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!

Other Ways to Play Coding Quests

Recess Style
•Have students be the pirates and play it full sized.
•Create a path using tape, chalk, sit spots, etc. for students to follow.
•Use any obstacles you want that will fit in the spaces you’ve made.
•Students draw cards and complete the actions full sized
•This is great for days when you’re out of the lab or the wifi is not working. Bonus points if you collab with your PE teacher!
Whole Class
•Each student needs a path, which they can make with notebook paper, or full size in the classroom or outside.
•Students place their two obstacles along their own path.
•Teacher reads the cards aloud and all students complete the actions on their own paths
•If you keep a few paths set up in your classroom with tape or sit spots, etc., this would make a great early finisher activity.
Bring hands on learning into your computer science and technology education with Coding Quests board games!
Try these coding quests games with your students. Click here to view the games in my TpT shop.

Looking for Coding Books to add to your classroom? In this blog post I share 12 Coding Books to Try.
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Brittany Washburn
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How to use Animoto with Elementary Students

How to use Animoto with Elementary Students


Animoto can be used with elementary students for different purposes. It is a great alternative tool for PowerPoint. It can be used for biographies, storytelling, field trips and different science projects. Here are my favorite Animoto projects:

Description

Animoto is a video creation tool that turns your photos and video clips into professional videos in minutes. Creating video slideshows has become much easier with the help of Animoto because it is a user-friendly tool. You can select any style and song that you want, customize it by adding photos, text and video clips to it and produce your video. Videos created by Animoto can also be shared on different social media platforms.

How Animoto Works

Here is how Animoto works:
1.      Sign up for an Animoto account. Creating your account is a simple and easy process.
2.     On the upper right-hand corner, you will find a blue “create” button. Click on it.
3.     There are two different types of video builders available in Animoto. The first one is slideshow video builder and the second one is marketing video builder. You will be asked to pick one. There are many different video styles in the slideshow video builder and you can pick anyone that you want. You can also customize it just the way you like. Marketing video builder is designed to create videos for marketing purposes. It can also be customized but it has more features as compared to slideshow video builder.
4.     The next step is to create your video:
a.    Select your video clips or pictures. You can import your photos from different social media websites and you can also use photos from your camera gallery or Animoto gallery.
b.     Choose the music that you want for your video.
c.     The last step is the finalization of your video. You can choose the speed, title and the thumbnail of your video. If you want, you can also add a short description to your video.
5.     Once you are done, click on the “preview video” button. If you think it is okay then click produce.

Using Animoto with elementary students

Animoto can be used with elementary students for different purposes. It is a great alternative tool for PowerPoint. It can be used for biographies, storytelling, field trips and different science projects. Here are my favorite Animoto projects:
*Ideas are inspired by members of the Technology Teacher Tribe Facebook Group

Show and Tell

Give your students a chance to show and tell. Ask them to make a 30-second video about something they are passionate about. Give them several minutes so that they can set up their projects and give a presentation about why they chose that specific topic. Students love this activity because it gives them a chance to express their passion for something.

Monster Attack!

Give a scenario about a monster attack to your students and ask them to create monster related videos by using Animoto. Students can use a paint program or other tools to create pictures. Then, ask them to come up with their own stories. E.g. a monster is going to attack your city, how are you going to defend your people? Once the students create their own videos, ask them to narrate the stories of their videos as they play them. This is a great activity for kids. It is not only interesting but engaging as well.



Animoto can be used with elementary students for different purposes. It is a great alternative tool for PowerPoint. It can be used for biographies, storytelling, field trips and different science projects. Here are my favorite Animoto projects:

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Brittany Washburn
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Build Your Own Computer Paper Activity

Build Your Own Computer Paper Activity


Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.

Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
This activity is meant to be quite open-ended, but the internal computer parts do each have a place. Decipher where they go by the size of the cut out.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
The desktop icons can be placed anywhere, and all but one should fit. I left the website and the keyboard blank so that you can choose how you want students to fill them. Students could put both upper and lowercase letters on the keys. Perhaps have them draw their favorite website, your class website, or a safe-to-go-to website of their choosing.

Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
The last activity page is totally optional and is a matching activity so that students can learn a bit more about the parts of the computer.

Each student will need a copy of pages 3-5, with page 6 optional. If possible, print slide 3 on cardstock for a little more durability, or glue the back of the “laptop case” onto construction paper. 

Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
In addition to the lift-the-flaps laptop, there is a matching page with definitions of the computer parts for a little added academics.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Use the included pictures to guide you through putting the computer together, but know that it can also be totally customized to meet your needs. You can make it as simple (a coloring activity) or as complicated (learn and label the computer parts) as you need it to be. 

Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Tara's Feedback (Tech teacher grades 1-5): I love the fact that this student created a keyboard with movement. I thought it was so clever, I certainly didn't think of it :)
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Watch this little video of me putting mine together.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
Suzanne said: This was by far the most fun activity we did this year.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.

On March 18, 2018Tiffany G. answered:
My students absolutely LOVED this activity. Some of them still carry their paper computers around!
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
On April 27, 2018Buyer answered:
My 6th graders loved this project and it was an excellent learning opportunity for a day my computer lab was being used for testing.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
On April 24, 2018Jean H. answered:
I paired this activity with the video the Magic School Bus gets Programmed and my 1st and 2nd graders loved it.
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
On April 9, 2018Buyer answered:
My students loved this activity and begged to do it again for a second year in a row!
Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.
On February 28, 2018Leslie Faett answered:
I used this with the lower grades and then the upper grades started asking if they could make their own computer. With a few adjustment to the degree of difficulty this was an excellent lesson.

Do you want to try this activity with your students? Click here: Build Your Own Computer Activity


Your students are going to love learning about the parts of a computer while building their own on paper! These little laptops turn out so adorable you can't resist smiling when you see the finished products.

Read more »
Brittany Washburn
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How to use PicCollage with Elementary Students

How to use PicCollage with Elementary Students


PicCollage is one of the best tools that you can use with your elementary students to do interesting and fun projects. Here is an idea of using PicCollage with your students:

Description

PicCollage is an editing app that can be used to edit photos, making photo collages and free cards. PicCollage comes with hundreds of different types of stickers, photo grid sizes, and layouts. Apart from this, it also includes many cute textures and background patterns that can make photo editing a fun and interesting task. It also allows you to draw on the photo collages by using Doodle. You can use photos from different sources such as your camera gallery, Instagram or Facebook. You can easily decorate your photos and cut them out just by using your finger. This app is perfect for creating stories for Snapchat and Instagram because it comes with a full-screen canvas size.

How PicCollage Works

Here is how PicCollage works:
1.      Download PicCollage and install it.
2.     Run the app and choose the layout according to your choice from a list of seven different layouts.
3.     The next step is to add photos to your collage. In this step, you’ll see a list on the left side. Add photos to this list. Pick these photos by using your finger and drop them on the photo frame. You can also click on the “fill at random” button and your photos will be added to the frame automatically.
4.     Customize the photos as you want. You can add, remove, rotate, zoom in, zoom out, and drag photos. You can also fill the background of your collage, add text to your photos, adjust the space, margin, border, corner and photo number of your collage. If you want to apply shadow, you can also do it here.
5.     The last step is to export your photos. First, choose the size of the page and then save it as an image format that you want. You can save it as PEG, TIFF or PNG.

Using PicCollage with elementary students

PicCollage is one of the best tools that you can use with your elementary students to do interesting and fun projects. Here is an idea of using PicCollage with your students:
*Ideas are inspired by members of the Technology Teacher Tribe Facebook Group

Creating Student Avatars

Students can create their avatars and use it as their login to different websites. Here is how it can be done:
1.      Use the freestyle template and square image size for this project. This is because a square image can be uploaded to most of the account profiles.
2.     In the web search bar, type “brown circle” and press enter. Brown circles of various tones will appear in the search.  This brown circle will be used as a head so, students can select any colored circle that they want for their avatar.
3.     Type “patterned fabric” in the search bar. A number of patterns will appear. Students can select any pattern that they want. This pattern will be used as shoulders of the avatar. Touch the pattern for two times and then press the “clip” button.
4.     Pick the oval shape and by using this shape, make a semi-circle on the pattern. Click on the check and this semi-circle will be inserted into the photo canvas.
5.     Type “cartoon eyes PNG” in the search bar and a number of cartoon eyes will appear. Again, by using the above process, insert these cartoon eyes into the canvas.

6.     Students can also search for other accessories like jewelry, hair, and headphones to design their avatar. Instead of searching accessories, students can also use the doodle tool to draw different accessories. Let your students be creative!

PicCollage is one of the best tools that you can use with your elementary students to do interesting and fun projects. Here is an idea of using PicCollage with your students:

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Brittany Washburn
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