I spend an inordinate amount of time making copies. I despair over the trees to whose demise I contribute. I weep for the amount of time I spend clearing jams. I gnash my teeth at all of the time I’ve wasted standing in the copier line (really, I’m considering a copy room mouth guard–is there a patent on one yet?–something to ponder).
In 14 years in the classroom, I estimate that I’ve devoted an average of 30 minutes a day to worship at the great copy room shrine.That’s a grand total of around 52 days of my life that I’ll never get back–52 work days that I could have spent grading, creating lessons, contacting parents, drinking coffee while listening to adult contemporary with my door closed….
Another way to look at it is 4 extra days of productivity a year. That may not seem like much, but to this teacher who is perpetually behind and overwhelmed, that’s time I could really use.
Enter Google Classroom. The prospect of completely revamping my classroom is daunting. Too daunting to even consider at times. And sometimes students need to manipulate, fold, and sort, so I’m entertaining a hybrid model for next semester.
My students do interactive notebooks, and they will be virtual for the most part. I’m thinking a benefit here could come mainly for note-taking (oh, yes, and less time at the copier for me).
The entire point of interactive notebooks is for students to interact with the curriculum. I typically do cloze notes (fill-in-the-blank) on the left hand side of the page and have some type of student response on the right.
Virtually, the notes can be there already. Share the slide or slides with students through Google Classroom and they read and interact with the notes right there.
They can type text right into Google Slides, or move pieces around (great for categorizing) and submit their work virtually. They can keep it all in a folder in their Google Drive. I’ll have them create a folder for World History and separate folders within that for each unit. Their notebook will be with them wherever they go.
A huge benefit I foresee is the ease of differentiating and classroom flipping. Students can take notes without the teacher, freeing you up for discussion and remediation with small groups.
Here’s one response I’ve gotten from a survey I’ve taken about it so far: “I think it’s best for the kids to keep hard copy interactive notebooks for their own notes and responses; however, Classroom creates a great place for organizing typed work, resource lists for research, discussions, and other activities.”
I can see that. Interactive notebooks have been a game-changer in my classroom, and I’m reticent to give up the hard copies. That’s one reason I am a little trepidatious about so many systems going 1:1.
But if it’s happening, our goal should be to make it as interactive as possible. Here’s how converting to Google Classroom format looks:
|Get It HERE!|
|Get it Here|
|Get It HERE!|
And finally, for those of you who are just so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to begin, here’s a quick Getting Started Tutorial. Check out the slideshow, and then download and print the PDF.
***Tip: It’s helpful to do a test run with a DEMO class. Ask a few students to join just so you can practice and see how everything works.***
Get a copy of the cheat sheet to print HERE, and good luck!
How do you feel about paperless classrooms? Leave a comment below to let me know.