When I was still in the classroom, one of the things I prided myself on was my organization. Being a drama teacher was one of the most hectic and demanding jobs of my life (and I'm a mother now!), and if I wasn't organized in my classroom, I would be lost. I used Google Slides in my classroom for my board agendas. Here's the basic idea. . . .
Take a look HERE for an example Slide presentation I used to use in my drama classes when I was a classroom teacher. Or take a look below.
Since I was in the theatre and didn't have a white board, I had to think of a different way to let students know as they walked in the door what was on the agenda for the day. Therefore, I used my projector and screen in my room as a virtual white board instead, using Google Slides as a way to create the board agendas.
Each week I created a new Slide presentation and titles it the week number it was in the school year. So, for example, I might have titled it "Week 2" or "Week 5." Then each slide represented a day in each class. This was a lot of work up front during one entire school year. However, it paid off in spades the follow years. When I was getting ready to go into that week the following year, I'd just pull up the board agenda, adjust anything I needed to adjust, and keep on the same schedule as previous years.
As you can see in my example, I just had simple bullet points for what we were doing that day. Occasionally, as you will see in my example, I have an extra slide that has vocab terms or another activity we were doing in class. I was big on making sure my students visually could look at what I was talking about, so you will see many instances of that in this particular board agenda week example I have linked.
In addition to this, you will see I have link You Tube videos at various points in my board agenda as well. This was great because I would have to search for the video year after year. I had it right there linked in the agenda.
Another great tool to use in Google Slides is writing in the comments reminders for next year or just a reflection on how the lesson went, especially if it was the first time doing the lesson. In my example, you can see I give a reminder to myself about what lunch a certain class should take that week. I also wrote in a reminder for the following year in my Intermediate Drama class for how long a video clip is and where I should start it. This was always super helpful so I wouldn't make the same mistakes year after year. I loved reflecting on my practice, and this was a perfect way to make sure lessons improved.
One last thing. . . .I used to theme the background each week, and it was a nice little touch the students enjoyed. In my example week, it is all pictures from Stratford Upon Avon that I took on vacation, since we were doing Shakespeare in my Intermediate class that week. However, other weeks were Halloween themed, Christmas themed, etc. I would also make the background pictures from our fall play or spring musical when I wanted to promote them. The kids actually really enjoy it, and it sparked conversations. "Where was that picture taken?" "Oh, that's Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Stratford." "Did you go there?" "Yes, it was really cool. . . . ." and so on. Teach a kid something cool with your backgrounds!
Some other things I could have done with these Google Slides that I didn't utilize. . . . .
* Link worksheets from your Google Drive. Then when you are talking about a worksheet, an example of it is just a click away in your board agenda.
* Get Google Slides on your mobile phone to be able to edit your Google Slides on the go or just to see what it is you are doing for the week while you are home on the weekend.
* Post your Google Slides to your website, your Google Classroom, or your grading program. Keep Special Education in the loop as well as your parents!
As I stated previously, this was A LOT of work up front the first year I did it, and it took discipline. However, it was worth it in the end to bringing me a more organized classroom.
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
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