As I was showing a colleague some of the negatives of Google Classroom (things tend to get lost at the bottom of my stream, I keep posting notes after each class and kids can’t find them, etc) when she asked me if I was going to use Google Sites next year to solve these problems. Light bulb! I was immediately transported back to my first IB Conference where the keynote speaker was Alan November. He is an international leader in education technology and part of his address was about providing students with all the resources before the class even begins. College professors have been doing this for years, but it hadn’t been done in elementary classrooms yet.
Even my husband asked if there was a way to lock the pages so kids wouldn’t get ahead. But why shouldn’t they go ahead? The more material they know or learn before I cover it in class, the more time we have to spend going in-depth or doing real world, inquiry based projects. I immediately took over his laptop and created my first Google Site.
You can view my site here: https://sites.google.com/charleston.k12.sc.us/elizbiggs/home
My home page has links to my Open House presentations and brochure. The Genius Hour page has all my links (mentioned in previous posts…but all in one place.) My favorite sub-page is for Notes. I have a page for each subject and then a sub-page for each standard. (This is still a work in progress.) Students can click on the notes which will open in Google Slides before, during, or after we talk about them in class. I also provide relevant links like to NASA and Brain Pop so students can explore these topics at their convenience. My Links page has all the links my class frequents (ALEKS, Quizlet, Renaissance Learning) all on one page. Finally, my IB page has information about all six of my IB units and a link to their summative assessment project.
I previewed it with my class yesterday, and they were so excited. They loved the idea of having all this information in one place, (and were a little annoyed that I hadn’t thought of it sooner.) Thanks, Lisa Stewart, for your suggestion about Google Sites. You are always pushing me to be a better, more efficient, educator.