Tag Archives: lesson plans

TechnoKids and Google Classroom

What Is Google Classroom?

TechnoKids and Google Classroom work very well together! Google Classroom is a free web service developed for schools by Google. It was designed to simplify the creation, distribution, and grading of assignments without the need for paper. Now, paired with TechnoKids Technology Projects, you’re good to go!

TechnoKids and Google Classroom

We recently set up our own Google Classroom to try it out. We quickly discovered how easily TechnoKids and Google Classroom work together. Attaching a TechnoKids PDF workbook file to a new Class assignment was very easy.  We found that along with a few instructions, students were able to answer questions electronically in the document and open a template file in a Google App like Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Drawings. It was not difficult to attach newly created documents or additional files.

Google Classroom icon

Submitting completed assignments is also quick and easy. The teacher can review the completed work, assign a grade, and offer any comments directly to the student.

Getting Started

To use TechnoKids with Google Classroom, you will need to add a Chrome extension to your browser. This allows users to annotate the TechnoKids PDF worksheet files directly in the browser, save the changes, and submit them for grading. We suggest using either Kami or XODO extensions.

What You Need to Know

The first thing you need to do is create a Class in Google Classroom. Add your students simply by sharing a class code with the class or invite students by email. We found the former was the quickest where the student joined the class by simply typing in the code. The latter requires the student to open the email invite and click the Join link.

Next, you’ll need to upload the TechnoKids project resources to your Class Drive folder. This puts all the resources you’ll need to create assignments in one convenient spot.

Now you’re ready to create an assignment and issue it to your class. Open the first TechnoKids project assignment and read the instructions. Determine if the student needs to add answers to this document, do they need an added template file to complete the activity, or are they merely going to follow the directions to create a new document in Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, or Drawings? Next, create a new assignment in your Class, attach the worksheet and any other necessary files. Set the user permission to give the student access to read or write to the file(s). Give the assignment a grade value and a due date, then place it into the TechnoKids project category.

The student opens the assignment in their Class to follow the instructions and complete the activity. The convenient Turn in option will alert the teacher when the assignment is ready for grading.

All in all, we found that our resource materials work very well with Google Classroom.

Support

If you think you still need some help getting started with TechnoKids and Google Classroom, we have put together some supportive Q&A’s here.

Watch Our Google Classroom playlist!

YouTube logo

Add a Video Using Google Sites

One sure way to make a website engaging for viewers is to add video content. When creating a page with Google Sites, you can almost seamlessly insert a video using YouTube. A huge and easily searchable website, YouTube is a great resource to find theme appropriate clips to share. Here are a few tips for inserting a video using Google Sites into a web page.

  1. Search YouTube FIRST
  2. video using google sites

    When creating a web page using Google Sites, under the Insert tab you’ll find the YouTube tool. You can click it to go directly to a window that allows you to enter keywords to search right in YouTube.

    But DON’T! The problem is that you’ll see lots of images of results but won’t be able to preview the actual videos.

    Instead, open a new tab in the browser and go to YouTube. THEN enter your keywords and browse through the results. When you find one, view the whole video to critically determine if it is what you’re looking for. Be sure not to post a video that you haven’t thoroughly previewed.

  3. Pick a Short Video
  4. With the proliferation of videos online, it takes a really compelling sample to hold the attention of your audience. Check the length of a video. Try to find a clip that is only a minute or two (or less!) long. Of course some topics require longer explanation, but be aware that your viewers may not watch the whole clip unless it is especially fascinating or unique.

    When you have found a video you like, copy the URL.

  5. NOW Search YouTube Using the URL
  6. Return to the browser tab that has your Google Sites web project. Now pick the YouTube tool under the Insert tab. In the dialog box that appears, instead of typing keywords, paste the URL you copied from YouTube.

    Paste the copied URL from YouTube into the search box

    Click Search. Your video will appear, click on it, and then click Select. That’s how easy it is to add a video using Google Sites.

  7. Format the Video
  8. You can now customize the clip:

    • Click Settings to choose:
      • how you want the controls to appear
      • the color of the progress bar
      • whether the viewer can see the video full screen in another browser tab or will watch it only on your web page
    • Drag the video to position it on the page.
    • Hover over the left side of the video to pick Section Background. Choose an option.

  9. Preview the Web Page
  10. Select the Preview tool and see what the video will look like when it’s published. Remember the nifty responsive design feature of Google Apps – click each of the three options: Phone, Tablet, or Large screen to view the layout on different devices. Now you can again preview the whole video clip if necessary.

    video using google sites

    Add a YouTube video to engage viewers in your website

    TechnoSite Web Design Project for Kids

    TechnoSite

    In TechnoSite students become web designers.

    All of these tips to add a video using Google Sites and much more are included in TechnoSite, a web design project designed specifically for teachers of elementary grades. Empower your students with STEM skills as they construct professional looking websites for any curriculum topic, area of interest, sport, or hobby. Everything you need is included: Teacher Guide, Student Workbook, Assessment Tools, Sample Websites, and more! Find out TechnoSite details, view samples, and see the project learning objectives here.

Differentiated Instruction and TechnoKids

differentiated instruction

Every time teachers step into their classrooms, they face the evidence of the need for differentiated instruction. Each student arrives at school at a different starting point: a certain attitude of readiness for learning, an individual style of acquiring knowledge, and a distinct level of mastery of concepts. Multiply these three factors by the number of students in the classroom. The resulting figure is daunting but makes it obvious that ‘one teaching method fits all’ isn’t a practical strategy.

Differentiated instruction recognizes and supports individual differences in learning by using a variety of teaching strategies. There are so many options and resources available today that we can adjust for the diverse abilities, needs, learning styles, and interests of our students. As teachers, our goal is to optimize student growth and success at all levels of ability, not simply to achieve or reach a standardized benchmark. Teach every student.

Brain based learning studies support a variety of instructional strategies. As students make connections between what they already know and their new learning, interconnections in neural pathways are formed. As a result, information is stored in multiple areas. Meaning and retention are both enhanced.

In teaching ICT, we have lots of ways of tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. TechnoKids project-based computer lessons support differentiated instruction with student resources, teaching strategies, and assessment tools.

Process

Differentiated instruction requires that we provide a variety of learning opportunities. Students should be able to build a repertoire of tools. They can accommodate their own preferred styles of learning, as well as recognize and build skills in their individual areas of weakness.

TechnoKids project-based learning supports the process of learning using differentiated instruction:

  • Vary learning tools. Integrate technology and use the computer as an alternative and additional tool.
  • Target different senses with multiple instructional strategies. TechnoKids Student Workbooks engage students by reading written instructions, studying illustrations that support text, looking at infographics, and handling manipulatives such as TechnoKids tool flashcards. Sample files have students listen to audio and watch video. Brain based learning studies show that most of us learn best when the kinesthetic senses are used – doing, handling, building. Robotics projects prepare students to build STEM skills and support hands-on learning. TechnoKids Teacher Guides provide teaching strategies, technology integration ideas, and assessment tools.
  • Chunk material into manageable parts. TechnoKids projects are divided into smaller sessions or assignments. In this way, a complex task becomes doable.
  • Present learning tasks in graphic organizers. When students create a plan of their ideas for a an inquiry, TechnoKids projects often have them use a chart, brain storming web, or mind map to outline and develop their proposals.
  • Repeat to reinforce. Students build skills through practice, so Skill Reviews and Extension Activities allow for repetition.
  • Allow students to work at different paces. By using the pdf or print copies of TechnoKids workbooks, individual students can complete the activities on their own timeline.
  • Mix up individual and group collaboration. Individual, pair, small group, and whole class activities should all be part of classroom experiences. Flexible grouping allows students with similar learning styles to work together.

Content

Recognize that students have different levels of familiarity with concepts before a lesson is taught. Differentiate activities by designing assignments that cover various levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, from remembering (lowest level) to evaluating (highest level).

  • Give students the big picture. Most TechnoKids resource files include a number of samples of completed projects. Seeing and reviewing a finished project solution motivates students, builds interest, and provides a clear example of what is being assigned.
  • Provide a starting point. A number of TechnoKids projects, especially primary level projects, include templates. Students can focus on the technology and learning skills without getting bogged down in the less critical details of setting up a document.
  • Combine methods of instruction. Blend a mixture of teacher directed, print, video, and any other instructional techniques. This serves the purpose of both maintaining student engagement as well as appealing to diverse learning styles.

Product

The final creation or solution to an inquiry process should be interdisciplinary and open-ended. Allow students to build on their learning style strengths by offering choices. Self directed learning allows for students to work independently and develop critical skills such as organization, creativity, judgement, and persistence.

  • Build engagement by offering choices. Involve students by encouraging them to pitch their own ideas for projects. TechnoKids projects allow for creative thinking and open-ended learning experiences.
  • Offer a variety of outputs. When students are given options, they take more responsibility for their learning and become more engaged. TechnoKids projects may be a presentation, visual art, timeline, graphic story, newsletter, questionnaire, blog, interactive map, animation, and many more!
  • Provide opportunities for assorted types of assessment. TechnoKids grading tools include student, peer, and teacher checklists, rubrics, rating scales, marking sheets, and skill summaries.
  • Incorporate reflection. Summarize learning, process new learning, identify areas for improvement, and set goals. Many TechnoKids projects contain a reflection component in a final celebration of learning.

Why Not Use Paint?

use paintIt is simple and has been around for a long time. Microsoft Paint is an effective and surprisingly powerful tool for the classroom. There are many more capable graphic editors and drawing programs available. But Paint is free and available as it is found in every Windows Start menu in the Accessories folder. It’s also easy to learn and use, and it has the basic tools needed to draw, color, and edit.

money idiomSee the step-by-step instructions below to get to know the Paint tools. Then try a fun, creative drawing assignment from TechnoBudget. Get elementary or middle school students thinking and drawing. Use Paint to illustrate a money idiom. The literal meaning of the saying is painted in the picture while the real meaning is explained in a text box. Try it out!

Here are some money idioms to get your students started. Pick one and illustrate it!

Made of money Laughing all the way to the bank
Money grows on trees I am broke
That is a money pit Money to burn
Money burns a hole in your pocket A penny pincher
Spend money like water Spend money like it is going out of style
Break the bank A shoestring budget
  1. Open Paint. Paint is included with the Windows operating system. It can be found by typing Paint into the search box on the taskbar, or under Accessories or Windows Accessories in the program listing.
  2. Draw freehand:
    1. Click the Pencil. use paint
    2. Click Size. use paint Choose a line size.
    3. From the Colors group, click the Color 1 box. use paint Pick a color.
    4. colors palette

    5. Click and drag in the drawing area.
  3. Draw with a brush:
    1. Click Brushes in the Shapes palette. use paint Pick a brush option.
    2. Choose a size use paint and a color. use jpaint
    3. Click and drag to draw.
    4. Experiment with the other brush choices.
  4. Draw a straight line:
    1. Click Line in the Shapes palette. line
    2. Click and drag to draw a line. Press the SHIFT key to make it straight.
    3. Drag the end handle to change size or position use paint
    4. Select the line. Press the DELETE key to remove it.
  5. Draw a curvy line:
    1. Click Curve. curve Draw a line on the canvas.
    2. Click on the line and drag to bend it.

    draw a curved line

  6. Draw a polygon:
    1. Click Polygon.use paint
    2. Click and drag to draw a line on the canvas.
      Click at different spots to draw the polygon sides.
      Click again on the start point to draw a filled shape.
    3. To fill the shape with color, click Fill with color. fill with color Pick a color. Click inside the shape.
  7. Draw a shape:
    1. Choose a Shape from the Shapes palette.
    2. use paint

    3. Click Outline outline to pick an outline style and click Fill fill to pick a fill option.
    4. From the Colors group, click the Color 1 box. use paint Pick a color for the outline.
    5. Click the Color 2 box. color 2 Pick a fill color.
    6. Click and drag to draw the shape.
    7. Drag a corner handle two way arrow to change the size.
  8. There are three ways to fix a mistake. Try them:
    Note: Once you have clicked OFF a shape and it is not selected, you cannot make any changes to it.

    1. Click Undo. undo Your last action will be cancelled.
    2. Click Eraser. Click Size use paint and pick an eraser size. Click the Color 2 box. color 2
      Pick white. Click and drag to erase.
    3. Click Select. select Draw a box around the part of your drawing you want to erase. Press DELETE on the keyboard.
  9. Draw a text box:
    1. Click Text paint text . Click and drag to draw a box.
    2. Write the real meaning of the idiom. Select the text and explore the Text Tools Text tab to change the look:
paint font font size bold italic underline use paint
Font Font Size Style Color

use paint

Tips:

  • Drag a corner handle to alter canvas size. two way arrow
  • Magnify an area using Zoom. zoom
  • Copy copy paint and paste paste paintobjects.
  • Undo undo or Redo redo an action.

Money Management and TechnoBudgetThis assignment is an extension activity from the technology project TechnoBudget. Teach personal finance. Middle school students budget for a shopping spree and justify a spending plan using Google Sheets or Excel lessons.

Develop financial literacy and money management skills.