Back-to-school season has all of us thinking about how we can maximize our resources for the school year! I have worn out likely hundreds of dry erase markers in my career as a teacher. Listing objectives and agendas, drawing charts and graphs, and recording whole-class brainstorming takes a toll on those felt tips over time…not to mention my writing arm! Some years I had a dedicated classroom in which I could prepare the chalkboard or whiteboard before school or at the end of the day for the next morning but other years I was tasked with traveling between classrooms and trying to beat the students to the room so I could frantically write on the minimal, available whiteboard space before they arrived so as not to waste any instructional time. I am happy to say that after 20 years I have found a better way!! Most people agree that Google Slides is a priceless tool because of its versatility…Kasey Bell of Shake Up Learning often refers to it as the Swiss Army Knife of G Suite. I have recently started using a SINGLE SLIDE to replace all of that whiteboard writing altogether! I created one slide to simply resemble the arrangement of information on my whiteboard. (Get your template here and go to File>Make a Copy.)
Once I had my template in Slides, I copied and pasted it until I had one for each class period.
I found some major time-saving benefits to this:
- Plan your class period board displays any time and any place!
- Link your digital classroom right to the images on the board!
- Rearrange/customize/redesign the board any time to fit your needs!
- Insert images, videos, graphic organizers, etc. so you don’t have to switch tabs throughout class!
- Re-use the same slide day-after-day or copy>paste a new slide each day to record your lesson sequence!
Ultimately I decided to make one slide show for each class period and simply copied>pasted a new slide for each day so that I could see all of my lessons and all of my resources were already linked for the next time I wanted to use them. Please feel free to make your own copy of my template including a second version which I designed to look more like a retro chalkboard. Both include an image of a clock/timer which is linked (just click on it) to Google timer if you like to set a timer for various segments of your lessons.