Often times I try putting myself into my kindergarten students’ shoes and wonder how they embrace the world. Approaching a keyboard can be intriguing for students because they contain letters and numbers, items that little kids are learning about. Since the letters on the keyboard are out of their alphabetical order, locating letters can be time consuming task. In order for students to access their Google Apps for Education accounts, they need to type keys to login. I wondered how I could help my students with this task. How could my students login without me locating the keys for them?
The Idea Behind the Tape
I put colored tape on the left side of my students’ Chromebook keyboards to bring attention to each row of keys. When students refer to their login cards, they can use the background color of the text to help them locate the letters or numbers. For example, in the above image, the “S” is located in the green row. When I introduced the login card to the kids and gave them an example of locating a letter, I told them they could find the “green S” on the row where the green tape was. I observed my students looking for the colored tape, and then using their index finger to scan the row for the letter.
Format a Login Card
Using Google Sheets, you can customize a login card and apply conditional formatting to get the color to automatically come up when a certain letter key is typed. Work smarter not harder!
Editing the Sample
Have a longer username or password? Insert a column.
- Select column from the top (select more than one column to enter multiple columns)
- Right click and select “insert 1 to right”
Need to Merge Cells? Perhaps the password is shorter than the email address?
- Select the cell you want to start the merge, hold the SHIFT key down, and select the cell you want to end the merge.
- Locate merge icon to merge.
Want a smaller login card? Adjust size of columns and rows.
- Locate the empty rectangle, or as Alice Keeler calls it the “awesome box” directly under the formula icon fx so that it selects all the rows and columns in blue.
- Drag your cursor to the column or row lines until you see the double arrow. Drag the lines inwards.
- Think about where you want this login card to go. If you want it to go in a pocket chart, the rows and columns are going to need to be smaller. If you want the card to go directly underneath the keyboard of a Chromebook, the login card will have to be even smaller. If you are going to laminate the cards and string yarn through them, then size does not matter so much.
Changing the font size
Option 1 – Select the “awesome box” to change the font size for ALL the cells
Option 2 – Select only the cells that you want to change the font size of.
- Click on the cell where you want the selection to start.
- Hold SHIFT key and click on the cell where you want the selection to end.
- Locate the font size and change.
Add Borders to Cells
- If you inserted more cells, you will need redefine the borders for the login card
- Select the first cell of the login card, hold the SHIFT key and select the last cell
- Locate the cell grid next to the paint bucket and select the border type you want
Have different colored tape? Change the color of the conditional formatting.
- Locate and click the Format menu, and select conditional formatting.
- Select the “rule” you want to change
- Click on the paint bucket to change the color
- Click DONE
Duplicate the Login Card
- You will want to have multiple login cards on a sheet so you can print multiple on one page.
- Select the first cell of the login card, hold the SHIFT key and select the last cell.
- Hold control key CTRL (for a PC) or command CMD (on a Mac) and C to copy the the login card.
- Go to the cell where you want to start the next card. CTRL or CMD and P to paste the login card in another place.
- You may want to do this another two times, it just depends how many cards you want to get on one page.
- DISCLAIMER – Print out the sheet to see if the card is the size you like. If it is not to the size of your liking, you will have to go back and adjust the columns, rows, and maybe font size. Use the “awesome box” and then make these changes just as you did before.
How do I print?
- Select the printer icon or click on FILE and then select PRINT
- Adjust the print settings as you wish. Check off the box that says “No gridlines” that way the in cells between the login cards to not appear
- Later when you have multiple Sheets to print, you will want to select “All Sheets” to print
Rename and Duplicate the Sheet
- After the login card is formatted the way you like it and there are multiple cards on a sheet, you can choose to duplicate the original sheet.
- Locate the sheet tab at the bottom left. Right click on it and select Rename. I renamed the tabs of my sheets to go along with the kids’ classroom numbers.
- After you rename the tab of the sheet, right click on it again and select duplicate. Another sheet will be duplicated and you can rename it.
Taking the time to get the login card formatted the way you wan it is SO worth it. Once I created a template, I filled it in with the kids’ login information in no time!