Getting your Littles started with Google Apps is super exciting! I will be integrating Google Apps with my third class of Littles, and by now have developed a mental checklist of things I need to make sure we are ready to roll once school starts! These items can be completed out of order. The purpose of the infographic is to give you some things to think about when planning and preparing. You will find links to blog posts or resources with more detailed information.
Google for Education Account Info
Your technology department will have information about obtaining your students’ Google for Education accounts. They are the ones who initiate the kids accounts, not the teachers. Typically, the technology department also formulates the kids student usernames and passwords. Ask how to obtain the students’ login info!
Create Login Cards
Littles CAN login INDEPENDENTLY! I had my kindergartners logging in on the second day of school. Yes it takes awhile in the beginning, but with the support of their login cards and corresponding colored tape on the keyboard rows, the kids can tackle that task. If you have tablet devices, you may consider discarding this step. However if you encourage parents to check out Google Classroom at home to see what their kids are creating, you can create login cards for the kids (minus the color).
With this step also comes the “visualizing” of your kids logging in for the first time into their devices and into Google Apps. Get an idea of what login consists of on Chromebooks, Desktops, and iPads (or other tablet device).
Assign Students to Devices
This step is going to vary upon which device your students have and how many devices your class has access to. The idea is to put some form of a identifier on the device, whether it be a number, colored piece of tape, an animal sticker, etc. Consistency is key with Littles, and having them know which device they are working with is helpful.
- Small group set of devices – Assign groups of kids to one device. I organized this by centers. Each kid in a center (there were 6 devices) had a different colored piece of tape on their device and they always grabbed that device when they started working. Check out this page for more details.
- Whole class set of devices – Number off the devices and inform students of which device they will be working with. I have class numbers, and so this aligned with my class number system nicely. Check out this page for more details.
Plan Out Workflows for Productivity
Ask yourself these questions and decide what the workflows and procedures will look like in your classroom:
- How will my students get their devices?
- What do they do once they grab their devices?
- What expectations do I communicate with my kids?
- How will my students put their devices away?
Create a Google Classroom
If this is your first time using Google Classroom, go to classroom.google.com and select that you are a TEACHER. Locate the plus icon + towards the top right of your screen and click Create class.
Google Classroom serves as a host where you can share resources with your students, and where students can share their work with you. If you are new to Google Classroom, I strongly suggest you check out Alice Keeler’s tour of Google Classroom and her books: 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom and 50 Things To Go Further With Google Classroom.
Assign the First Activity!
You want to start with an open ended activity where the kids can share about themselves. I had my kinders explore in a Google Drawing, where they take a snapshot (selfie) of themselves, insert shapes and change the fill colors, and type their names. My transitional kindergartners did a more basic version of that activity (see this post). Teachers of older primaries who may have been using Google Apps may take a liking to the All About Me slides activity. I did that activity at the end of the year, but it can easil be adapted for the beginning of the year.
Depending if your students have been exposed to the device before, you may consider introducing the device to your Littles. This involves breaking down the main parts of the device to describe their functions (screen, keyboard, trackpad). Check out this blog post for more details.