On my campus (and I’m sure on many of yours) we are working on growing our blended learning practices. Many define blended learning differently. On our campus, when we say blended learning, we mean teaching our students in differentiated small groups based on data, while students work through a paper checklist that details what they need to complete in the areas of independent work, future ready (collaborative activities), and a digital component (this could be an additional mini-lesson from the teacher which has been recorded or adaptive software that meets students where they are to fill in gaps and take them farther).
On my campus, our practice is to have students complete and keep up with a physical paper checklist to keep them on track as their to-do list — but what if we are completely online again? Or some hybrid? Can we still teach in this style? YES. I think we can. I think we can and should continue to teach in this way because differentiating for student needs in small groups, providing adaptive practice, and giving opportunities for students to work collaboratively are all important and our kids deserve these learning opportunities.
It is easy to create a checklist for students, but the hurdle is, if it is all online, how can we prevent students from accidentally moving/editing/messing up the content when they go to digitally “check things off”? I brainstormed several different ways – including making the checklist an image in the background in google slides – but then students wouldn’t be able to click on any links. Here’s what I came up with using Google Slides:
See how I’ve utilized that dead space around the slide to give students large X’s to drag in? If you coach students not to edit content and only click on links and drag in X’s when they are done with an activity, I think this idea could work!
If you try it out, it looks like there are endless Xs!!! There is actually a stack of about 20 Xs. Here’s how I did it (step by step directions below the animation):
- I drew an X using the shapes tool because a shape is much easier to drag and drop than a text box (you can grab ANYWHERE on a shape to drag it, but on a text box, you have to grab the outside edge to move it).
- Then, I duplicated the X using the keyboard shortcut ctrl and D — and I did that 20 times (ctrl D, ctrl D, ctrl D, and so on…)
- Next, Click and drag across all of the X’s to highlight them all
- Then right click to open the formating menu
- Align Vertically, Top
- Align Horizontally, Left
- It looks like they’ve all disappeared, but actually, they they are ALL perfectly stacked on top of each other!
- Click and drag across to select them ALL
- Move them where you want them
- Your stack is ready!
Teachers, if you decide to use this template, you can update and adjust absolutely EVERYTHING on the slide – it is all fully editable.
To link to outside websites or assignments within schoology/canvas/google classroom/etc.,
- Highlight the words you wish to make a link
- Press ctrl and k together to open the link dialog box
- Paste in the link you want students to go to (this can even be a link to an assignment in your learning management system (schoology/canvas/google classroom/etc)
- Now the WORDS are link!
When everything is perfect, delete the teacher instructions from the side before sharing out with students.
Even if you don’t think this checklist will be useful for your teaching, I hope you’ll be able to use the drag and drop stack tip! How are you planning to organize teaching and learning if we are virtual? Please leave your ideas and strategies in the comments!
After sharing this post, several people shared the idea of creating a similar checklist in Google Sheets. Of course! Wonderful idea since you can add checkboxes that students can simply click to place a checkmark in! Here’s my first attempt:
To insert those checkboxes, just click the cell you want the checkbox to appear in and then go to Insert, Checkbox! Simple! Then all you do is click on the checkbox to make a checkmark appear! AND you can still link to words as I described above by highlighting the words and pressing ctrl and K to open the link dialog box. Please keep sharing your ideas as we brainstorm how to be great for kids no matter the circumstance!