Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Few Free Templates for Notes and Reflection Using Google Apps

I love reflection activities that get students thinking about the learning in a deeper way. These usually amount to just asking good questions and they do not have to involve technology at all. As our district is using a lot more Chromebooks, though, I have been creating more templates that use Google Apps to make it easy for teachers and students to manage the work digitally.

When you click the links for the templates below, you'll get a copy in your Google Drive. From there, you can edit them any way you need to for your lessons. I also hope they give you ideas for other templates specific to your teaching style.

Learning Target and Reflection Journal

As our district is focusing on learning targets this year. Andrea Thelen, one of our English teachers, came up with some reflection questions to direct students to the targets. Her students complete the form below at the end of class a few times each week and they do a summary activity at the end of the week.

I put the original in this Google Document and we shared it with other teachers who have adapted it to fit their needs.

Note-Taking Template

This one is based on the Cornell Note-Taking System and what I read in Marzano's book, Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works.

I created the Note-Taking Template as a Google Slides presentation because that allowed me to add a background image that wouldn't be edited accidentally when students typed in the text boxes. 

A Slides presentation also makes it easy to keep multiple pages of notes in one place. To make more pages, students can just right click on a slide on the left of the screen and choose to duplicate it. Of course if they plan on using multiple pages, it's best to always duplicate the first slide before typing on it, so they always have a blank one to duplicate later.

Students will need to use the zoom tool to zoom in once or twice to easily read the template and their notes. The "presentation" that it refers to could be anything--your lesson, student presentations or a movie, for example. 

If you want to edit the background image, on the Slides template, I created it as a Google Drawing. Just edit this Drawing so it looks how you want, then download it as a PNG file. Use that PNG as the background on your Slides template.

Lab Poster Template

I created this Lab Poster Template for a science teacher who wanted a simple way for students to report about their experiment. It's a Google Drawing and it serves as an example of how easy this tool is for making digital posters for any learning experience. (See this post on my other blog for another fun example.)

Students can add tables, clip art or even photos they take. To get those photos into the Drawing, I suggest uploading them to their Google Drive using the Google Drive app on their phone or tablet. Once in Drive, it's easy to import them into the Drawing.

See my video below if you or the students are unfamiliar with Google Drawings. It's a very informal tutorial I created so the teacher could help his students get started. It explains basic editing and how to insert images.

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