Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Keep Your Skills Sharp, Use Google Apps When Making Unit Plans

This year I have decided to try to integrate more multiple intelligences activities into my units. One of my first road blocks was trying to keep all my ideas, resources and planning in one place. I decided to try using Google Document to meet this goal and so far I like the result.

More Time?

Like anything new, there it can be more time consuming initially. However, I think in the long run, having everything in one place will be time saving in the future.

Useful Skills

There are a few basic skills that you will need to make this effective.

1. Scanning
2. Uploading and converting
3. Bookmarking and linking
4. Make A Folder

Why?

The biggest reason I did this change is to have everything in one place that is accessible at one time. When I started working on my magnet unit (after not having taught science for a number of years), I always seemed to be missing something. Either I was working at home and forgot something in a binder at school or I was working at school and had left something at home. By having everything online, I could access everything I needed anywhere.

A secondary benefit is the fact I am keeping up on my Google Apps skills by using them regularly.

The third reason maybe wishful thinking. My thinking is that I could share my unit plans with other grade two teachers and that could lead to some collaborative planning.

Example and Steps

Here is a unit I have in progress. It is a math unit on equalities and inequalities. Here are the steps I used.

  1. Create a Folder for the unit
  2. Scan Materials to PDF
  3. Upload Word Documents and scanned PDFs to Google Drive  * If you have your unit folder open in your Google Drive when you upload your documents, it will automatically add them to that folder. If you do not, you will have to move the relevant items to the folder.
  4. Create a Document that will be the core of your unit plan.
  5. Create a table of contents.
  6. Create headings in your document (such as curriculum outcomes or scope of lessons).
  7. Highlight these headings and make them a bookmark. Then go back to the table of contents and link the contents to the related headings you just bookmarked.
  8. Begin to plan/write. As I get to a lesson that requires one of the items I've uploaded, link it to your plan.
  9. Share your folder (it will therefore share everything that folder) with those you wish to collaborate with.

So No Paper or Word Documents?

I still have paper copies of things I want to photocopy and I still have my Word documents for now...