Adventures in Google Classroomland: We Can Do It, Yes We Can!

Last time in Adventures: The First Assignment, Oh My!


I had an epiphany over the weekend.  I figured out how to get my Versal lesson to open and play on the Chromebooks! I double checked the lesson settings, removing all privacy settings and made it completely public.  I then double checked everything on Classroom, making sure I had settings correct there.

Inquiry Station
I set up my learning stations on Monday (see pictures), stood by the Exploring table, where the Chromebooks were out for students to begin the lesson and waited. Except for the 2 people who (at the time) still didn’t have the Google account info fixed by IT, not a complaint from anyone about accessing the lesson.  It worked!  The lesson is now accessible, students are exploring the topic of forests and fisheries, reading articles about how palm oil is destroying southeast Asian rain forests, and modeling selective cut forestry.  All is right in my world.

FYI, my stations: The inquiry station is where a lab activity was set up for them to complete.  They could work on it at the counter or take it back to their seats.  They modeled selective cutting of trees in one lab and graphed the decline of tuna populations in the other. At the reading station, an article was available for them to read on palm oil.  They had to gather the main idea in each section and write a couple of details in their notebooks.  The thinking station was set up on Padlet.  Describe a world without trees.  Great responses abound! Finally, at the exploring station, (where I had so much trouble), students used their Chromebooks or their mobile devices, to complete their Versal lesson on Forests and Fisheries, responding to questions on a Google doc found in their Classroom page.  Normally, I would have each activity timed (about 20 minutes each) but because of all the tech issues and our first time trying this, I let them run freestyle.  It took us three days to get through it all, one day without me in the classroom.  The sub said they came right in, read their agenda for the day, and got right to it. I love it when a plan comes together, don’t you?

Exploring Station
Reading Station
Thinking Station
 When I asked how I could make the learning stations better, rubrics kept coming up.  So, this weekend, I will write rubrics for each station so students know exactly what it takes to get all the points in the activity.

The only other issue I had was with my reading station.  My article on palm oil came from my Huffington Post iPad app.  Although it opened on the desktops and Chromebooks, it was hard to scroll through it (after all, it was meant to be read on a touch screen).  I won’t be using that platform anymore.  Newsela and other news sources have great articles that I’m sure I can get just as much mileage out of in the station.

Next time: Fine tuning the instrument.

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