Google Portfolios

My advanced class has been keeping google presentations as their ongoing record for the virtual trip to St. Petersburg. I want to remember some things about doing this assignment.

I set up a mock presentation (like a PowerPoint or Keynote) so that the first slide has all the kids’ names on it. I share it so that anyone who has the link can edit it for the first couple of days. That lets me give them the link through Edmodo. Later I change it so that no one but me can edit it (I don’t want them deleting slides by mistake). They have to create links to their own presentations. I know when they’ve done that because there will be a hyper link visible.

Students share their presentations with me, giving me editing rights (I just can’t stand it if there are glaring spelling errors when they are presenting).

The rest of the document is slides that I require them to prepare. Each slide has either a model of what they must include or a list that is also the “B” grade rubric. For instance, on the Halloween slide, they had to include what their costume was for the holiday, what they did, a picture of some sort, where they went, with whom, a link to that location, and two details about the event.

I prepared a bunch of the slides in advance, but now I’ve been adding to them as the project progressed, and the kids use the slides as guidance. In the future I might actually number the slides, because it gets harder to find specific assignments. Most of the students are using my label (“My weekend,” “My favorite place in St. Petersburg”) on their slides. That helps.

This week, everyone had to duplicate three slides, remove all the text, and then talk about them. I had fashioned my little matroshka “signature” so that they would know that the text was more or less correct. I figured it was kind of like the writing clinic that Ashley Hastings refers to in his FocalSkills recommendations. Some of the kids got to sit down with me because I didn’t know exactly what they were trying to get across, and I did misunderstand in some cases. Anyway, the kids were all doing their presentations this week, and it was a pleasure to hear them talk about St. Petersburg so knowledgeably (and correctly…yeah…)!

My next idea is that they are going to read other kids’ projects and respond to them: “I wish I had been with X on Halloween…” “I read about X bridge and decided I’d like to visit too…”

I have to look back at Robert’s virtual move ideas and see what else I have forgotten to do. We haven’t done the cafe visit/poetry reading yet, though we’ve learned some songs, thanks to Natalia. And now I have Internet in my classroom again, so we’ll be able to do more with music again. Hurrah!


4 responses to “Google Portfolios

  1. Thank you Micheles. How inspiring to me! I am going to think how to adapt it to my elementary school level. Last year, my students and I used google maps for virtual travel to the capital cities of the Latin American countries. Each student created their own map. It was fabulous. I gave a list of places to find and visit, such as the president’s house, a museum, a library, etc. We also did recipes from different countries. My big limitation is that we have not had access to the computer room or the laptop cart this year, and it does not seem to be happening soon.


  2. Hi MJ,

    Do you have a source for this article? I would like to use it in my research paper. Thanks.

    Carol Gaab article

    Posted on April 16, 2011 by MJ

    Just got this article by Carol Gaab from Kristy Placido. It might be a nice one to have ready when a principal comes calling, or when you want something literate in writing for an interested parent.

    It’s also a good reminder about basics. Last time I talked with Susie, she said that she tells people they need to go to a beginner’s workshop four times before heading to an advanced workshop, because there’s so much to TPRS. Even though it’s simple, it takes time to acquire.


    • Hi Rose,

      If you’ll scroll all the way to the bottom, you’ll find at least part of the source (The Language Magazine). You might have to do some research to figure out all the rest of what you need.


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