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How My Guided Practice is Going Digital



I love using technology! I know technology has a time and place, but that doesn't keep me from asking my principal to get my class it's very own set of Chromebooks. Right now we share a class set of Chromebooks with four other classes. It works -- but there's so much more I could do if I had better access.

 It's not feasible for 3rd graders to go completely paperless, but I'd like to give it a try to help avoid these situations.


 I had an epiphany while I was teaching reading and writing larger numbers. Whenever I would write a number on the board in word form, I wondered what my kiddos were doing while my back was turned. Granted I have a great class that is generally well behaved, but still. What are they doing back there? Do I turn around and look, or do I just write faster? I'm sure a couple of them would start day dreaming in the time it took me to write eighty-four thousand, six hundred ninety-one neatly on the board. That's wasted time and I can't afford to lose 'em when I have so much to teach 'em. After they wrote the standard form on their dry erase boards and I walked around the room to check everyone's answers, I would erase all that hard work and start over. It seemed like a waste of time to write that much to then erase it and start over. It dawned on me that I could save valuable time by implementing technology into the guided practice portion of my lesson.






 The answer was simple really - just create a slideshow with the question/problem on the front and the answer on the back. I display the slideshow on my data projector and my guided practice runs more smoothly. We're able to get more done in less time. An added bonus is that I don't have to make up problems on the spot. I teach math first thing in the morning and I can't say that my brain is always functioning on all cylinders that early. Plus, I don't have to remember to include those special tricky problems, because they are already included in the slideshow that I reuse each year.





I've begun creating guided practice slideshows for all my units. It's a work in progress, but I know I'll love having these ready to go next year! When I team up the slideshow with digital task cards and paperless practice then I have more flexibility with how I teach each unit. It doesn't hurt that kids love using digital resources whenever they can!


If you like teacher DIY, then give this trick a try. If you teach in a Google school, then Google Slides is your best bet if you want to start off easy. PowerPoint works great as well. I generally use PowerPoint to create my slideshows because I have a ton of fonts that I like to use when I create resources. PowerPoint allows me to save each slide as a jpeg and then I use that jpeg as my background file for the slide. With this method I don't have to worry about having certain fonts installed on my school computer because they have been embedded into the slideshow as a graphic. Let me know in the comments if you would like a tutorial on this.



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