Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gaga for Google Drive App!

I am loving Tune into Technology on Thursdays with Amanda and Aylin at Learning to the Core and my neighbor (practically) Kristin at iTeach 1:1! This week's theme is iPads...which for some reason really had me stuck (weird since I had a whole classroom set of iPads in my room for 3 months!) Anyways, I decided to share with you how I used Google Drive during a novel study. 
Google Drive, or Google Docs as it was formerly known as, is used consistently amongst faculty and staff in my district through our e-mails.  When I was encouraged by my district's Tech. Director to use it in my classroom...I was well...stumped.  However, after some great ideas from her, the light bulb FINALLY switched on and I decided to use Google Drive to support some documents during a novel study.  To those of you who are not familiar, Google Drive allows you to create a document and share with an audience (your classroom) the settings. 
Since, this had been one of my first experiences using Google Drive with my class, I created two documents to use throughout the entire novel study.  The first was a Character Trait map, like I said I kept it simple and easy to read and manipulate for my students (and me).  When a new character was introduced in the story, we would stop to add them to our list.  The list of characters grew quickly, as well as their lists of traits the more we got to know these characters. 
The next document was a building vocabulary list.  For this, I had pre-made a list of vocabulary words for my students. Before reading each chapter we pulled up the vocabulary list and students used their dictionary app on their iPads to find the definition.  I loved how everyone was completely involved with the process, my students scrambled to find the definition, because they wanted to be the 'winner' who would type it into Google Drive!
As far as management of Google Drive, I would recommend designating a spot for each of your students to type out their thoughts, especially when working on a class document at the same time.  If not, you may have students typing over one another and that could cause all sorts of messes!  On another document I numbered lines and my students typed in their designated classroom # spot.  For these documents, we were have a classroom discussion while filling them out, so after a student shared an idea, they typed it into the document to be saved.  That way, everyone's idea is heard/seen without the panic of "Where did my sentence go???"
  Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the Tune into Technology link party for more great ideas!
P.S.- Can you guess what novel we were reading??? It was a BIG deal for my lower readers! :)



  1. This is a great way to use Google Drive! I've used Google forms for quick responses to reading, but never for collaborative projects. Charlotte's Web is one of my faves. Thanks for linking up.:)

    iTeach 1:1

  2. Another idea is to use a Google Form on Meet the Teacher night and allow parents to enter their info. Google turns the form automatically into an Excel doc for you... AMAZING!

    The Sweetest Thing
    Follow me on Bloglovin'!

    1. Great idea! I'm writing this down!

    2. I am definitely using this idea...thanks :-)

      Julie :-)
      Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

  3. Erin,
    How long did it take for your kids to get the hang of using Google Drive? Also, did they each have their own account or were they just working off of yours? Lots of questsion, I know, but everyone does it differently so I'm always interesting.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  4. Great idea for organizing vocab and character traits! Love it!

    Lizzy from *The Teacher Chick*

  5. I use Google Drive all the time, but I haven't used it with my kids. I may try it out this year!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  6. I didn't even know the name had changed to Goole Drive! Shows how much I've used this resource. Sounds like I need to use it more!!

  7. Thank you for explaining Google Drive in regular people terms. I've had Google Drive on my list for a while now. I'm going to make an effort next week to really dig into it. Thank you for stopping by my blog and I too am following you!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  8. Hi Erin,
    This is such a great idea and I'm sure once you use Google Drive once or twice with your students, they get it and you can then use it as a reading response activity regularly! Good call on having students only write in their designated spots- I can see that being an issue otherwise!
    Thanks so much for linking up with us!
    Learning to the Core