The Google Classroom app has made online learning easy for teachers and students during the pandemic. Teachers use this free app from Google to create virtual classrooms, organize lesson plans, and manage students’ class assignments. Google Slides is another free app that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and accessed using your Google account. It is an ideal app to teach online math classes.
Math lessons require demonstration and accountability. Students must write down each step to show how they solved a math problem, and by going through the steps, teachers get an insight into each student’s mathematical thinking and problem-solving skills. Yes, one-to-one interaction in a traditional classroom is more convenient to teach mathematics. Unfortunately, a brick-and-mortar classroom is not an option during a global pandemic. This is where Google Slides comes in handy for online math classes.
Here are some tips on how to make online math classes more interesting with Google slides:
1. Use Google Slides to present mathematical concepts and questions to your students
Create slides for math lessons using the many features provided in the app’s toolbar to insert texts, images, shapes, lines, links, animation, etc. in the slides to make the presentation interesting and inviting to your students. For example, you can create a virtual classroom setting in the slides by inserting images of a whiteboard, desk, chair, books, and people. Feel free to explore the app and its features to design a virtual classroom to your liking. Click on the ‘Text’ feature in the toolbar and type your instructions, mathematical concepts, and questions on the whiteboard. Add designated layouts in the slides for students to insert their responses. This gives your students the illusion of a traditional classroom and thus, makes the transition to online learning easier for them.
2. Share the saved Google Slides with your students via email
After creating the slides, save the presentation in your Google Drive. You can also download it to your desktop. Share the link to the file or upload the saved file to Google Classwork from your drive and email it to your students. You can choose whether your students can only view the slides or view, edit, and comment on it. The latter option makes it an interactive and collaborative class for teachers and students. Students can go through the math concept, view the questions, and use the ‘Edit’ feature in the toolbar to type their answers in the slides. They can also insert comments in the slides to clarify doubts or explain what strategies they used to solve the problems.
3. Insert links to videos and reference materials in the slides
You can record demonstration videos on how to solve a math problem and insert a link to the video in the slides using the ‘hyperlink’ feature in the toolbar. When students click on the link, they will be directed to the video. The same goes for reference materials. Insert links to the learning materials that you want your students to refer to in the slides. You can add links to any type of reference material; doc, pdf, ppt, Google form, website article, etc. The hyperlink feature gives your students easy access to online learning materials.
4. Create math lessons for individual and group assignments using Google Slides
You can create math lessons using Google Slides and make a copy for each of your students. They can work on the lessons individually, save the slides, and share the files with you for assessment. You can share the same file with more than one student for partnered assignments. For group assignments, you don’t have to make individual copies for each student. Instead, you can invite all students to use the ‘live-editing’ feature in the app to work on the slides at the same time.
5. View the changes made by your students in Google Slides using the revision history
Multiple users can work on the shared slides at the same time. Collaborative slides will have several edits made by your students but as the owner of the slides, you can control the accessibility of the slides and keep track of the edits. The changes made to the slides are automatically saved. You can click on the ‘Revision History’ feature in Google Slides to view the older versions of the presentation. You can see who made what changes at what time, and thus, easily keep track of your students’ online math assignments.
A proper math lesson must have clear instructions, demonstrations of math concepts, a series of questions/tasks for students to solve, and in the end, a space to give and receive feedback on the class. With Google Slides and its myriad features, all of the above are possible. If you are new to online learning, don’t worry, many online sites that provide free guides and samples on how to create Google Slides for online math classes to be taught in a virtual classroom.