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How to Convert PowerPoint to Google Slides

HowtoconvertPowerPointtoGoogleSlides

It’s easy to convert any PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides. To do this, you’ll need to make sure you have a free Google account.

As a teacher, this means you can create or purchase any PowerPoint slides and save them to your Google account easily – no need to purchase the ‘Google version’! Using Google slides is also a powerful way to share slides for home learning! Google Slides works great for most households because you can download Google Slides on a smartphone (no home computer required), and everyone can have a Google account for free! 

How to convert PowerPoint to Google Slides

  1. Open Google Drive.
  1. Select “New” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  1. Select “Upload File.”
  1. Open the PowerPoint file.
  1. After uploading, right-click and select “Open with,” then select “Google Slides.”. 
  1. Select “File.”
  1. Select “Save as Google Slides.”

That’s it! You’re done. You can use this to upload Powerpoint presentations to Google Slides for easy storage or sharing. It’s also effective if you don’t have a home copy of PowerPoint to play with.

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30+ Ideas for the Beginning of the School Day

30+ Ideas for the beginning of the school day

One of the best routines that you can establish to create certainty and calm at the beginning of the school day, is a strong morning routine.

Not only is this great for students, but it can be a calming factor for you as well – especially if teaching causes you anxiety, like it does so many teachers.

My expectations for coming into the classroom at any time are that the students come in, wash their hands, get organised and straight into a quiet activity. Students aren’t to come up to me with a story, complaint, or something to show me – yet. When I am settled, and the students are settled, I ask students if they have something they need to tell me to put their hand up, and I call on them one by one to come to my desk and chat.

When everyone is settled into an activity, it gives me time to talk to a student or parent, reply to an email,  and prepare materials for the next activity.

So, what activities are my students doing?

I choose from a range – sometimes everyone is doing the same thing and sometimes we have tables to explore, or goup tables with set activities. I like to use class slides with timers to share instructions and give my students a timeframe, such as 20 minutes.

  • Stamina reading  – the easiest, high-impact activity of them all!
  • Handwriting – use your week’s focus. Laminated sheets are great for tracing and reusing.
  • Motivational video (Ted Talks for Kids are great!)
  • Spelling using whiteboards or spelling activity grid
  • Dictionary work – Learning area vocabulary or spelling words
  • Writing sentences using their spelling words
  • Boggle
  • Pobble 365 or a quick write
  • Maths Mentals or Warm Ups
  • Puzzles
  • Playdough – (make 10, letter formation, fractions)
  • Lacing – make your own with a hole punch
  • Tweezer sort activities (pom poms, pasta)
  • 10 and 20 frames
  • iPads
  • Art and craft table
  • Morning slide with a combination of Maths and English – some great options on Teacher Pay Teachers. This has to be one of my favourite options, but be sure that they don’t take up too much time.
  • Editing activity
  • Sight word powerpoint or flash cards
  • Number/Word of the Day
  • Timetable rote learning (use copies of different tables)
  • Multiplication grid
  • Meditation (Smiling Mind, Cosmic Yoga)
  • Goal setting for the week (Monday) and reflection (Friday)
  • Diary entry

Some group/partner activities:

  • Line up shortest to tallest, alphabetical order by first name (not roll order), line up by birthday.
  • Conversation starters – would you rather?
  • Brainteasers
  • Hang ten (like hangman but your draw a stick figure on a surfboard instead – much nicer)
  • Buddy reading

How to organise morning activities:

  • Have a ‘Do now’ activity which is silent and independent.
  • Organise activities on an odd-even week roster – put one set of activities on one shelf, and another set on another shelf. This means that activities are cycled and students will engage with them longer.
  • Have four activity types: literacy, numeracy. Fine motor and construction OR have different colours for activities and students need to complete all colours by the end of the week.
  • Morning Work bags for each student: letter formation, hundreds chart etc – include sheets and materials for the term. A ‘Morning Work’ book works well for older students.

How to use morning activities to tick other boxes:

Use this time to add something to ClassDojo – take a photo of the activity and write a learning story to share with parents.

Have a ‘Read to Me’ board where students move their name from ‘Read to the teacher’ and ‘Waiting to Read to Teacher’ – throughout morning work (and the day) listen to students read and move their name down the board. You could also implement this over the week.

Ensure intervention activities that require repetition, such as revising sight words, phonological gaps or working on fine motor, are completed in this uninterrupted time.

Don’t forget outside activities:

Many students have been sitting for HOURS before school unable to run around. Sometimes the most productive morning activity is PHYSICAL activity.

I start with 10mins of stamina reading to organise the roll/ morning notices and then take my students out for 20 minutes of energy-burning activity.

This can include:

  • Laps around oval
  • Various forms of tiggy (gang-up, pop-up etc)
  • Bull rush
  • Obstacle course on the playground (from one end to the other)
  • Boot camp (push ups, sit ups, burpees, star jumps etc)
  • Crab soccer
  • Running races
  • Ship, shark, shore
  • Cosmic Yoga or Go Noodle when we get back to the classroom

After our morning activity, we have our fruit break and our morning meeting. Then we start our day.

Why have a morning routine?

It sets you up for success and establishes a calm classroom where students know what to expect. You can also find yourself ten minutes to deal with unexpected issues or an urgent email. Students that are running late haven’t missed any learning activities and feel less anxiety coming into the classroom.

It is also one of the tools I use to manage MY anxiety – when I know that my students can independently complete an activity (make sure to set some expectations around interruptions), then I feel confident that I can start my day organised and prepared.

I hope these ideas help to set you and your students up for a great day!

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30 Time-Saving Tips for Teachers

30 time-saving tips for teachers

Time is GOLD for teachers.

I am unapologetic about protecting my own time and my teaching time, from ‘gravel’ that takes me away from my main job – ensuring that my students can meet benchmarks and succeed in their assessment.

I like to focus on BIG ROCKS. What are big rocks, I hear you say?

They are the important tasks that teachers need to complete:

  1. Planning for student achievement and learning
  2. Resourcing their classroom and lessons with fresh, exciting, and purposeful texts and materials
  3. Knowing their students and what they need to ‘bump up’ to the next level
  4. Maintaining student data, assessment and reporting
  5. Communicating with colleagues, stakeholders and parents
  6. Maintain their duty of care when on school grounds

That’s it.

Here are some time-suck tasks that teachers get drawn into:

  1. Marking all student work (teach them how to do this themselves and for each other, using checklists and learning walls)
  2. Gossiping in the staff room at lunch and then staying back after work to complete important tasks
  3. Reading email on the run and then again when they have time (read it at set times during the day and allow time to respond)
  4. Low-impact activities such as weekly spelling tests, group rotations with filler tasks and disordered transitions
  5. Completing tasks for parents, such as tracking student behaviour on an ‘at home sheet’, as well as your own behaviour system (just nope!)
  6. Heating up student lunches, retrieving student lunches from fridges (Are you willing to do this for all 30 of your students? Just say no)

You may think that I am being hard or difficult, but it really is ok to say no!

You already have hundreds of tasks to complete each day.

That said, you are definitely going to take time to soothe a child and put a band-aid on their knee, call the office to organise a lost lunch and let a parent know that their child’s friendship issues are continuing – and what you can do to help.

HOW TO SAY ‘NO”

You don’t have to be cold-hearted to be a time-effective teacher (and avoid burn-out!), BUT you do have to know how to respectfully say no. You could say:

“That sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately I don’t have time for that this week/term/year. Good luck! I hope it’s a great success.”

“I’m sorry but I have family commitments after school that day”

“I’m afraid I have already committed to gymnastics club and origami club. Along with reporting this term I just don’t have any more free time”

THE KEY THING TO REMEMBER

EVERYTHING you do as a teacher takes time. You are only paid for your actual teaching time – everything else is GOLD. YOUR GOLD. Make sure you’re not giving it up easily.

Ask yourself – Is this addressing one of my BIG ROCKS? If the answer is no, do you have the time and energy to commit to the task?

Finally, are you your worst enemy?

Are you inviting parents to reply to your email (and answering 25 emails) when you could send a survey?

Are you spending time printing and marking materials for a task, when you could easily complete the same task on mini-whiteboards while taking anecdotal notes on just 5 students?

Simplify my friend! You are not paid to plan before and after school. You are not paid to plan on your weekends or on your holidays – that time is yours to reset and recover!

Protect your time carefully – save these 30 time-saving tips for teachers to refer back to when you’re feeling overwhelmed x

30 time-saving tips for teachers
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The first rule of playdough club…

playdough club

Alright, I’ll be the first to admit that playdough club isn’t a real club. I’m not even sure WHY we call it playdough club.

What I DO know is that playdough club is a fantastic way to foster parental involvement, and save yourself time. It’s also systems like this that make parents exclaim, “WOW. Brady’s teacher is SO organised!” They will think you are a total teaching ROCK STAR!

So WHAT is playdough club and HOW does it work?

Playdough club asks your parents to volunteer to make your class playdough. Playdough is hugely creative, manipulative, exciting and so useful in all areas of the curriculum. Sadly, batches don’t last that long when 20-30 little hands are playing with it day in, day out. That’s where your parents come in! 

Simply hang my free printable on your class noticeboard, or email a copy of the pdf home, to introduce the club. Then ask parents to volunteer a date they would be happy to make the dough for. You could choose a calendar date, or week of term. Parents who can’t come in to sign up can email you their preferred date for you to write on the form – heck they can even send in STORE-BOUGHT playdough!

Once you have your volunteers, organise a schedule and send home your thank you notes, which include an awesome recipe.

Put a reminder of who is scheduled for the following week in your weekly newsletter, and watch the playdough roll in! 

Grab your freebie here or on my TPT store!

Other tips:

  • I like to store my dough in Chinese food containers, and in the fridge if you are lucky enough to have one (In Australia we are sometimes lucky to have a small fridge in our building block, not just in the staffroom.).
  • You can ask for a combination of colours and write this on the top of your note, or just let parents choose.
  • Glitter is a fun addition!