5 Back to (Elementary) School Ideas with the G Suite for Education


The first week of school is around the corner and we are all scrambling for some fabulous ideas for kicking-off the school year and staying organized. Here are five ideas using G Suite for Education!

1: This is Me: Collaborative Slide Deck

Question: How could we have students introduce themselves to classmates and receive instant feedback?

It is so important for students and teachers to introduce themselves and get to know their classmates. Consider asking students (or staff) to create a slide about themselves and add it to a collaborative slide-deck. Then, students and staff may offer comments and feedback using the Commenting Tool. Don’t forget to include your own slide!

Our district’s theme last year was “This is Me! Who are you?” Inspired by music from the movie The Greatest Showman. Students put together the most amazing performance that was recorded and actually went viral. Consider including a video clip of the performance for inspiration using the Google Slides template below. It is so important that we build a community within our school. Sharing our goals, differences, and similarities is a great way to kickoff the school year! Template

2: Student Questionnaire

Question: How could we learn about our students interests and learning styles and share the information quickly with co-teachers?

Receiving input and feedback from students (and parents) is so important for understanding learning styles, study habits and other pertinent information. Google Forms makes it so easy to sort and share the information. Template for elementary school

3: Organize and Share your Classroom Library Inventory

Do you forget which books are in your large classroom library?

Question: How could we make our library searchable by titles, genres and reading levels?

My colleague, Lauren Fitzgerald asked if it could be possible to create a large database of all our reading books, including the genres and reading levels. This would make it incredibly easy to search for materials while lesson planning and sharing with staff. Together, we decided it was time to digitize the classroom library using Google Sheets and Awesome-Tables.com

Searchable Database of Classroom Library using Awesome-Tables.com

The first thing we needed to do with create a spreadsheet of our inventory. We then inserted code on a sheet labeled “Template below”. (If you’d like to learn more, my next post will explain how to make this all happen.)

Photo of Spreadsheet
Second Sheet has Code

4. Digital Morning Meeting Wall

Question: How could I reinvent my Morning Meeting wall to free up wall space?

Is your Morning Meeting wall taking up too much space? Consider going digital with Google Slides! Not only will you save wall space, you’ll also be able to archive past walls to review throughout the year.

Blog Post: Read post and get the template for editing!

5. Digital Hall Passes

Question: How could I log and sort student hall activity more efficiently?

Do you struggle monitoring student activity using a notebook sign-out system? Consider going digital using QR Codes!

By linking a Google Form to a QR code, students can scan the correct code whenever they need to leave the classroom. All data is then stored into a spreadsheet. The information can then be sorted and shared with parents, co-teachers or administrators.

Want to learn how? Here’s the blog post.

If you want to sort the student responses into separate sheets you can do that! Here’s a video tutorial explaining how:

Looking for more ideas?

Check out last year’s post “10 Smart and Simple Ways to Kickoff the School Year with the G Suite for EDU”

Sparking Innovation

All of these ideas started by asking a simple question: “How could we…?” Special thanks to my colleagues for asking questions and imagining the possibilities.

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