Google Slides Yearbook

No one can say this school year wasn’t interesting. Can you believe it’s almost over? As we approach the end of the school year you may be wondering how you may collaborate on a digital yearbook. The answer is simple….Google Slides!


This yearbook was designed for elementary students but you can find more ideas for older students at Jennifer Scott’s!

Directions: Click the link above and “Make a Copy” of the template. Now, you may edit and revise as your heart desires. I have included animated GIFs that help explain each activity and how to edit the Doc.

Activity 1: All About Me

Activity one starts on Slide 4. This activity allows students to share their interests and goals with classmates.

Step 1: For the first activity you are going to share Slide 4 in Google Classroom as “Make a Copy” for each student. To do this you could just copy and paste the Slide into a new deck. This will allow all students to edit their own Slide.

Step 2: Next, you will share the yearbook in Google Classroom as “Anyone with a Link May Edit”. Once students have finished editing their Slides, they may now go to the collaborative deck and select File-Import Slide and add their Slide.

Alternate Route: Another way you could share this activity with students is to make a copy of Slide 4 for each student. Add each student’s name to the top so they know which Slide to edit. However, I have found this method to be confusing and more cumbersome as students end up accidentally editing the wrong Slides.

Example All About Me Slide

Activity 2: Class Pictures

Activity two allows students to take a selfie or upload a photograph for the classroom picture. Students will go to Slide 7, click on the red rectangle, and go to Replace- Image. Now, students may select the camera and take a selfie!

Activity 3: Photographs

This activity was remixed from the fabulous! Students and teachers may collaborate by adding photographs of past field trips, events, projects, and lessons. Once again users would click on the image and select Replace-Image in the toolbar. If you share these Slides with parents and co-workers they could add images as well! This collaborative approach really helps streamline the process of creating a yearbook!

Example collaborative photo Slide.

Activity 4: Class Memories

Slides 16-20 allow users to share their favorite memories by clicking and dragging and editable cloud textbox! Change the background colors, fonts, and headers yourself or allow your students to customize themselves!

Have you already started your class yearbook? I’d love to see an example!

Enjoy the rest of your year!

Integrating Slides Audio: Next Level

Educators have been very excited to explore the possibilities of inserting audio into Google Slides. If you haven’t heard, teachers and students may now record audio and then insert the audio clip into their presentations. But how do we use this feature? Do we just record ourselves reading the content of each Slide? No way! Here are some different ideas for using the Google Slides audio feature in education.

Elaborating on Your Ideas

We know that Slides should have a limited amount of text during presentations. Often, presenters simply share a few bullet points or phrases on a Slide. However, this often means that the audience may forget what exactly the presenter said about this Slide when they go back and revisit. Adding audio clips in the margins will allow your audience to recall the information and teaching points. And, presenters may include additional information as well.

Image: Example of Slide where presenter offers a recap of the lesson.


Educators are using the G Suite for Education with even our youngest learners. Many educators are making their Google Slides interactive by creating hyperdocs or including activities or formative assessments in their Slides. But, what if students are having difficulty reading the directions? Adding audio directions alongside your text directions will surely be helpful for all learners.

Example: Place audio directions on a Slide.

Narrating Your eBook or Newsletters

Many students and teachers are transforming their Google Slides presentations into ebooks and newsletters. Simply change the Page Layout to Custom and select 8.5 x ll inches. Now you will have an ebook suitable for sharing and printing. Users may now add audio clips to narrate their work which often helps them locate errors for revising while doing so. And, students that are limited in their typing or writing skills may elaborate more on their stories by including these narrations alongside their work.

Using Audio Clips as an Answer Choice

If you use Google Slides for activities or formative assessments you may want to consider using the audio as an answer choice. Many people do not realize that you can change the image on the audio recording by right clicking on the image and selecting Replace.

Right click to replace the speaker image.

To make this happen, I decided to create the images first. I used Google Drawings to create new images that I would use for the answer choices. In this assignment the answers choices were limited to A or B, however there are so many different images you could include for answer choices across the curriculum.

For example:

  • Photographs of locations for geography questions
  • Shapes and figures for geometry
  • Images of science topics
  • Numbers for computations

Next, I recorded audio explaining if the selection was correct or incorrect. The student then will hear an audio recording and explanations while completing the activities.

Recording sounds for spelling sorts or tests

Many teachers use Google Slides for drag and drop activities. If you teach spelling you will now be able to make the audio recordings and include them in the headings or as the answer. Students will click on the audio recording to hear the sounds and will be able to complete their sorts. You could even make ALL the spelling words drag and drop audio clips!

Image: Example of creating images that play as audio recordings.

Track reading fluency

It’s often difficult to track progress in oral fluency. Google Slides audio would simplify the process by allowing teachers or students to insert an image of text that was being read as well as an audio recording of the student reading the text. Teachers and students could then add comments, feedback or suggestions.

Image: Insert audio recording of student reading.

Foreign Language Practice/Translations

Adding audio to Google Slides could really help students improve their foreign language skills and improve their pronunciations. Teachers could post words and phrases allowing students to hear correct pronunciations. Or, students could insert recordings reading words and phrases for teachers.

Image: User clicks the button to hear the audio of pronounciations.

How do you use Slides audio? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Read and Write for Google Student Activity: Grades 3+

Many educators truly appreciate the benefits of using the Read and Write for Google Chrome Extension by TextHelp in classrooms! When students use the Read and Write extension they have access to a variety of tools that may help all learners with their reading and writing skills. Read and Write provides support for Google Docs, Google Slides, websites, PDFs, and ePub files.

Using this extension students can:

  • Have text read aloud
  • Use a translator
  • Share audio recordings of their reading
  • Simplify busy webpages
  • Collect highlights from websites into one Google Doc
  • Leave Voice Notes
  • Access a picture dictionary
  • Use a screen mask while reading
  • Access speech-to-text typing
  • So much more!

Once you have a subscription to this amazing tool you will obviously need to teach students how to use it. Here’s an activity I made using Google Slides which shows students how to use the Read and Write Extension through different activities. This activity is also good for teachers new to Read and Write to hone their skills too!

If you’d like to edit this template you may by visiting

Read and Write is FREE for teachers, but you do have to purchase a subscription for students to use the extension. They also provide many video resources on YouTube and have helpful information on their website.

How do you use Read and Write?

New G Suite Feature: Add Audio to Your Slides

Google Slides just recently received the capability to add audio to your slides! Simply click on INSERT and select AUDIO to add a file from your Google Drive. Unfortunately, the ability to upload files from your computer is currently unavailable.

Why add audio?

  1. Add audio recordings of thinking and explanations.
  2. Add narrations to presentations or digital books.
  3. Add audio directions for younger students.
  4. Explaining diagrams, maps or information.
  5. Add music to enhance presentations.

How may I add audio?

There are hundreds of audio recording tools available, however I prefer to use the Chrome extensions Cloud Audio Recorder or Mic Note as they will save audio files directly into my Google Drive. This will make it simple to insert the audio into my Google Slides.

Step 1: Add the Chrome Extension Cloud Audio or Mic Note

Step 2: Open the app and record audio

Step 3: Save audio into Google Drive. Cloud audio will do that automatically, while Mic Note will need you to switch the Option to Google Drive.

Step 4: Open Slides and go to Insert- Audio. You’re done!

Video Tutorial

Ideas? I’d love to hear from you!

Tips and Tricks for Google Slides Picture Books

Why Google Slides?

Teachers and students are loving Google Slides for digital storytelling projects. For years, Google Slides was known for presentations but now educators have found dozens of innovative ways to use Google Slides in the classroom. Google Slides allows students to collaborate, add music and videos, receive feedback, insert images, work from a template, research information, and add animations and transitions.There are so many features that allow even the youngest students to create a pretty impressive picture book. Hopefully, this blog will provide you with many different ideas.

In this blog, we are going to look at a presentation created by my 8 year old son as an example.

1. View the Presentation

View the presentation by clicking here. You should hear audio and narration.

2. Adding Music

There is a fun “hack” to add music and narration to finished slideshows. First, go to INSERT-VIDEO and choose a video from YouTube or your Google Drive that has music. Then, resize the video to make it as small as possible and place it in the corner of the slide. Next, change the video format settings so that the video starts playing as soon as you present the slideshow. You do this by clicking on the video and selecting FORMAT in the toolbar. Now, you may checking off the box to autoplay. Your music will now start automatically once you click PRESENT.

I selected “Mute audio” for the video on Slide 7 so that you could watch the action taking place, but not necessarily hear all the distracting and unnecessary audio. You may also set the start and end time for video playback.

Set Format for Video Playback

3. Inserting narration

We used the Screencastify extension to record my son narrating each page. Screencastify is normally used to create a video of your screen, but we are simply using it to record the audio while narrating the digital picture book. Then, we will follow the steps noted above.

My son named each Screencastify video as Slide 1, Slide 2, and Slide 3 etc. so that we would easily be able to locate them while inserting them into the presentation. He then used the brand new Screencastify Add-on to insert the videos into each page. As mentioned above, we then resized the video and set the formatting to allow the video to play as soon as the slide appears.

Another option would be to use Screencastify to record the entire slideshow at once instead of page-by-page. Then, you could share your presentation as a video.

NEW Screencastify Add-on

4. Using a template with placeholders

We did not use a theme for this presentation. I did however create a template for my son to use by copying and pasting text boxes with image placeholders for editing. To edit each placeholder, we clicked on the shape and selected REPLACE IMAGE in the toolbar. This allowed my son to easily add images without having to resize and crop them. It also added some uniformity throughout the presentation. I created different placeholders using the cropping tool. Or, check out for some awesome FREE templates.

Click on shape- select REPLACE-IMAGE

5. Creating and Adding Clipart

Clipart was created using ABCYA’s Paint program. My son quickly sketched his clipart and then saved it as a PNG file. This made it simple to click and drag the png file into the digital storybook. Or, we could have selected INSERT-IMAGE-UPLOAD. Did you notice the spelling “Mikey Mouse”? đź™‚ ABCYA Paint is a great option for elementary school students.

In lieu of actual photographs, we could have created a picture book completely using student created clipart. Another option would be to add photographs of illustrations by selecting INSERT-IMAGE-CAMERA and taking a photograph. also has many copyright-friendly images with citations included.

6. Auto-Advance Each Slide

When you publish a slideshow, an option appears that allows you to set the timer to auto-advance each slide. Due to the length of his narration, we set the timer to 5 seconds. You can also check off the box to restart the presentation when finished. Finally, this option makes it easy to copy the embed code and add the presentation to your blog or Google Site.

Advance slides using File-Publish to Web

Do you have any tricks for creating picture books with Google Slides?

Do Your BookSnaps Seem Flat or Disorganized? Spice Up and Organize BookSnaps Using Google Drawings while adding GIFs, Bitmojis, and Word Art to Code Text!

What are BookSnaps?

BookSnaps is a term used for annotated digital snapshots taken by students while reading texts. Popular apps for BookSnaps include SnapChat, Seesaw, Instagram, and Explain Everything. Tara Martin is one popular educator credited for coining the phrase “BookSnaps” and sharing her fabulous BookSnap ideas all over Social Media.

Do your BookSnaps seem flat or disorganized?

Use Google Drawings to help students stay organized while promoting creativity!  Use animated GIFs from Sticky Al app, or add images using Google Search or the Bitmoji Chrome Extension. And, don’t forget how simple it is to use Word Art to code the Text! Or, if you have never created BookSnaps, consider starting your journey using Google Drawings!

Google Drawings is my favorite tool for a number of reasons:

  1. Students may collaborate on BookSnaps using the Share Tool.
  2. Students may provide and receive feedback using the Comment Tool.
  3. Google Drawings saves in the Cloud.
  4. Students may use the Explore Tool to locate images and research topics.
  5. A Key for coding the text can be provided in the margin or “gutter”.
  6. Bitmojis are easily integrated using Chrome Extensions.
  7. Insert animated GIFs or captioned student-created images Using Sticky Al App.
  8. Students can use the Screencastify Extension to explain and record thinking about their BookSnaps.
  9. Students can “Turn In” their work using Google Classroom.
  10. Teachers can “Make a Copy” of a template for every student or differentiate by modifying templates to meet individual needs.

Example BookSnap With ANIMATED GIF! Click Image to View

Screenshot 2017-10-11 at 6.53.47 PM

Student Created Stickers for Annotating Text

Students may create their own images  or ANIMATED GIFs by using the amazing FREE apps such as Sticky Al. Sticky Al allows students to create their own selfie-stickers and GIFs that may be used with Google Drawings by:

  1. Using the Free Sticky Al on iPad to take photos using various facial expressions and gestures to use in the reading responses. (I recommend students model being surprised, angry, sad, happy, confused, and also using hand gestures. Then add fun labels to express the thoughts.)
  2. Uploading images into Google Drive and placing them in a folder. Students may now use the images for the rest of the year. They would only have to do this once!

Go to Insert-Image to locate student-created images and insert them to BookSnaps.


You can even caption the images or customize animated GIFs right in the Sticky Al App! Awesome!


Google Drawings BookSnap Template (Click and Make a Copy)

booksnaps template

Here is a template you may wish to use with students.  I provided the Bitmojis for my students using the Chrome Extension as they are too young to have their own Bitmoji accounts. I would provide both male and female Bitmojis so students may select the desired gender. But, ultimately, student-created images using the Sticky Al app would be the way to go! Click the image above to create your own copy and modify as needed.

Video Tutorial


In Summary, I think Google Drawings allows teachers and students to stay highly organized by inserting a coding key and distributing assignments using Google Classroom. The ability to work in the Cloud while collaborating with group members is also a key to engaging students. Immediate feedback using the Commenting Tool is surely a way to allow students to revise and reflect with peers and educators. Throw in some animated student-created GIFs and Bitmojis and you have a winner!

Go Digital with Morning Meeting Walls

Coaching Question: Is there a way to digitalize my Morning Meeting wall so I that I may save wall space?


Many elementary school teachers are familiarizing themselves with the Responsive Classroom approach and using a Morning Meeting to start the day. The Morning Meeting is a great way to start the day, engage students and promote a sense of community within your classroom. However, the Morning Meeting bulletin board can take up a lot of space leaving little room for student work, instructional materials or anchor charts!

Example Morning Meeting Bulletin Board:


The Solution: Go Digital

If you have a projector then definitely go digital! By having a digital Morning Meeting wall, you are not only saving space but you also allowing students to:

  1. Collaborate by adding questions
  2. Archive information to review as the year progresses
  3. Read teacher posts (and of course Bitmojis)
  4. Edit/Revise questions for the meeting
  5. Publish learning
  6. Share with parents, co-teachers, administrators, and collaborators

Plus, you don’t need to have the Morning Meeting wall projected on your whiteboard all day. Bookmark the digital Morning Meeting wall and pull it up on your whiteboard as needed throughout the day. And, share the wall with students via Google Classroom, Seesaw, e-mail etc. to have the reflect, comment, or collaborate on the digital bulletin board.

Example (Click to View)

Can you find the interactive links in this Morning Meeting Wall? (Click the image)

morning meeting wall

Need more ideas?

If you’d like more ideas for your Morning Meeting wall, check out this link with ideas for the K-2 and 3-6 classrooms.

Do you use a wall for your Morning Meeting?





Google My Maps: HyperSlide Activity for Students

This month, I have been eager to introduce Google My Maps to students and teachers. As I started planning my lessons, I decided Google Slides would easily allow me to include directions, video tutorials, games, and formative assessments within the “HyperSlide” activity. Then, upon completion of the activity, we could begin creating our own My Maps.

The following hyperSlides were created for a 2nd Grade classroom, but could easily be modified for any grade level. Just “Make A Copy” to edit the following slides.

Click here or the image below to view the activity.