10 ways Google tools can make the end of the year ROCK

The end of the year is unique. Google tools can help! Here are 10 ways to use them in class.

When the end of the school year is in sight, it’s a time of excitement coupled with the importance of finishing the year STRONG.

The end of the year is a time unlike any other.

  • State tests are behind us.
  • Many students are working on big projects or papers.
  • It can be a great time of reflection on how far students have come.
  • It’s review time!

Thankfully, some of the tried and true Google tools — and some that we don’t use that often — can help us make the most of the end of the school year.

Here are 10 ways Google can make those last weeks of school ROCK:

1. Create a PDF ebook in Google Slides. Ebooks are super visual. They can include clickable links, which makes them more interactive than a static research paper. Plus, when designed well, students are more likely to want to share what they’ve created with others — creating an extra layer of motivation! Making a PDF ebook in Google Slides is super easy and can be a fun spin to put on an end-of-the-year project.

2. Have students create a website to showcase their work. When students create something for class, the audience for their work is only ONE if the teacher is the only one seeing it! Creating a website in Google Sites is an EASY way to give student work a wider reach. By putting work online, anyone in the world could run across it and learn from what the student has created.

3. Drop detailed “INFO pins” on a map with MyMaps. Is what your students are learning geography-based? If they’re studying locations, history, even novels set in a real location, Google MyMaps can help! They’re custom maps where students can drop pins on locations that others can see. But they’re not just pins … they’re “INFO pins”! (I just made that name up …) On each pin, they can add a title, a description, photos and even clickable links. Instead of a traditional project or paper, let students share their learning with you geographically — with a MyMap!

4. Create visually-rich, brain-friendly infographics in Google Drawings. Infographics blend the best of images and text. The images help ideas stick, and the short snippets of text tell us the basics we need to know. By keeping information short, students practice writing with brevity. Plus, they’re fun — AND fun to share! Add icons from The Noun Project (thenounproject.com) to make them look really slick.

  • Need to know how to make an infographic with Google Drawings? Check out this post! OR, watch the tutorial video below!
  • Watch an infographic being created in Google Drawings — start to finish — in 90 seconds in this video!

5. Give students something to do with their free time. At the end of the year, there are ALWAYS students who finish something before everyone else — a project, a test, etc. Having something academic for them to do keeps the learning going. Plus, it lets them try something they normally don’t get to do in class! Here are some options for them …

  • Quick, Draw! — In this game, you’re given an object/idea to draw and Google’s artificial intelligence tries to guess what you’re drawing. It’s a fun introduction to AI for students.
  • AI Duet — “A piano that responds to you.” Google’s artificial intelligence uses tons of data to guess what it should play in response to what you play.
  • Google Trends — Learn what other people are search for all over the world.
  • Google Earth Time Lapse — This shows what the world looks like as it changes over 20+ years. Watch the time lapse in motion. See the whole earth at once or zoom into your hometown!
  • GeoGuessr — Use context clues to guess where you’ve been dropped in Google Maps. The closer the guess, the more points you earn!
  • Looking for more? Here are 10 sites for students with free time on their hands.

6. Create stop-motion animation with Google Slides. I’m such a sucker for this one and LOVE to suggest it any opportunity I get! Anything that students can envision in their minds IN MOTION, Google Slides will let them create in animation! Google Slides is your free animation creation tool. When students have created something great, have them use a screen recorder like Screencastify to capture it in video.

7. Review key concepts with Flippity and Google Sheets. The end of the year is high time for practicing with vocabulary and important concepts. Flippity is a Google Sheets add-on that makes it easy to turn a list of terms into an engaging, practical way to study. In addition to flashcards, create bingo games, Memory games, MadLibs, quiz shows and more!

8. Make Google Slides engaging with Pear Deck. Going back over all that material from the previous year can be a drag. Make those review sessions more interactive with slides from Pear Deck. Pear Deck lets you ask questions on your slides that students can answer on their devices. Pear Deck’s free version lets you do a LOT, and your students will love it.

9. Laugh along with Google’s April Fools Day pranks! At the end of the year, we all need a little comic relief, right? Check out these fun April Fools Day jokes that Google has played on its users. One of my favorites is Google Nose, a fictitious Google tool that makes your computer emit a scent so you know how it smells!

10. Pass around student-created Google Forms quizzes. By using Google Forms (Google’s survey tool), students can create their own quizzes. By turning on the quiz features in the settings gear, students can add immediate feedback for anyone who takes the quiz. This immediate feedback can be WAY more effective than comments written on student papers and passed back to them later. Plus, when students create the quizzes, they’re experiencing the content from a different perspective.

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Columbus City SchoolsColumbus OH
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School City of MishawakaMishawaka, IN
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Barr-Reeve Jr/Sr High School- Washington Community SchoolsWashington, IN
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ISTEChicago, IL
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Oklahoma City Public School Resource CenterOklahoma City, OK
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