If you saw digital activities and almost clicked away, hang on a sec! I know a lot of us never want to look at a screen again after teaching from home for COVID.
There is a lot to be said for focusing on the kinds of activities you can only do in person, and getting kids working with pencil on paper: writing, coloring, drawing, cutting … But don’t throw out internet activities just because you want to be off-screen. A mix of digital activities and printables provides variety for students—and with done-for-you options for both internet activities and printables, why not mix and match.
3 ways to mix and match digital activities
Digital activities are often engaging for kids, and it’s really easy to integrate the technology with Google classroom. If you’re worried about too much drag and drop, take a look at the rich variety of digital activities that give students a chance to respond in different ways.
Here are a few ways to use digital lesson plans with or without related printables.
1. Launch a lesson with the digital version
You could give students printouts of a packet to look at while you present a lesson, but you could also use Google slides as you talk through the lesson. Ask students for answers and demonstrate typing in responses.
For example, use the Google slides for the Natural Disasters Guided Research Project to get students started on the research project. You can preview the lesson with the Instructions slides. Then use the instruction slides to discuss each activity and preview what students will do on their own.
From there you have the option of giving students digital access to complete the activities or a printed packet to work on. Printed packets are great to send home if technology access is an issue or uncertain. You can also put them in student folders or in a station for students to work on if you don’t have laptop or tablet access there.
2. Use digital activities to supplement printables
Take a look at the Qu Digraph Activities for digital and print versions of “qu” activities. Give students cut and match, drawing, and draw and match activities to do on paper. Have students do other activities like unjumbling words, choosing the correct spelling, or finishing sentences as digital activities.
If you have an activity you do regularly, like these Spelling Activities for Any List of Words, have students do the digital activities one week and the print version another week, just to mix it up.
Have students work independently on digital activities and work in small groups on printables. Use digital activities in the classroom and send printables home. There are lots of ways to mix it up.
3. Use digital activities as a choice or bonus
Do your students prefer doing things online? If so, offering digital activities during choice time may motivate them. Or use a digital activity as a bonus for getting through another activity.
If working on the computer makes writing easier or more fun, students are more likely to do it. They might love Phonics Writing Prompts for OO Sound Words.
And Boom Cards are like task cards but digital. My students love them. (If you haven’t used Boom Cards, check out this free sample of CVC Word Boom Cards.) If they’re a hit with your students you can get a more extensive set of CVC Word Boom Cards or these Long Vowel Sound Boom Cards.
Teaching in person and having options that we can’t do over Zoom is amazing, but digital activities are here to stay and are a great addition to the classroom. All of the activities I listed above are done for you and ready to print — or use digitally (except Boom cards, which are digital only, but make extra practice easy on you and fun for students).
How are you using digital activities in your classroom?