Remote Learning A to Z: P is for Practice Slides

One of the many interactive activities in our new remote curriculum are sets of drag-and-drop practice created in Google Slides. These slides are an engaging way to deliver skill building and change things up a little. The best part: if you share a forced-copy link with your students, they will have their own copy to complete and return to you digitally!

In a previous post, I shared our interactive games in Google Slides. Our Practice Slides operate on the same idea of creating a Slide presentation where most of the background is a locked image.

Sample Slides from Our Remote Math Units

But don’t be fooled…these slides are not limited to math! A format like this is perfect for Cloze reading activities, matching sight words, vocabulary in any subject, timelines…basically anything you can think of that can be dragged and dropped!

The How-To

Do you want to make your own activities? The steps are summarized below. A step-by-step is also included here.

Create the Background

In this example, I’m making a math matching activity for primary students.

Create your background with anything you don’t want to move when students use it. Basically, you want everything in the image other than the pieces that move or places where students will type.

I create the background image in a Word document and set the paper size legal and the orientation to landscape. Then I snip the whole page and save it as a JPEG or PNG. Now it’s ready to upload into Slides!

Insert into Google Slides

You can upload your image as a background right in the window where you create slides, but I personally like to use the Edit Master feature. It allows me to have all my different backgrounds in one place.

To access this, go to Slide –> Edit Master. Then duplicate a blank slide, upload your background, and it’s ready to go!

Return to the main screen of the presentation. Click the plus sign to add a new slide, you you will see your layout there. Now you have a slide of your background!

Create the Images

Create a separate image for every item that moves. I usually create them in Word and snip each one, then paste it into the slide. If you want to get really fancy, you can upload it to a transparent editor like LunaPic to get rid of the white border around the snip.

You also don’t need to worry about the pieces you make fitting exactly into the spaces you created, because you will resize them in the presentation.

In some of our Practice Slides we have text boxes where students type instead of images to move around. In this case, you don’t need to create any images and can simply add in a text box wherever you want a student response.

Add Images and Resize

Drop all the images into the slide, and resize them if needed. You can see in this picture the original size of the image I pasted, and then the resized image of fourteen.

I have found it’s better to make the original snips/images bigger because the resolution when pasted into the slide is better.

The Finished Product

Set up your images in the format you want your students to see them. Test by dragging and dropping to make sure everything works.

Your slide is now ready to go!

Share Your Slides!

You will need to share the slides with students as editors, or they won’t be able to move anything around.

The easiest way to do this is to share a forced-copy link with students via Google Classroom or your LMS. Students will then make their own copy, complete the activities, and share it with you finished. Check out how to make a forced-copy link here.

Hope this helps make your teaching and learning more interactive!

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