Using Google with Elementary Students

Using Google with Elementary Students

I really enjoyed the class, John! I learned many new tips to implement this year...I think the mix of materials you used were very fitting- Videos and Slides to copy for ourselves." Robin Limpert, Lebanon, Ohio


"My students are too young to use Google Classroom, Drive, and Chromebooks..."

I hear this comment all the time and it is simply NOT true! 

Products like Google Drive, Classroom, and Chromebooks are GREAT for students of all ages, including early elementary! 

"But what about getting them logged in...?"

Concern over getting elementary students to login, helping them navigate the web, and teaching them how to type frequently prevent elementary teachers from giving technology a try. 

But here's the thing - these barriers can be overcome. 

For many years I have worked with elementary students and teachers to help them use the Google suite of tools to design fun and engaging classroom projects. 

I created this course to give you tips and advice for using technology in your PK-5 classroom. Together we'll explore ideas and strategies that you can begin using immediately!

This course is divided into five lessons that will help you unlock the potential of the technology you have in your classroom. Many of these techniques will support things that you are already doing!

Course Objectives  

  • How to design the perfect digital classroom. 
  • Identify the essential skills you need to teach your elementary students. 
  • Implementing fun activities to teach reading and writing.
  • Bring math and science to life with interactive activities that your students will love!
  • Organize and streamline boring adminstrative tasks so that you can focus on your students.

You will be working direcly with me, John Sowash, during this course. I am a Google Certified Educator and Trainer as well as the author of the #1 selling book on the use of Chromebooks in the classroom.  

We will use Google Classroom for the course, a tool that you may already be using! 

Note: this is a beginner / intermediate course. No prior experience is required. Need something more advanced? Check out my upcoming courses here

Course Details

  •  Start Date: November 11, 2018
  •  End Date: December 15, 2018
  • Platform: Google Classroom
  •  Cost: $99
  • Limited to 50 teachers
  • Register by CC or PO

Course Outline

Preparing your Digital Classroom

Each year elementary teachers spend weeks organizing, decorating, and preparing their physical classroom for the first day of school. Have you given the same attention to your digital classroom? During week 1 you will learn the essential elements of a digital classroom and look at a variety of tools that work great with PK-5 students!  

Learning Topics:

  • Tips for managing the login process
  • The best way to get every student to the same web page
  • Optimizing your Chromebooks for learning (or the Chrome browser)
  • The best tools for creating a class start page
  • Setting up Google Classroom for elementary students
  • Setting up stations using QR codes  

Week 1 task: Begin setting up and organizing your digital classroom 

Essential Student Technology Skills

It is impossible to use technology as a learning resource until your students have mastered some basic computer skills. During week 2 we will unpack those basic skills and explore some fun lesson ideas that will help your students begin using technology effectively. 

Learning Topics:

  • Teach your students computer basics with a simple paper project
  • Master the mouse with these great activities!
  • Helping pre-readers navigate the web with ease
  • Fun games to teach basic keyboarding skills 
  • Lesson ideas to introduce multimedia
  • Internet safety resources
  • Tips on keeping your devices from breaking  

Week 2 task: implement a lesson to help teach your students how to use the technology you have in your classroom. 

Using Google to teach reading and writing

Now that we have built a foundation, it’s time to use the technology in our classroom to develop readers and writers! During week 3 you will explore different tools and lesson ideas to help your students become strong readers and engaging writers. Get ready because you are going to receive a TON of templates, lesson ideas, and resources you can use in your classroom!  

Learning Topics: 

  • Tools and tips for supporting early readers
  • Accessibility tools to help struggling readers
  • Simple alphabet projects with Google Docs
  • Setting up student journals with Google Slides
  • Voice typing in Google Docs & Slides
  • Close reading activities with Google Docs
  • Creating interactive presentations with Google Slides
  • Book reports using Google Forms  

Week 3 Task: pick an activity and implement it into your classroom  

Bonus: Live Facebook session with John (optional) 

Using Google to teach Math & Science

It’s time to explore the solar system, fly into the human body, and investigate the world of numbers! Technology can bring abstract, difficult concepts to life! During week 4 we’ll look at some awesome tools for teaching math and science in your classroom. The template and resource avalanche continues! You’ll get lots of cool projects ideas you can use in your classroom right away!  

Learning Topics: 

  • No, it’s not too early to introduce spreadsheets to your students!
  • Teaching number patterns with Google Sheets
  • Pixel art using Google sheets
  • Teach the scientific method with M&Ms! 
  • Classification activities with Google drawing (great for test practice!)
  • Explore the world with Google Earth
  • Learning about money and time with Drawing and Slides  

Week 4 Task: pick an activity and implement it into your classroom  

Organizing your classroom with Google 

Let’s be honest: Being an elementary teacher is incredibly challenging. In addition to helping your students academically and emotionally, you also have to complete mountains of paperwork, reassure parents that their kid is going to be okay, schedule parent teacher conferences, and organize holiday parties.  


In this final week of our course I want to help you tackle these challenges more efficiently. You’ll implement systems to help you save time on administrative work so that you can focus on your students.  

Learning Topics:

  • 5 tips for managing email using the NEW Gmail!
  • Scheduling parent teacher conferences with Google Calendar
  • Organize holiday parties with sheets and forms
  • Tracking boring information with Google Forms (Lunch counts, participation, etc)
  • Communicating with parents using Google Classroom
  • How to design class newsletter that won't get thrown away!
  • Organizing and sharing photos using Google Photos  

Week 5: Identify the administrative tasks that are consuming your time and implement a new system to make it more efficient.  

Hey! I'm John!

John R. Sowash

I taught middle school and high school science for 6 years and was a high school principal for 2 years outside of Detroit, Michigan. During my time as a teacher I integrated technology into my classroom whenever possible. Sometimes it was great, some times it was a total flop! I now support teachers who are working to use tech in their classrooms. I write books, produce a podcast, and share free resources on my blog and website.  

I hope you will join me for this online cours. I look forward to working with you!  

Kind Words

"I really liked the practical tips and tricks for using a Chromebook in younger grades. There have been some challenges using technology at younger grades, so I appreciate all the different suggestions you gave." Allison Keskimaki 

"I got a great deal out of the class. It gave me a lot of examples for my own classroom." Cindy Adamson, Chicago, IL

"I liked how [the course] was interactive but wasn't cumbersome with the amount of work that was required. Thanks for your feedback on assignments!" Kelly Wilson 

"Very good course! Lots of great ideas! Loved the templates!" - Julie Hyatt, Midland, Michigan

"I really enjoyed the class, John! I learned many new tips to implement this year. It was nice to see Google Classroom from a student perspective. I think the mix of materials you used were very fitting- Videos and Slides to copy for ourselves." Robin Limpert, Lebanon, Ohio

You Might Be Wondering...

Can I earn continuing education credits?

Probably! This course qualifies for continuing education credits in many states. Check with your adminstration to verify specific requirements. 

Michigan teachers are able to earn up to 4 state SCECH credits for completing this course. Additional registration and work may be required.

Is this just another lousy online course?

I certainly hope not! I have worked hard to make this course practical and actionable. This is NOT an automated course. I will be participating in the course throughout the week; answering questons and personally working with the entire group. You can look at the tesimonial section (above) to hear what others are saying.

Can I pay by purchase order?

Sure! Visit the course registration page and look for the PO option. Your school will receive an invoice for your course registration. A PO number is required before you can join the course. 

Why are you charging $99? 

Creating an quality online course requires a tremendous amount of time and preparation. I feel the price is reflective of the value that I am able to provide. 

How much time will I spend on the course?  

Each week has a different focus consisting of 4 parts (learn, practice, share, connect). Each component is designed to be completed in 15-20 min. So expect about 1 hour of classwork work each week.

What equipment / tools will I need?

You will need access to Google Classroom, and a computer running the Chrome browser. That's it!

How long will I have access to the course? 

Forever! The course will remain accessible indefinitely, although after the end-date I will no longer be active in the course.

I can't take the course right now. Will it be offered again? 

Probably. If you would like to be notified about future courses, click here.  

What if I have questions or get stuck? 

If you have any issues or concerns, you can connect directly with me via email. My contact information is available in the “about” section of Google Classroom.

I'm not a "techie" person. Is this course for me?

Yes! This particular course is a beginner / intermediate skill level. Google Clasroom is easy to use and I will be with you the entire time! 

Click the sign up button at the top of the page to join the course!

Interested, but don't have time to take the course right now? Join my email list and I will let you know when I offer this course again!