Would you like to create powerful independent learning? Google Sites present the perfect platform. Just grab some great resources. Then organize them in a website. Immediately, learning becomes student-centered.
Designing Independent Learning
Well-designed independent learning modules (ILMs) engage learners in relevant content and skills. Let’s use this hydrosphere website as an example.
Begin with Your Standards
- Interactions of Earth’s major systems
- Distribution of water on Earth
Additionally, the NGSS told what kids should know and be able to do:
- Develop models.
- Describe and graph amounts of salt and fresh water on Earth.
*The hydrosphere website was created with Classic Google Sites, which will be discontinued at the end of 2021. Therefore, I suggest starting with New Sites.
Deconstruct the Standards
Next, deconstruct the standards. Just break it into smaller concepts. For example, to understand the hydrosphere, kids need to know:
- distribution of water on Earth
- properties of water
- the water cycle
- ocean currents
- human impact
Make Interdisciplinary Connections
Now it’s time to connect learning across disciplines. Here, science provides content. For the activities, kids apply ELA and math skills.
Let’s look at the first webpage, “Learning About the Hydrosphere.” First students read a passage. Then they graph the distribution of water. Finally, they answer questions (RI.5.1).
Online graphs and question pages were created using Google Slides. To learn more, watch this video.
Keep It Simple
Less is more. Keep directions brief and to the point. Otherwise, kids will just ignore it.
Tap into Multiple Media
Show, don’t tell. Why? First, non-text representations foster understanding. Second, multimedia promotes engagement. In today’s world, media is king.
- Add diagrams.
- Offer videos.
- Use graphs.
- Include pictures.
How to Use Independent Learning Websites
These handy websites serve many purposes:
- Flipped Classroom
- Independent Learning
- Early Finishers
- Snow Days
And what about kids who are absent? No problem! Just send them the URL.
More Opportunities for Independent Learning
Let’s look at a few more options. (1) Organize learning around a seasonal theme. (2) Create a website for one day’s learning. (3) Use an overarching theme, like change. Honestly, the sky’s the limit. Use your imagination. And see where it takes you!
Facilitate Independent Learning with Google Sites
As you can see, Google Sites allow teachers to direct learning experiences. Independent learning modules put kids in the driver’s seat. You can also create websites to supplement learning, organize research projects, direct homework, or even flip your classroom. Once you get started, the possibilities are endless. Maybe you’ll design a webquest, PBL, novel study, or an eBook with Google Sites.
What are you waiting for? Try building a simple Google Site for your students today!