How to Make Google Sites for Independent Learning

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.

Independent Learning with Google Sites

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

To build a website*, consider the standards first. For this website, I referred to NGSS 5-ESS2-1 and 5-ESS2-2. Several key concepts emerged:

  1. Interactions of Earth’s major systems
  2. 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
  • waves
  • 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).

Independent Learning Google Sites 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.

Google Sites Independent Learning 2

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.

Google Sites Independent Learning 3

How to Use Independent Learning Websites

These handy websites serve many purposes:

  • Differentiation
  • 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!

Google Sites Independent Learning 4

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!

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