Friday, December 28, 2012

A Step-By-Step Guide to Primary Produced PowerPoints

Hello!  This is Amanda from Teaching Maddeness.  I am a 2nd grade teacher and I love to have my students use technology to showcase their learning!
We all use technology in our did we ever live without it?  But, just using it ourselves is not enough.  We need to have our students actively using technology, too!

PowerPoint is one of those programs we take for granted and use in a pinch these days.  Most of us know its functions forward and backward, but even if you don't you can get your students actively using technology with PowerPoint.  My second-graders become fluent with it in just a few days - amazing, I know...but they absorb this stuff so much more quickly than us "old folks."  :) 

Today, I'm going to walk you through how I first introduce PowerPoint to my kiddos and show you an example of their very first creation!

I first introduce PowerPoint toward the end of our Informational Genre Study.  Each student has selected an animal to become an expert on, researched and read about this animal, created their own informational books, and are now ready to share what they've learned with their classmates.  What better way than through a presentation using PowerPoint?  This not only lets them share their knowledge, but it meets the standards of incorporating technology and speaking to others to share information.  So, here's what I do:

Before the Project:
Before introducing PowerPoint, I create a VERY basic template of 7 slides.  The first slide shows the title and student's name.
The following six slides have a title that includes ???? where the name of the student's animal will go and the two-column layout (no seen in image below).
Our school has a "common drive" that is accessible by all computers in the school.  I create a "Madden" folder on the common drive and then create a folder for each student inside this folder.  I copy and paste the template into each student's folder.

Day 1: On the first day, I teach students how to navigate to their PowerPoint file.  We do this modeled on the Promethean board several times and that's all it takes!  They've got it!  Their first job is to type in all of their text on this day.  I teach them to "double-click" on the question marks or words (title) to replace with their own text.  Then, they just have to click in the left column of the layout used to insert facts about their animals.  The layout automatically uses bullets for them!  Students use their best spelling, but are told to "ignore" any green or red squiggly lines until a later lesson. ;)
Day 2:  During the next session, I teach students how to insert clipart.  They learn to choose different keywords for searching, how to move clipart and how to resize it.
Day 4:  In the following session, students learn to add background color to the slides and to select a slide transition.  For the background color, students are taught to "right-click" on each slide and select "format background."  I show them how to find "more colors" to see the color wheel.  We talk about choosing light colors so that the text is still easy to read.  Once students have selected a color, they choose "apply to this slide."  I want them to repeat with each slide, selecting different colors to get more practice!

For the slide transition, students click on "animations" and explore all of the options there.  They will have many "oooohs" and "aaaaahs".  They'll have a LOT of fun exploring the options, but I have them select ONE transition and apply it to ALL slides. 
Day 5:  On the final day, I teach students how to use "spell check" to check their spellings.  We discuss how computers are not smarter than us (therefore, sometimes they will think our names are misspelled, but we know better and can click "ignore").  After clicking on "review" and "spell check" students use this tool to help them try to correct all of their misspelled words.  They will still end up with a few, but they are able to catch the majority of them by using this tool independently!

Here's a look at sweet Hannah's completed PowerPoint - simple, but effective.  We'll continue learning more throughout the year, but this is an incredible start!

Once student slideshows are complete, we discuss how to "present" PowerPoint presentations to the class.  You know...the technical stuff...where to stand, not to "read" them, but to use them as reminders as to what you wanted to tell the class about, etc.  Students partner up to practice presenting. 

That's it!  Students are now ready to present their VERY own PowerPoints that they've created on their OWN from the ground up!  Be ready for some "peacocking" as they will be very proud of their creations!  They'll probably even want you to email them to their parents so they can present them at home! :)

Happy creating!  Do you already use PowerPoints with your kiddos?  Do you have additional tips for readers?  Are  you now thinking about having your students create them for the first time?  Have additional questions?  Let me hear from you!

Maybe getting technology into the hands of your students is even a goal of yours in the New Year?  If so, I'd love for you to link up at my site and share it with us!  I'll be back soon with more technology projects!


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  1. What a fabulous post!! I will be sure to use this in my classroom when we wrap up our author study unit. Thank you for sharing


  2. Very cute! Programs like PowerPoint (or Keynote on a Mac) are taken for granted, but they are ones that students definitely need to learn how to use early on. I like how you were able to keep the students organized in their work as they created their slides. Nice job!


  3. This is GREAT! We will be working on Non-fiction when we head back next week and I would love to incorporate this into their studies. Wonderful, thanks for the idea and step by step guide!

    Primary Teacherhood

  4. Wonderful, Ashley! I hope it helps! The kiddos will AMAZE you! ;)

    AmandaTeaching Maddeness