Chromebooks, Google Classroom enrich classroom lessons

Three students sit at desks and work on laptop computers.
Third graders Sienna Carrillo, Shawn Michaelson and Symone Johnson work on Chromebooks during learning centers in Jennifer Capozzi’s class.

It’s only the fourth week into the school year, but students in Jennifer Capozzi’s third grade class at Goshen Intermediate School are already tackling technology like old pros.

During learning centers, students split into small groups or work independently to tackle a variety of coursework. Some students use the classroom’s computer center to work on assignments, while others join Capozzi for guided reading groups. Others quickly select a Chromebook from the classroom’s laptop cart and return to their seats to work independently on the devices.

“During the first few days of school, the students learn how to log onto the Chromebooks as well as how to access Google Classroom,” said Capozzi. “They are now experts at doing this and require very little instruction.”

This isn’t the first time the third graders have used personal computing devices in class – as students at Scotchtown Avenue Elementary School, they had access to desktop computers, Android Tablets, and both touch screen and traditional Chromebooks.

However, according to Capozzi, third grade is the first year that students begin to use Chromebooks on a daily basis – and the first time they’re expected to work on them independently.

Third grader Shawn Michaelson used his Chromebook to access Capozzi’s Google Classroom, where he followed hyperlinks to access the IXL website and practice his multiplication skills.

“I like using the Chromebooks because they’re easy to use and it’s fun,” he said.

“Google Classroom has been a wonderful addition to our class,” said Capozzi. “I’m able to assign projects, add video links for them to watch, send links so they can practice skills on different websites, and so much more.”

While Shawn worked on his math skills, his classmates used their Chromebooks to work on other assignments. Sienna Carrillo plugged headphones into her Chromebook to quietly watch a video story about the Titanic, and then responded to questions about the video from her teacher. Her classmate, Symone Johnson, was able to practice spelling and vocabulary words with various online activities at SpellingCity.com.

“The entire experience makes learning more individualized and it’s great for enrichment,” said Capozzi. “The students love using the chrome books. It’s a great motivator.”