Creating a yearbook layout is difficult. All of the work and creativity needs to be in the hands of the students, but they need teacher guidance.
As such, I suggest that you use a collaborative Google Slides where students each other's work and where the teacher can give immediate feedback as they develop graphic design skills and ideas.
Yes, we could simply create one Google Slide that students can edit, but I prefer to use Alice Keeler's Roster to Slides.
Why do I use Roster to Slides?
I like to see how each yearbook student is contributing to our collective skills and ideas. The Roster to Slides template/add-on gives every student a space to work. I can easily see who is doing an excellent job and deserves a class shout out. I can also see who needs individual attention from me or, better yet, from the classmate who is doing awesome work in the same slide deck.
How to Use Roster to Slides
- Make a copy of the Roster to Slides Google Sheets template.
- Wait 5 seconds and select Add-ons -> Roster to Slides -> Show sidebar.
- Select Set up.
- Type or copy/paste your student roster in Column A. I only use first names.
- Select Create slides and patiently wait.
- A message will show the link, but you can also find the newly created Google Slides in My Drive -> Recent.
It takes 4 and 1/2 minutes from the moment I click on Create slides until the moment all 35 names are added.
I reuse the same Google Sheets roster for additional activities. I especially use Roster to Slides with my English and history classes for collaborative assignments.
Use the Google Slides with Students
- Go to Classroom.google.com.
- Click on the + Create button.
- Name the assignment.
- Add the Google Slides from Drive.
- Change Students can view to Students can edit.
You may notice that I also added a link to a Google Drive folder where all of our yearbook photos are stored.
Observe Student Progress
In the bottom left of Google Slides, you will see two options: 1) Film strip view and 2) Grid view. I use the Grid view.
At the bottom in the middle, you will see 3 icons:
- Decrease thumbnail size -
- Reset thumbnail size
- Increase thumbnail size +
I decrease the thumbnail size AND use CTRL + - to zoom out. I want to see all the students working at the same time. I use the shortcut CTRL + 0 (zero) to reset the screen size.
Using Roster to Slides allows me to provide feedback and encouragement to students in real time. I can see who needs help and who can help others. I can also see which students have the greatest potential for designing the professional quality yearbook we create in Google Slides.
I will leave you with an image of last year's Yearbook Class spread. Our students are creative geniuses. They just need our guidance, high expectations, and free tools.