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Community Participant

Canvas in the Elementary Classroom

I am curious to know if anyone has had great success with using Canvas in the elementary grades...K-4? Our students and teachers 5-12 use Canvas and love it...of course! I have had handfuls of teachers in the lower grades ask how they could use parts of Canvas with their students better. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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Community Champion

Our focus with lower grades next school year will be using Canvas as tool to organize communications between the parents, students, and teacher. Teachers will make their Syllabus pages public and will update that page with their weekly activities as well as any information that parents and students need to know about. The public syllabus pages will be linked off of the school website and organized by grade level and teacher so parents who do not sign up for Observer accounts will still be able to keep up with what is going on in the classroom.

Here is a list of some of the things that I talk to Elementary teachers about using Canvas with their students:

  • Post exemplary student work the way you would use a bulletin board. We have an art teacher that uses Canvas exclusively for posting the students' art work so the parents can see it if it is too fragile to transport home.
  • Create assignments (even if the students do not turn them in through Canvas) so that you can leave text/audio/video assignment feedback. Students will be able to view the feedback from a device and parents can watch the feedback too.
  • Use your Canvas course homepage a "Launch Pad" for any digital work that students are doing. Teachers can work with students to always start their digital day (whether in a computer, through carts of devices, or one-to-one) by logging into Canvas. Any links to other web applications that students will be using can be linked off the Canvas course homepage.
  • Have bonus assignments ready for students who are ahead or finish work early. These assignments can be pre-made in Canvas and the teachers can assign them to students on-the-fly as needed. You could also use this for remediation of key concepts. Many teachers in our District have a device station in their classrooms for this purpose.
  • Post copies of instructions/worksheets/handouts for parents to print out in case the student loses their work on the way home. (note: it's important to discuss copyright here)

I'm sure there are some other things we've suggested but those are the things I could think of off the top of my head.

So glad to see that some attention is being given to K-2 folks. I want to be able to utilize Canvas but so many of the features seem geared toward 6-12.  In particular, since K-2 does not use Powerschool for grades, we need to understand how Canvas addresses our needs in order to increase usage.