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Designing and Using Digital Stickers to Build Connections in the Virtual Classroom

Student relationships are the most important part of my classroom every year. I greet my students at the door, I look them in the eye and speak their names every day with a smile on my face, and I let them know that they are important to me. Building better student relationships has been a game-changer for me when it comes to classroom management. Each year I feel I feel I have fewer classroom issues because I develop stronger and stronger student relationships. I remember veteran teachers telling me this when I started; and they were right! (Who knew!?) Read on to see how I’m utilizing digital stickers to keep making connections with students during remote and hybrid learning.

What you will find in this blog post:

 

When our classrooms changed overnight, fostering relationships seemed impossible

 

2020 threw a wrench into my “making daily connections” plan. This spring I found myself yearning to connect with my students in any sort of way that resembled our face to face interactions. My students didn’t want to turn on their cameras, and many didn’t come to class. I didn’t blame them one bit. This spring was scary, and we were in a world that was new to all of us. None of us asked for it; especially the children.

 

In all of the chaos, I was fighting to make some sort of connections with my students whether they were coming to my live classes or simply submitting work from behind a silent screen. One small action that helped me? Out of nowhere, digital stickers. My students were suddenly replying to my emails and my Google Classroom comments! Instead of three comments by me, talking to the void…. I was getting responses! “That llama was so cute I showed it to my mom!” and “Oh my gosh I know what that sticker said!!”

 

I started to feel HOPE. I started to see that even when we can’t be face to face, we can still share some classroom traditions that feel *almost* like normal. Between the digital sticker feedback and my students telling me they appreciated my class hubs because “for this class I actually know where to look each week for my work,” I finally felt like something was going right in 2020.

 

 

Small victories are still victories!

This small action helped me not only because they made my students smile, but because I found that I LOVED designing them. As 2020 was increasing in *horrible* speed and scale, I needed to hold onto anything that was bringing happiness. I realized that digital stickers were doing that for me and my students at the same time, and I was IN! So, I spent a lot of time over the summer designing more and more. My student had complimented my llama sticker? Ok, let me make 10 more. Another student loved rainbows. Ok, I’ll make enough for the year for her. One teacher even sent me a message requesting stickers with flags for Spanish-speaking countries – amazing idea! I hunted for the perfect clipart, and finally found some.

 

I had so much fun designing the digital stickers that I have so far, and I know I’m not done 🙂 Because they felt like a small victory for me and my students earlier this year, and small victories are STILL victories.

 

How to use stickers with Google Keep

I wanted to share this quick tutorial video to show you an easy way to store and use your stickers. The video also shows how to move, resize, etc. I have included tips below the video as well. I hope this helps!

 

 

Inserting and Resizing Digital Stickers

In the video above, you see me click and drag a few digital stickers from Google Keep into my student’s document. I want to remind you that you can do this from any desktop folder as well! Wherever you choose to store your digital stickers, you can click and drag or paste them into any document within Google Drive.

Please note:

*Google Docs will limit your formatting ability — it might break up text or push items onto another page

*Google Slides is much more flexible, and that is what you see in my video. (I prefer Google Slides, always!)

 

Want to resize, but worried about losing the shape/quality of the image? Make sure you hold SHIFT as you are resizing, and always resize from a corner! I should have mentioned that aloud in my video, but you can hear a loud *click* each time I am resizing an image. That is the sound of me hammering the shift key so that I don’t risk losing the proportions of my image 🙂 Try this next time you’re resizing any shape in Google Drive!

 

Want to see more?

You can see ALL of my pre-made Spanish digital stickers right here for a discount! There are already over 200 included in that bundle.  Or, click below to see my favorite digital sticker sets. I hope you and your students love them.

I have stickers in Spanish, French, and English!

See all of my separate digital sticker sets right here!

 

 

Try my newest EDITABLE digital stickers!

I wanted to design options where you can add student names, fun phrases, or inside jokes that you have with your classes! I decided to make these editable digital stickers so you can do just that.

 

The message on each sticker is completely editable! You can change the text, change the font, and change the text color and size!

 

The graphics and the background colors are the only pieces of these stickers that are static and cannot be changed. I hope you have fun, and that your students love them!

 

 

Avocado Editable Stickers

 

Macaron Editable Stickers — perfect for your French teacher bestie! I made these for mine 🙂

 

 

 

Or… learn to create your own!

I created all of my stickers in Google Drawings. Google Drawings is a GAME CHANGER because it saves your shape with a transparent background, which is key for creating digital stickers. I have seen many teachers suggest you use a website to remove the background from your image… but that step is NOT needed when working in Google Drawings 😉 I recorded this short walkthrough below to show you how I design digital stickers, from start to finish. Have fun!!

 

 

Having trouble viewing the video above? Click here to watch it in Google Drive.

 

I hope you’re leaving this post inspired to try something new!

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to save this post for later? Feel free to pin this image to your favorite boards!

 

My name is Erin and I have 8 years of experience teaching high school Spanish. I love building positive student relationships and bringing a bit of fun into my lessons to keep my students engaged!

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AND GAIN ACCESS TO SOME GREAT RESOURCES.