The drawing features in Google Draw and Slides allow you to create templates for your students to manipulate. Create math manipulatives, annotate maps, Venn diagrams, model their understanding of concepts, and more. Here are some tips to help you to create the templates.
When students are manipulating one template, use Google Drawing. If you want them to model multiple things use Google Slides. Using Google Slides you create the template and the manipulatives once and then duplicate the slide to create multiple canvases for students to manipulate.
If you have images or screenshots on your computer you can simply drag them onto the Google Drawing or slide. Look for the green plus arrow to indicate you are adding the image to the canvas.
You can add clip art right from Google Draw or Slides. Use the Insert menu to insert an image. Choose the last option on the right, “Search.” Search for an item you want in your template. Change the “Any type” drop down menu to “Clip art.”
Hold down the shift key when resizing the image to ensure that it does not get stretched out.
Create Perfect Circles
When drawing a circle, square or other shape, hold down the Shift key. This will constrain the proportions to being equal on all sides. This also works when drawing lines. Hold down the Shift key when drawing a line to create perfectly horizontal or vertical lines.
Hold down the Shift key when rotating shapes to rotate in 15˚ increments.
Hold down the Shift key when selecting elements of the drawing. This allows you to pick out only certain things and move them together.
Use the arrow keys to move selected items on the canvas. This moves the objects 5 pixels at a time. To fine tune placement of your items, hold down the Shift key to nudge only one pixel at a time.
Bring to the Front
Selectively select items by holding down the shift key or lasso a group of items. Use Control G to group the items together. This allows them to be moved all at once. A good example is creating a stack of 10 squares for students to move and represent the number 10.
If you want different elements you draw to have the same color and style you can easily do this without recreating each time. Draw something with a particular color and border style. Select this item and then draw a new item. So long as the previous item was selected when drawing the new item the formatting will match!
An advantage to using Slides over Drawing is the ability to set the background. (Thank you @MsDrasby for the tip!) Create a graphic organizer image and set that image as the background image of the slide. This locks down the background so students can more easily arrange items onto the graphic organizer.
Check out this sample made by @MsDrasby