Google Classroom

The Ins and Outs

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Create a Class

1. Create a classroom.

  • Use the “+” button in the top right.
  • Select “Create a class.”
  • To add students, have students log in to Classroom and enter your class code.

2. Set up the “About” tab.

  • Fill in the details about the class.
  • Add files that students will need all year long.
  • Don’t overload your “About” tab!

3. Start posting to your classroom.

  • An announcement posts information to your classroom without a grade.
  • An assignment posts to your classroom and has a grade.
  • A question lets students answer a multiple choice/short answer question without a grade.
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Practice

ADD AN ANNOUNCEMENT:

This is a good way to communicate with your class and give them up-to-date information. Click the “Announcement” button to display a message to your class. You can even attach files (from Google Drive and otherwise), add YouTube videos and provide links. Tip: If you assign an activity outside of Classroom (i.e. a blog post on Kidblog), you can link to it in an announcement so there’s a record of it in your class.

ADD AN ASSIGNMENT:

Creating a new assignment is almost the same as an announcement, but it has a due date. Write the title of the assignment, a description of it and attach files (if necessary. Then specify when it’s due. In student accounts, it will put extra notifications on assignments in your class to remind students when something is due — or when it’s late.

MANAGE STUDENTS:

From the “Students” tab, there are several actions you can take to interact with student accounts. You can manage permissions, giving students the ability to post and comment, only comment, or give only the teacher the ability to post and comment. The envelope icons let you send e-mails to individual students (if Gmail is available through their school Google accounts). By checking individual or multiple students, you can remove them from the class, e-mail them or mute them from commenting.

Provide a Link:

Instead of directing students to go to a particular website, get them in the habit of going to Google Classroom to link to websites. Create an announcement. Use the link icon to link to a website. Be sure to include the http:// on the URL.

GRADE AN ASSIGNMENT:

After you’ve added an assignment and students have turned work in, it’s time to grade it.

Click the title of the assignment to open it. Click on a student’s name to show any files attached that you need to view and to reveal a text field where you can type a comment to the student. Classroom flags every assignment as “not done,” “done,” “late” or “done late”. Classroom doesn’t change student grades if assignments are late, but you can.

Once you’ve viewed assignments, you can assign a grade by clicking where it says “No Grade.” If you want to change the number of points an assignment is worth, find the “Points” section at the top of the page and change it. Use the button at the top of the assignment screen to download student work to your Google Drive or to view the Google Drive folder where the student work is being stored. Be sure to click the blue “Return” button to finalize all of the grading you’ve just done.

Note: Once students turn work in using Classroom, they won’t be able to make changes to those files until you return them to the students after grading them.

Above and Beyond

Create exit tickets and bellringer activities:

Want to do some quick assessment at the beginning or end of class? Classroom’s new question-driven discussions let you post a question where students can post replies to answer it. (Worried about students copying each other’s answers? You choose whether students can see each other’s replies.)

Create new assignments from templates

Do you find yourself posting the same kinds of assignments or announcements in Classroom? If so, the new “reuse assignment” feature can help. Create a template that models the kind of assignment, announcement or question that you commonly use. (Maybe create a brand new class called “Templates” as a place to house it.) Then, when you need it, use the “reuse assignment” feature, find that template and change it as necessary before posting it. Save time and effort!

Post a quiz or test.

Google Classroom has lacked options for assessment, but a new feature will allow teachers to add a Google Form to Classroom. Google Forms, Google’s survey tool, let teachers ask different types of questions and gather them in a spreadsheet. It’s a quick and easy way to gather student feedback or assess students’ progress. If the quiz/test data is from multiple-choice, true-false or matching questions, a great Google Sheets add-on called Flubaroo will grade that quiz/test and provide you a grading report with detailed results.

Use the class photo as a bulletin board

The ability to change the class header photo in Google Classroom is not that new. But this may be a new way to use it! Use a tool like Google Drawings to create an image the size of your class header photo. Type reminders and important information on it. Save it as an image file (probably a JPEG or PNG … try 1500 x 400 pixels under File > Page setup > Custom …) and upload it as your class header photo. It will provide timely reminders to students whenever they access Google Classroom. Change it regularly to keep information updated and interest high!
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Tips and Tricks

Use some tips and tricks to make life easier and better.


☞Access files students turned in to you in your Drive. There’s a folder called “Classroom” where those files live.


☞Turn your classroom header image into a class bulletin board. Create an image in Google Drawings (Go to File > Page setup … choose “Custom” … 2000 x 400 pixels). Add info, pictures, etc. that students will need to access regularly


☞Add a co-teacher in your classroom. Click the “About” button and click “Invite teacher.


☞Provide an example of the work you’d like them to do. Within the description of an assignment, provide a link to an example you want students to emulate (and again, remember the http:// so it’s clickable).


☞Let Classroom send automatic email notifications to parents/guardians. (Click here to see the Google support page about parent/guardian emails. Or see the screenshot below.)


☞Toggle your e-mail notifications on and off... This is a nice feature if you don’t want an e-mail every time something happens in Classroom. Change it under “Settings” when you click the menu button at the top left of your class (the three lines button … sometimes called the “hamburger button”).


☞Track student progress with submission history. Follow the changes students made to their assignments by clicking a student’s assignment in the “Assignment Status” section (after you click on the assignment) and “See submission history.”

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View Classroom Folder

Automatically a folder is created in Google Drive when you set up Google Classroom. The folder is titled “Classroom.” You can find this folder by going to http://drive.google.com. Each time you create a class within Google Classroom a subfolder is created within the Classroom folder. You can easily access this folder from the class tiles on the home page. On each tile, in the bottom right-hand corner, is a folder icon. Click on this icon to link to the class folder in Google Drive.

Google Classroom Time Savers

A huge Thanks...

A huge thanks for the following sites for providing resources to make this guide possible...


Ditch That Textbook


Alice Keeler