Hello hello! How is your week?! BUSY?! Well, that’s an understatement! Many of us in education find ourselves running around, putting out some fires, while we try our very best to have a successful September. I’ve always been a HUGE fan of the Green Day song “When September Ends.” Actually, it’s been my mantra in the classroom for probably the last fifteen years. I look forward to when the month is over, routines are established, and the days are going just a bit more smoothly.
Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends
With that being said, one tool we can always rely on during this crazy time to assist in a smoother day is Google Classroom. I just can’t ever say enough about this amazing tool. It always allows for one to easily push out anything to students. Posting on Google Classroom is so easy – and there are so many great tricks to make it even easier! From setting up Google Classroom to differentiating with groups, this app is just the “catch of the day” for me! You may think you know ALL there is about this tool, but I encourage you to read below – I’m sure you’ll find a good tip or trick!
Reset the Code
If you ever give out a code to students, and you write it on the board, you will be sure to have errors if there are characters o, 0, 1, l, and I. Notice the lowercase l (as in love) and the uppercase I (as in Ice) look the same! You can reset your code to avoid this problem! You can also reset the code if you by chance get an inappropriate string of characters – believe me, I’ve seen it (think of the words you used to spell on the calculator). Take a look below for this easy fix!
Student Comments (TURN THEM OFF!)
I wish that Google would turn student commenting off by default, but alas, they keep them on. I may need to send them some feedback (scroll down to read more on that!). Any time you set up your classrooms, students can post until you turn this off. AHHHH!!! So, watch the video below and go turn that off! The “Ask a Question” feature works well if you care to engage with students on Google Classroom.
Use the Classwork Page (not the Stream)
The Classwork page is amazing! I’ve seen many tend to use the Stream because it appears first. However, anything in the stream doesn’t sort into a topic. Also, the Stream does not copy over in your Classroom for future years, although you can reuse the Stream from past years. If you post on the Classwork page, it appears in the Stream! Additionally, the more detailed you are in your Classwork Page with topics, material, and assignments, the easier it will be for your students. Not to mention, by posting daily you are making curriculum so much more accessible for your students! Take a look at my highlights of the Classwork page below.
GET THE PHONE APP of Classroom
Student Name Selector
Did you know in the Mobile Application of Google Classroom there is a student name picker?! Well, there is! So, RUN and download Google Classroom to your phone!!
Easily Post Pictures or Video
Remove a step for yourself, and EASILY post content from your classroom with the app! Do you ever download to upload? Well, with this quick trick – you can post anything to Classroom with a quick click. Take pictures of your notes each day and/or provide the exemplar using the camera option in Google Classroom. See below for this gamechanger!
Have Suggestions or Complaints? Tell Google!
Google for Education is really great at making improvements based on educator feedback. Most of their updates are based on the feedback they receive actually. Take a look at how to do this below!
Google Classroom Overview
There is so much more I could cover and suggest! Below I included a presentation I ran at GooglePalooza on Classroom in case you need more! Enjoy!
Pro Tip (extra): Word Count!
There is now a live word count you can enable on Docs! SO VERY COOL! Check it out below!
Do you have a favorite Google Classroom feature? Shout it out and let me know!
Take care, everyone!