Within the last decade, our classrooms have changed dramatically. I remember when my first projector was installed. Oh, how excited I was to do away with my overhead and be able to enhance my students’ learning through photographs, video, and digital exploration of the World Wide Web! It seemed like the learning opportunities were endless.
I never would have imagined that in the year 2020 classrooms would be equipped with 1:1 devices, projectors would be swapped out for interactive whiteboards, and hundreds of new EdTech companies would be creating interactive, digital learning platforms.
What technology has done for education is amazing. There is no doubting that. You can go online and learn just about anything. On the other hand, I know just how overwhelming technology in the classroom can be.
When classrooms moved online during the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, our teaching community had no choice but to adapt to our new digital home.
That said, I’ve made it my goal to help as many teachers as possible during this digital transition. To help save you precious planning time, I’m giving away two weeks of my Print and Digital Morning Work which is compatible with Google Classroom™.
If you’re new to Google Classroom™, here are 7 frequently asked questions!
Q: How do I add my students to Google Classroom™?
A: There are two ways to do this.
Option #1: Locate the class code directly beneath the section title within the banner on your Google Classroom™ page. (See image below.) You’ll notice a small square button to the right of the class code. If clicked, this will display your class code in large print which can be projected on a whiteboard. Students should access Google Classroom™ on their devices using the app or web browser. Next, students can select the plus sign button at the top of their screen. This button will allow students to join your class by entering the unique class code. Once students have entered the code, they will appear within your Google Classroom™ dashboard.
Class codes can also be emailed out to parents and students during distance learning.
If you have several different sections for each topic (reading, math, language arts, etc.) students will need to add a code for each section that you’d like them to participate in.
Option #2: Select the “People” tab from the top of your Classroom™ homepage. From here, select the plus sign button in the “Students” section. Using this method will allow you to send students an email inviting them to your Google Classroom™.
This is also how you add a co-teacher! Instead of the “Students” section, select the plus sign button in the section titled “Teachers” to email a colleague an invitation.
Q: I lesson plan one day a week. Can I prep all of my assignments on Google Classroom™ ahead of time or do I have to post my assignments the day of?
A: With Google Classroom™ you can lesson plan and prep until your heart’s content by using the scheduling tool. Simply create your assignment and instead of selecting “assign,” select the arrow to the right.
The scheduling tool will allow you to pick a date and time that your assignment will auto-post.
My favorite way to use the scheduling tool is to select certain times assignments go live for students. If math is in the afternoon and you want to ensure that you’re able to teach your whole group lesson prior to students being able to access the assignment, simply schedule the assignment to post during your math block.
This also works great when assigning homework!
Q: Help! My students are having full conversations with each other in the comments section of my assignments. How do I stop this?
A: Ah, yes… the joys of reading 138 comments that say “hiiiiii” with 13 emojis to follow. You can turn off students’ ability to comment and post by selecting the gear icon in your Classroom™’s homepage. From here, scroll to the “General” section and find the “Stream” option. The drop-down menu allows you to control who can post and comment within your Google Classroom™.
Be sure to save your settings when finished.
Q: Why can’t my students move shapes or pieces around the screen in Google Slides™?
A: Students are most likely in presentation mode when this happens. Presentation mode is how students would display their work to the class using a projector or screen share tool. Because this mode is meant for display only, Google Slides™ does not allow for edits. Simply exit presentation mode and you can continue making changes to the assignment.
Q: I need to modify an assignment for a student. How can I do this without editing the assignment for my other students?
A: Google™ makes modifying assignments easy. Simply open the assignment you’d like to modify in your browser. Then, select “File” from the toolbar and scroll down to “Make a copy.”
The copied assignment can be edited to reflect the modifications necessary for your student. Be sure to save this with a separate title – perhaps with the student’s initials.
When assigning the work in Google Classroom™, you will need to assign the modified version separately from the unmodified version. To do this, first, assign the unmodified version to your general education students only using the student selection tool. Then, create another new assignment, but this time, attach the modified version. Be sure to only check off the student’s name who should receive the modified assignment.
Q: The assignment in Google Slides™ is too small for my students to read. How do I fix this?
A: To make an assignment larger, locate the magnifying glass on the toolbar. Select the arrow to the right of the magnifying glass to change the percent at which you are viewing your assignment.
You can also select the magnifying glass and click where you’d like to zoom in on the assignment. Just be sure to select the arrow option from the toolbar once you’re zoomed in or you’ll continue to zoom in each time you click.
Q: Creating fun and interactive digital assignments takes a long time and I don’t feel like I have the skills needed to do so. How can I provide my students with engaging activities and save myself time?
A: If you find yourself wanting to provide your students with interactive, digital assignments that are aligned to standards and fun, I have to tons of resources to choose from in the Digital Section of my Store.
If you’re unsure of where to start, I recommend checking out my Paragraph Writing Bundle: Print & Digital Google Classroom™!
CLICK THE LINK below the picture for more information!
Paragraph Writing Bundle: Print & Digital Google Classroom™
“This product has already transformed the way my students write! They are finally seeing what makes a paragraph and understanding what I mean by sentences.” – Alexis, Elementary Teacher
Want even more tips for using Google Classroom™?
Click here to learn how to make assignments in Google Classroom™!
Click here to learn about why you will LOVE using Google Slides™.
Click here to learn why you need to be using Google Forms™ with your students!