How to create a Google Classroom
Have you ever wanted to create a Google Classroom, but didn't know where to start? Or, are you suddenly faced with the prospect of 100% distance learning or a hybrid method, and need to figure out how to organize your classwork? FEAR NOT. I will provide you with some easy steps to get started!
Create a class
Go to classroom.google.com, and make sure you're signed in with your school account. Then, hit the "+" button in the upper right-hand corner, and create a class! You can put as much or as little information as you want, the class name is the only required element. Once you click "create", your new class will be visible on your dashboard!
2. Add your students
I have added students one of three different ways in the past. If you have a small group of students, adding them via their email address is a good way of doing it. They get a notification that they've been invited to join the class, and all they have to do is click on the link and join. If you have large groups of students, you can utilize your class code and have students manually join. I have done this when I have one google classroom for an entire grade level. I had the students bring their Chromebooks to class, log into Classroom, and enter the class code in real-time. The third way is not necessarily available to you via your school systems, but you may be able to utilize your district's SIS (student information system) to populate a classroom. It isn't always an available feature, but it's handy if you've got it!
3. Add your materials
You have so many options for loading content into Google Classroom! The first place I would start would be to create topics. Topics are like file folders. You can organize them in whatever way works best for you and your students! As a music teacher, I create topics labeled "Composers", "Literacy", "Recorder Activities", etc. If you're a grade-level teacher, you might want to organize your topics by subject. If you teach one subject, you may want to divide your topics up by unit. There are many possibilities!
Once you've got your topics organized, you can start to add material. Anything within GSuite can be added (docs, drive, slides, sheets, forms, etc.), but you can also upload files from your computer and attach other file formats.
4. Grades and feedback
There are a few steps to this, and this is where I get asked the most questions. The first thing you have to be able to do is locate student work. You can access it a few different ways:
As seen in the above GIF, you can access student work by following the path Classwork>Assignment>view assignment. You can also access student work by clicking on the individual student in the "People" tab of your Classroom.
For future reference, this how students can access their assignments and work:
This is exactly what a student sees!
Once you've located students' work, you can start grading! One of my favorite ways to provide feedback is directly through Classroom via Private Comments. These are comments attached to the student, and can not be viewed by any other students in the class. Below is an example of a student's view of teacher feedback:
I wrote a comment to the right of the student' assignment under the "private comment" section. Be careful, make sure you're putting your comments in the right place! Class comments can be viewed by everyone. Additionally, a student's reply to your private comment will also be private.
You could also provide direct feedback within an assignment. For this example, I used the "September Science Quiz", and provided feedback within Google Forms. When viewing individual students' answers, I am able to provide feedback on the question. In the first question, which the student got incorrect, I referenced a YouTube video that we had viewed earlier in the lesson (hypothetical, I didn't really teach this class!). On the second question, I applauded the student for remembering a difficult science concept.
Additionally, if you are working on a collaborative document with the student, you can leave feedback in the form of suggestions and comments (might have to make a video on that).
Okay, now the grades part. If you created a quiz through Classroom/Forms, it will automatically grade it for you, and you can go in and make changes to it as needed. It's a handy tool if you've got lots to grade! All items that you post as "assignment" and "quiz assignment" will automatically populate into the Grades tab of your classroom. Otherwise, it won't show up there. Grades=assignment or quiz assignment. :-)
YAY, YOU MADE IT TO THE END! I hope you aren't too overwhelmed. One thing at a time :)
I also provided training on this topic, and have included the video below!
Thanks for reading!