Google Classroom & Your Phone

Google Classroom

During class today, I assigned a quick summary of what we read together. It was at that point that I pulled a small group aside so that they would be successful and get small group instruction on specific skills.

While working with the small group, I noticed a few students who seemed to not be working. So I pulled out my phone! I quickly pulled up the Classroom App and went into select students’ work to monitor their progress. Needless to say, my observations proved correct. This allowed me to have a quick correction with those students and at the same time putting the rest of the class on notice. Just because I am working with a small group doesn’t mean I don’t know what you’re doing!

Ah, the wonders of modern technology. Used correctly, it can be a powerful tool.

Google Classroom – Personal Accounts

So I received this today in my inbox!

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 5.49.59 PM A few days ago I wrote about Google Classroom and Personal Accounts. I applied for early access and was granted it today! The nerd in me is super geeked.

This is a game changer for me. First of all, I enjoy sharing my knowledge of Google Classroom with the masses. Secondly, a friend and I thought about created classes that people could take to become more proficient in technology use in the classroom. THIS is the perfect tool to get that going.

I can’t wait to see what uses others come up with.

Google Classroom For All

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 6.35.50 PMOh. My. Goodness! I am so giddy, I can hardly contain myself. Google Classroom is open to everyone. Since Google rolled out Classroom (beta) in the summer of 2014, it has only been available to G Suite users (organizations): this included schools and non-profit organizations. Now, it is available on personal accounts.

One of the limitations of having it available to G Suite users was that you could only join a classroom if you had an account within the organization. Now that everyone has it, we can join each others’ classrooms. So why would a person want to create a classroom? Well, last summer a friend wanted to have book discussions and tried using another product. It just didn’t work very well. However, since Google Classroom has many features that educators and non-educators alike are familiar with, Classroom lends itself easily to book clubs. In addition, I was thinking of starting ‘how to’ tutorials that were more personalized. This will accomplish the task.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 6.36.16 PMSeriously, I’m so excited! Check it out. Go to While you cannot currently set up or join a classroom, you can request early access. For more information on what Google Classroom can do check out my video series.

Google Classroom – Adding Materials

One feature that I really like in Google Classroom is the ability to add materials. My class is currently working on a project, with a digital text. I want them to be able to access the text at any point.

After logging into Google Classroom, I navigate to the classroom where I’d like to add materials. From the Stream page, I click on About.

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Now that I am on the ‘About’ page, I can add the desired materials. The first box on the page contains Course Information. The second box allows you to ‘Add Materials’.

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Simply by clicking on ‘Add materials’, the box changes to give you choices.

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You’ll notice that after adding a title to your materials, you have the option to add a file from your computer, Google Drive, YouTube, or a link. You have the ability to add as many as needed.

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The three dots in the right corner allow you to edit or delete the materials.

This feature is a great way to keep all important materials in one place. In Writing, you can house all your rubrics. Math can house tutorials. The possibilities are endless, syllabus, study guides, videos, whatever you can think of!

Google Classroom: Drive Folder

One of the nice features of Google Classrooms is the folder that is automatically created in Google Drive. I like to use this when I am looking at student work. We have been working on our NaNoWriMo stories. We began polishing and editing our work last week (our first week back after break).

I created an assignment in Google Classroom, turn in their stories. Now that my students have turned them in, it’s easy to read them. While in Google Classroom, locate the assignment and select ‘Done’ (those students who have completed the assignment).

class folder 1 This takes me to a new page within Classroom. Here, I see thumbnails for those students who have completed the assignment. However, just above the thumbnail is an icon of a folder. Click that to open a new tab, Google Drive.

class folder 2 Once the Google Drive tab opens, you can easily navigate your students’ work.

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NOTE: This is just one of several ways to access the Drive Folder.

Google Classroom: Calendar Notifications

The integration of Google Calendar with Google Classroom has been helpful. Many schools require students to have a Planner [book]. This allows students to write assignments due dates, project deadlines, and tests. Google now assigns a Calendar with each Classroom you create. Then when you create an Assignment or Question, it automatically creates an event in the Calendar. However by default, there are no notifications reminding students of the Assignment or Question deadline. That can easily be changed. And by doing so, helping to create a digital Student Planner!

Navigate to your Google Calendar or Google Classroom – About Page.

The left side lists all the Calendars. Each Classroom has it’s own. By hovering over the Classroom Calendar, a small down arrow appears. Choose it to set the properties. Choose Edit notifications.

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This will send you to a new page. There are a few options on this page. Event notifications is the first choice. This allows you to send emails or pop-up notifications to all attendees (students). You can send several if you choose. Say an Assignment is due on Friday, you may want to send a notification to students 3 days before it’s due AND the day before.

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You can add as many Notifications as necessary. When you are done, remember to Save.

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Google Classroom: Create Question

In Google Classroom, I like to ‘Create a Question’ for quick checks or exit tickets. They are easy to create and manage. Students can read each other’s posts, comment, and have quality discussions with ‘Questions’. This is an underused tool by many who use Google Classroom. It truly is a hidden gem in this tool.

In order to create a Question, choose the + located in the bottom right corner of the ‘Stream’ section of your classroom.

Question 1

Now I can create my question. I can insert a file, something from my Google Drive, a YouTube video, and/or a link to a website. I can insert as many items as needed. Since I teach 2 classes of Social Studies, I can assign the question to both classes, with files and links, at the same time. I can even set a due date. When I have my preferences set, I choose the blue ‘ASK’ button.

Question 2

Next a pop-out window appears where I can allow students to view each other’s responses, or not. I can also allow students to edit their own responses. I like to allow students to comment on each other’s. This allows for discussion and opportunity for students to defend their positions. When I’m ready, I click the blue ‘ASK’ button.

Question 3

My question now appears at the top of the stream.

Question 4

Here’s an example we did early this year. Once the students respond, I can then grade their answers if I choose to. On this particular example, I gave the students some material to review before answering. In order to encourage open dialog, I also asked them to comment on each other’s responses.

Question 5

When I’m ready to view, I can click on ‘Done’ in the Question. This takes me to the Student Response page. All of their responses are listed along with the option to grade, comment, and return work.

Question 6

When I click on an individual student, I can see his/her answer and the classmates’ responses.

Question 7