Whether your school year starts back in the classroom or at home, Google Classroom is the place to be! Google Classroom is the perfect place to build community right from day one. There are so many ways Google Classroom can support teaching and learning at your school. Start your school year right with Google Classroom.
How to Start Your Own Google Classroom
To create a Google Classroom class, just go to the nine squares on any Google screen when you are logged into your school account. Next, go to the Classroom icon. If you don’t see it right away, you may want to click “More”. You can also go to classroom.google.com to get started!
Your students can join your Google Classroom with a class code. Even if your students don’t know their school email addresses, you can import students into Classroom easily. Then, your students may logon using a single-sign on, Clever, or something the district has set up to make it easier for your youngest learners. Students, of course, may also log on using their school Google account.
If you have a co-teacher, you’ll want to go to the “People” tab to give your teacher access to what you see in Classroom. This is also where you may manually add students.
Once your students are enrolled in your Google Classroom, it’s a perfect way to build community! You can post messages for your class on the stream to get started. Another way to start sharing is through the Classwork tab. The Classwork tab has the following options once you click “Create”:
- Quiz Assignment
These may seem like ways to just give students tasks to do related to content, but they are also excellent opportunities for your students to engage and you to get to know your learners.
Share the instructions for the About Me Lapbook! I love this assignment because it allows students to share what makes them unique while getting creative and getting offline. This is a perfect assignment to post online with samples from past students.
Create a Google Form Quiz directly from Classroom to collect important information about your students. You could ask questions from the lapbook, or make them more specific to learning and what will help you meet their classroom needs.
I like to ask students what they think their strengths are, what things they need to work on, and what they love most about school. I also ask them to share things they want to learn during the school year and their favorite part of the previous year. All of these items can be questions on your Google Form. In Google Classroom, you can open the form and see a tab that says responses. From that tab, you can see compiled or individual student responses. You can even click the green spreadsheet button to put all the answers in one spot. This is a great way to get to know your students and build community!
I love posting questions and letting students interact with each other. You can do this with the question option so students must respond before seeing other answers, or you can post a simple question in the stream as an announcement. No matter what, allowing your students to interact with each other on Google Classroom will help you get to know them while they collaborate and build relationships with one another.
Try a question like, “What is one superpower you wish you had?” Easy, non-threatening questions are great to start the year. Try to avoid “What did you do this summer” type of questions, especially when many kids may have faced financial struggles or illness, particular during this time.
The material section is where I share the syllabus and class rules. Class rules are a great opportunity to build community. Create a Google Slide presentation and choose “Make a Copy for Each Student”. Have your students create their own slide with a class rule they believe should be included for your classroom on and offline. Then, have them share their rules with the class as you compile them and make the final class rule Slide Show! If your learners are experienced in Google Slides and collaboration, you could create one Slide presentation for the whole class by choosing “Students Can Edit”. Each student would be responsible for their own rule slide.
Of course, distance learning materials like Digital Toothy, Digital Spiral Math and ELA, Digital Spelling, and Digital Phonics Mats are perfect to share as assignments on Google Classroom. Once you’re ready to start diving into content, check out those resources for your lucky little learners!