So I have been experimenting with a few new things this school year and one of them is Google Classroom. I am fortunate to have five Chromebooks for my class of 20 (possibly more next year). This year’s group is pretty amazing, so I decided to be brave and teach my students how to log onto their school email account.
First let me back up and let you know that we are a k-8 school, so when students begin kindergarten they are given a school email. They usually begin to use it in 2nd or 3rd grade. Earlier in the year, I would just log onto the Chromebooks with a class account. But, I really wanted to give Google Classroom a try. There is so much potential! I am by no means an expert, but I will share what I have been doing so far.
Let me start with a few basics that I have learned. Here is a picture of my classroom homepage. You can change the picture and coloring, but I just went for a frog for now.
When you scroll down, it will look more like this. I will explain the items circled below.
1. Add to the Classroom
When you click on the plus button, you have a choice of a few items to add. You can create a question, add an assignment, make an announcement or reuse an old post.
Create a Question
Creating a question is fun because your students get to practice their keyboarding skills. We have been focusing in kindness all year, and I decided to ask them how they were kind to someone on that particular day.
They all answered it with their first grade spelling. As you can see, I am able to see who has answered it and who has not. So fun!
2. Add Assignment
I have also been adding assignments to the classroom. I have been creating some interactive digital activities for my students to try out and they are loving them! I have them created in Powerpoint, Google Slides and PDF form. The great thing about Google Slides is it is so easy to use with the Google Classroom and Chromebooks.
Create an Announcement
Creating an announcement can be just about anything. I have made announcements with a link to my Symbaloo page. This makes it easy for them to access if for our Genius Hour.
3. Creating Categories
Another useful thing I have found is creating categories or topics. Your topics are on the side of your page. The ones that I have created are below. My students have learned that if they want to play some of the interactive phonics activities, they go to the language arts page.
We have been having so much fun with this. I will definitely start this earlier in the year next year. It has been so engaging for my students. If you are are familiar with BOOM Cards, read how you can add these to your Google Classroom as well. As I learn more tricks, I will share them with you.
Do you use Google Classroom? Do you have any fun ideas or ways you use it in your classroom?