Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a powerful, free, web-based learning management system that allows teachers to easily share resources, announcements, and assignments, collect work, and track student progress, Classroom is one of the many powerful Google Apps for Education that Mamaroneck teachers and students have access to. Use the links, videos, tutorials, and other resources below to help you get started incorporating Google Classroom into your teaching.

Google Classroom Tutorials

What is Google Classroom?

Google Classroom is a free web-based learning management system that integrates your Google Apps for Education account with all your Google Apps services, including Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar. Classroom saves time and paper, and makes it easy to create classes, distribute assignments, communicate with students, and stay organized. With Classroom, teachers can quickly see which students have and haven’t completed an assignment, and provide real-time feedback and grades. It’s the perfect platform for sharing content including videos, links, documents, and more. Google Classroom will change the way you teach, and the way your students learn. View the video below for a look how this powerful tool is Mission Control for your Classroom.

Video Overview

Creating a Teacher Account

Setting up a teacher account for the first time is easy, simply follow the steps below.

  1. Visit classroom.google.com in any web browser (Google Chrome is best) and click on the blue “Sign In” button.
  2. Log in to your Google Apps for Education account (using your district email and password).
  3. Once logged in, select “I am a Teacher” to finalize the creation of your Google Classroom teacher account.

Video Tutorial

Creating Google Classroom Classes

Once logged in to Google Classroom as a teacher, follow these steps to create classes. You should create a different class for each period you teach.

  1. Click on the “+” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and select “Create Class.”
  2. Add your classes in reverse chronological order (for example, create your period 5, then 4, then 3, and then 2). By setting it up this way, your classes will appear in the correct order within Classroom.
  3. Give your class a name and section and you’re all set to go. The name of your class should be simple, for example “Biology” or “Algebra.” In the section field, you can add more identifying information for the class like “Period 3.” You do not need to add your name as the teacher, it will appear automatically.
You can create as many classes in Google Classroom as you need. Additionally, you can use the same technique to join a class as a student.


Video TutoriAL

Inviting Co-Teachers to Join Your Class

Many educators teach in a co-teach environment in which multiple teachers are in charge of one class. It’s important for both teachers to be able to manage the Google Classroom, including the ability to post announcements, questions, and assignments, grade student work, and manage online discussions.

Inviting a co-teacher to join your classroom is easy.

  1. In order to invite a teacher, that teacher’s email must be saved in your Google Contacts. Do this first by visiting Google Contacts, and adding the co-teacher’s name and email address.
  2. Now log in to your Google Classroom and tap on the “About” tab.
  3. Select the “Invite Teachers” button on the left side and choose the individual who you would like to invite from the list of contacts.

Video Tutorial

Customizing the Appearance of Your Classroom

You can change the overall appearance of your Google Classroom to better reflect your school, your area of study, or whatever you like. By default, Classroom will select a banner image that best suits your discipline, as well as a color scheme that compliments the image. You can change the image, and subsequently the color scheme, by selecting one of a handful of built-in banner images or, you can upload your own image. Select from one of the provide banner images, upload your own, or create your own graphic using a tool like Google Drawings or Canva. The default size for a Google Classroom banner is 2000px wide by 400px tall.

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Video Tutorial

Adding Students To Your Classroom

Adding students to your Google Classroom can be done it two ways:

  1. Invite them via email, however for this to work, all of your students would need to be manually added to your Google Contacts. This is a time-consuming process, so this approach is not ideal.
  2. Provide students with your unique Google Classroom class code. Simply have students log in, tap on the “+” button and select “Join Class.” Then, all they need to do is enter the class code and they’re in. See it in action below.

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Video Tutorial

Navigating Your Google Classroom

The Google Classroom interface is incredibly simple to navigate with it’s intuitive three-tab layout.

Tabs

Stream

The “Stream” is where you will share assignments, announcements, questions, and other content with students. This is also where students will comment and post content of their own.


Students

The “Students” tab is where you can manage the participants in your class, including controlling their permissions, contacting individuals, and inviting additional students.


About

The “About” tab is where you can post detailed information about your class, including a title and description, location, contact information, and even shared files and links which need to be accessed throughout the year. Here are some ideas on utilizing the About tab.


Video Tutorial

Google Classroom Notifications

By default, Google Classroom will send the teacher email notifications any time someone adds a comment to one of your posts or when a private comment is posted on a student’s assignment or question submission. You can turn off email notifications by clicking on the menu icon in the top left-hand corner of the Classroom page, selecting “Settings,” and unchecking the email notifications box.

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The Google Classroom Calendar

When you create a new class, Google Classroom will automatically build a new calendar just for that class. When you create an assignment or question (anything with a due date), it will automatically be added to the calendar. You can view the calendar by clicking on the “hamburger” menu (3 horizontal lines) on the top left corner of the Classroom screen.

Access Calendar

You will see a weekly view of your calendar which will include all assignments (for all classes, color-coded!) that have upcoming due dates.

You can also access the full version of this calendar on your Google Calendar page. Because a Google Calendar can be made public, this is a great way to share upcoming due dates with parents. Simply make your calendar publicly viewable and share the link with parents. Here are some simple instructions:


  1. Once you have built your classroom and the class calendar has been automatically generated, go visit calendar.google.com.
  2. Look for your Classroom calendar in the list of "My Calendars" on the left of the screen.
  3. Click the drop-down menu next to the calendar and select the "Share this Calendar" option.
  4. For parents to access the calendar, you need to "Make this calendar public".
  5. To share this link with parents, you can give them the direct URL to the calendar. To do this, click the drop down arrow next to your calendar again. This time choose "Calendar settings".
  6. In the settings menu, look for "Calendar Address:" and click the blue "HTML" button. This will give you the direct URL which you can then copy/paste into an email or share with parents.

Please note, if you create an event in Google Calendar, it WILL NOT appear within the Google Classroom calendar, only upcoming assignments will appear there.

Posting Announcements

Posting an Announcement to your Google Classroom Stream is the easiest way to share information with students. Announcements have no due dates, and do not require any work to be completed by the class, they are simply a way of sharing news, deadlines, links, videos, documents, or the resources with students. Announcements will not appear on the class calendar.

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Creating Assignments

Assignments represent work that students must complete and turn in. They have due dates which will appear on the class calendar. You can attach any type of file, link, or resource to an assignment. If the attachment is a Google Doc, Slide, or Sheet, you have the option to allow students to view or edit the file. You can even have Google Classroom automatically create a copy of the file for each individual student.

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Video Tutorial


Copying and distributing files to your students in Classroom is easy, however you may not realize that you can also create an assignment without any content attached to it. This is perfect for when students have files that they’ve already created in Google, or any other app (photos, videos, drawings, etc.) that they would like to turn in. In this scenario, Google Classroom is being used as the content/assignment submission tool. Once the work has been attached, students can select “Mark as done” to notify teachers that they have completed the assignment.

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Posting Questions

You can quickly and easily post a question in your class stream. These can be short-answer questions, which require students to enter a response, or multiple-choice questions, which require students to select an option. After you post a question, you can also see the number of students who have and haven’t answered. Questions have due dates which appear in the class calendar. The teacher has the option to allow students to edit their answers, and to see other students answers. Questions are great for online discussions, do-nows, and exit tickets.

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Video Tutorial

Adding Attachments to Posts

In Google Classroom, there are generally four ways to add attachments to posts, whether they are assignments, announcements or questions. The four sources of content are accessible through four icons found in the bottom left-hand corner of the assignment, announcement, or question pane. They are described below

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Upload from Your Computer

Use this button to upload and attach files directly from your computer hard drive or external storage device (ie. thumb drive).

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Add from Your Google Drive

Use this button to attach files directly from your Google Drive, including Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, or any other file you have stored in Drive.

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Attach a YouTube Video

Use this button to search for and attach YouTube videos to your post.

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Share a Link

Use this button to attach a link to a website, article, web tool or file stored online.

Scheduling a Post

With Google Classroom, you can plan ahead by scheduling announcements, assignments and questions to post at a later date or a specific time. This is perfect for those teachers who want to get a head start on school planning during the summer. Look for the scheduling option when posting new assignments, questions and announcements. You can find scheduled and draft posts in the “Saved posts” section of your class stream, and you’ll get email and mobile notifications when your scheduled posts go live.

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Posting to Multiple Classes

Save time by writing out a detailed announcement, assignment, or question, then posting it to all of your classes. Just be sure to check over the post, due dates, and attachments first, as these things can’t be easily changed after the post is sent to your classes.

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Classroom Annotations on the iPad

Check out this video to see how teachers and students can draw on documents using the iPad Google Classroom app.

Comments in Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a powerful tool for communication and collaboration. You can hold private discussions with individual students, and public conversations with the entire class. Here are some tips on setting up and utilizing class comments in Google Classroom.

Class Comments


By default, Google Classroom allows students to both comment on posts, and to create their own posts. To adjust these settings, visit the “Students” tab, and use the drop down to select from the following options: “students can post and comment,” “students can only comment,” or “only teacher can post and comment.”


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Note that you can selectively “mute” individual students who may be misusing their commenting and posting privileges. To accomplish this, check the box next to the student(s) in question, then select “Actions” and “Mute from the dropdown menu. All other students will be able to comment and post, but these students will only be able read content.

Mute

Teachers and students (when enabled) can add class comments to any assignment, announcement, or question by typing their comment in the class comment beneath the assignment, announcement, or question. These comments can be viewed both in the Stream and on the assignment page.

Class Comment

Private Comments


Private comments are different from class comments in that they DO NOT appear in the stream. Private comments are just between the teacher and individual students. For a teacher to leave a private comment, go to the assignment details page by clicking on the title of the assignment in the stream. From here you can see the individual thumbnails of your students’ work. To the left, you will see your class roster. You can select any of your students, and then leave them private comments using the box on the bottom of the page. For a student to leave a private comment, he or she must open the assignment and leave the private comment at the bottom of the “Your Work,” window. Only the teacher will be able to view the private comments left by students.


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"Share to Google Classroom" Chrome Extension

Teachers can use the Share to Classroom Chrome extension to share web content to your classes in three different ways:

  1. You can instantly push webpages to all students in a class
  2. You can share a webpage as part of an assignment
  3. You can attach a webpage to an announcement

To instantly share a webpage with students, they must have the extension enabled and must be using Chrome.

Begin by installing the Google Chrome Share to Classroom Extension.

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Additional Links, Guides, and Resources

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