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  • Writer's pictureKristy Johnson

How to Use Google Classroom

Google classroom has become a way of life for many districts around the United States right now. Whether you are teaching virtually or in-person, Google classroom can be a really great resource to use with your students, no matter the age. You can differentiate instruction and assignments easily within Google classroom and make learning fun! Today on the blog, we will discuss the basics of how to set up Google classroom for teachers and add an assignment.

How to Set-up a Class on Google Classroom

First, you will need to go into your Google Drive (use the one set up through your school, not your personal email) and find the Google classroom app in the waffle on the top right of the screen. (Also called the Google App Launcher). The Google classroom app looks like this:

Next, you will need to create a class. I always create a class for each subject area. You could even create a separate class for each of your reading groups, which is a nice feature.

Each class will be given a separate code; this is what your students will need to join your Google classroom. When they go into Google classroom from their drive, they will look for the “waffle” and find Google classroom as well. Then in the top right corner they need to click the + to join a class. That is where they will type in the codes one at a time to be added to your class.

Creating an Assignment in Google Classroom

To create an assignment for students, you can create a resource in your Google drive (or purchase one to add if you would like). When you are ready to add an assignment, go into Google classroom and click Classwork in the top center of the page. Here is where students see their work. Next, click create -> assignment. There are other options also such as adding a question or material for students to view.

The next step is very important-on the right you can assign this assignment to different classes (if you have 3 math classes and want them all to have it or only want one of the classes to have it) as well as assign a due date. The due date will constantly pop up for the students on their calendar as a reminder when it gets close to the due date, which is a nice feature.

When you create the assignment, you have options. You can make it so that each student has their own copy (like they would for a worksheet handed out in class) or you can set it to view only for materials or things you just want students to be able to look at but not necessarily edit. This is something you MUST do before assigning it.

Let's take a look at when you might want to use each of these options:

  • Students can view file: Use this option if the file is simply something you want your students to view but not make any changes to.

  • Students can edit file: This option can be helpful if you're providing a document that you want your students to collaborate on or fill out collectively.

  • Make a copy for each student: If you're creating a worksheet or document that you want each student to complete individually (most likely for a grade or to view their independent work), this option will create a separate copy of the same document for every student.

For example, when I post my Water Cycle Digital Notebook in Google classroom for my students, I would want to make a COPY for each student to be able to complete it independently. That way they do not mess up each other’s work and I am also able to grade it. Google classroom takes all of your assignments and automatically adds them to your Google calendar by due date. From the Classwork tab, you can click the calendar icon to pull this up and get a better overall view of the timeline for your assignments' due dates for your class.

Grading in Google Classroom

When you want to grade, it is so simple! There are two different ways to access assignments to grade them. When you are inside a class, click on the assignment and click View Assignment in the lower left corner. The other way you can do this is by clicking on the Grades tab at the top center when in a class and accessing the assignment from there.

You can easily see who has a missing assignment as well. Once in the student’s assignment, you can give the grade that you want and even leave comments to them for feedback. When you are finished grading, click the blue Return button in the top right to send the graded work back to your student! Easy peasy!



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