8.31.2017

Creating Assignments in Google Classroom™

Creating and Posting Assignments in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com


Creating and Posting Assignments, Announcements, and Questions in Google Classroom™

Now that you've set up your classes and invited your students to join them, it's time to start posting content. Your class "stream" will look like this (make sure you have the "Stream" tab selected in the middle of the header):

Creating and Posting Assignments in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

When you click on the plus (+) sign in the lower right-hand corner, your options for posting appear:

How to post an announcement in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

Posting options in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

Google Classroom gives you four options for the types of content to post: an Announcement, Assignment, Question, or Reuse a Post. In this post, I'll discuss Announcements and Assignments with examples. In my next post, I'll cover posting a Question and Reusing a post.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Use this to announce to your class any important or pertinent information, reminders, supplemental materials to help them, etc. You can use this feature right away to welcome students to your online classroom and give them any class news, instructions, advice, or whatever. Share a link to a vocabulary list in Quizlet or No Red Ink assignment (more on that below). I also used "Announcement" to share funny memes or videos related to our unit of study.

Example of an announcement in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

After you click on the "Create announcement" choice, a pop-up window appears, which looks like this:

Posting an announcement in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

You have several decisions to make: Decide if you want to share it with just the one class or multiple classes. If you want it to be shared with multiple classes, click on the drop-down menu for the class and you can check off the other classes you want to share with.

Selecting classes for posting in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

Another option is if you want to just share with certain students. For example, if three students were absent from class and you want to share some lecture notes with them, you can select just those three from that drop-down menu. If you choose this option, you can NOT share the announcement with other classes; you'll have to go into each one and create a new announcement for individuals from those classes. Normally when you click on "All students," a list of your students will come up. (The screenshot below was taken before students joined the class.)

Selecting students for posting in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

TIP: You can also create "Topics" for your announcements or assignments. These are like tags that will allow you to click on the tag and find all the other posts under that topic. Example topics you could use might be for different units of study (a specific novel, short stories, argument writing, poetry, etc.), or for general topics of study (reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, etc.), types of work in class (bell ringer, homework, essay, reading assignment, etc.), or for time periods (1st quarter, 2nd quarter, or September, October, etc.). Whatever you choose, just remember that you can only choose ONE topic per posting, so make it something that will make sense for your students (or you) to use as a tag.

Creating New Topics in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com


Watch this video on creating topics using the "Topics" sidebar:




After you have decided on a topic (and you don't have to--I didn't use them at all my first year), you will notice there are options below on whether you want to attach a document or link. The icons represent attaching a file (paperclip), attaching a file from Google Drive™, linking to a YouTube video (play button), and adding a link from the web:

Options for attachments in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

If you click on the first two (attaching documents), it takes you to a window where you can choose to upload from your computer/device or from Google Drive™ using tabs at the top ("Recent" pulls your most recent files you've uploaded or modified in Google Drive™ and "Starred" are all the documents you have marked with a star in your Drive*--see below):

Inserting or attaching files in an assignment in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

Whatever you insert, it will create a copy of it in a special Classroom folder. (More on that in another post.)

*TIP: To mark a document with a star so it is easy to find when attaching to posts, select that file in Google Drive™, then go up to the document settings and select the three dots that indicate more options. In the drop down, you'll see the option to "Add a star." Select that and then it will appear in your "Starred" options.
Starring files in Google Drive™  www.traceeorman.com

Finally, you can either "Post" the announcement, "Schedule" it to be posted later, or "Save" your draft and edit and post later. I often used either the "Schedule" or "Save" feature when I created a post late at night and did not want to wake my students with a notification. Be aware that unless students have turned off those notifications, they will get them on their device when you post something.

Announcement posting options in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

Once you post it, it will appear in the class "Stream."


ASSIGNMENTS: Use the assignment feature to post something that you want to distribute and collect from students for a grade. This should be something that also has a due date. If there isn't a due date or work to collect, consider just using the announcement feature instead.

To post an assignment, follow the same steps as an announcement, but select "Create assignment." You will see a pop-up window that looks like this:

Creating an assignment in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

You have the same decisions to make as you did with posting an announcement: 
  1. Who do you want to assign this to? All classes? Just this class? 
  2. All students? Just certain students? 
  3. What do you want to title your assignment? 
  4. Would you like to file this under one of your topics?
  5. Would you like to attach a document or link to this assignment? (More on this in #8)
  6. Would you like to assign immediately, schedule it, or save the draft?

In addition, you will also need to decide the following:
  7. Due date: You can select a day and a specific time by clicking on the drop-down menus.
Selecting the due date on an assignment in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

  8. Attachments: Do you want to share a document that all students can view, or do you want each student to be able to collaborate and edit the same document, or allow each individual to have their own copy? 
Assignment attachment options in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

If it is something they are going to turn in to you, make sure you select that each student has his/her own copy. (I can't tell you how many times I forgot to select that option and I would hear several students call out, "I can't type on this!!") 

TIP: I mentioned this in my last blog post, but it is worth mentioning again: If you make a copy for each student and you have a co-teacher, it does NOT make a copy for the co-teacher. Therefore, if your co-teacher opens the document, any edits she/he makes happen on your template and appear on every student copy. Several times I had an aide typing the answers onto what she thought was her own copy as I was lecturing. Instead, she was typing the answers on every single student's copy. And do you think those students told us right away? Of course not!

The only fix for this is to make sure your co-teacher makes her/his own copy manually. She/He can open the file, then select File > Make a copy. Right now, this is the only way to ensure your original template remains intact. The students DO NOT have to do this; only a co-teacher if you have one in your Google Classroom™ class.
Making a copy of a file in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com
If you have a co-teacher in Google Classroom™,
she/he will need to make a copy of the file in order to make changes to it.

You can review how to create an assignment in my video:



Thanks for stopping by for this tutorial. I will post next time on using the "Ask a question" and "Reuse post" options. 


Here are ALL of my Google Classroom™ posts:


Tips for secondary teachers on how you should set up your classes (pros and cons of having one Classroom per subject or one Classroom per class period).

Google Classroom Tips www.traceeorman.com



Includes tips and tutorials for creating new classes; customizing the look of your classes; adding new materials/online text; adding students; and adding co-teachers, teacher aides, or access for special education teachers. 




Includes tips and tutorials for creating assignments, announcements, and topics. Also has tips on how to save and delay posting and collecting work for students.




Includes tips and tutorials for creating questions, the types of questions available (multiple choice & short answer), allowing students to interact and respond to one another, and how to easily reuse posts from class to class and year to year.






To see all of my tutorial posts for using Google Classroom™, click here:
Google Classroom™ tips from www.traceeorman.com




Google Classroom™ is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Brand Permissions. 




8.27.2017

Getting Started on Google Classroom™

Getting Started on Google Classroom™ www.traceeorman.com



Getting Started on Google Classroom™

Now that you have decided HOW to set up your classes on Classroom™, it's time to start creating them. I will take you through the steps, explaining each one. You can also view the video screen recordings I've embedded to follow along. 

PLEASE NOTE: Using Classroom™does require that your school has a free G Suite for Education account. If you are using it with a personal account, this window will appear:


Terms Using Google Classroom™
In order for your documents and students' work to be private and secure, your school should set up a G suite account.

CREATING A NEW CLASS
After you have opened Classroom™, you will arrive on the Home screen. To add a class, click on the plus (+) sign in the top right of the screen.


Create a new class in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

A pop-up window will appear, which looks like this:
Create a new class in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com
You will fill out the name of the class (i.e. English II, Algebra I, Government, etc.). You can leave the other lines blank or fill them in. If you are setting up multiple sections for the same class, you can label the sections:
Create a new class in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

When you click "Create," your class is created and will look similar to this:
Create a new class in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com




CUSTOMIZING THE LOOK OF YOUR CLASS
To change the look of the class, use the "Select theme" or "Upload photo" options on the right side of the screen. 



When you select the theme, you are given options in a "Gallery." You can also select "Patterns" for additional selections.
Change the header image in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.comChange the header image in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com

If you choose to upload a photo, make sure the dimensions are 2000 x 400 pixels (or 20.833 x 4.1667 inches).

Watch a video recap of these directions here:




ADD CLASSROOM MATERIALS
TIP: After you make your class look the way you want, click on the "About" section to add another teacher, attach classroom materials (i.e. if you have an online textbook or other digital materials that are essential for the class, THIS is where you can attach them), view your Classroom Drive folder, and/or Classroom calendar.  See in the video below:




Your students will be able to access these materials anytime they need them without having to search the class stream.

ADDING ANOTHER TEACHER
If you co-teach a class, have a teacher's aide, or want to give another teacher (i.e. a special education teacher) access to your class, you can also do this in the "About" section. Just click on the "Invite Teacher" button and enter the email. The teacher will be able to do everything you can do except delete the class. 
Invite another teacher to your Google class  www.traceeorman.com


Insert additional details about the class in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com
You can add details about the class in the "About" section.

TIP: If you just want to give an aide or another teacher access to the assignments and class materials, it may be better to add them as a student. Most of my aides just wanted a copy of the online assignments so they could type in notes or answers for themselves. When they had access as a teacher, their notes would appear on every student copy because co-teachers do not get their own copy of the assignment like students do; they have access to YOUR original document. At the time of this blog post, Google Classroom™ does not allow you to set parameters for other teachers. If you still wish to give another teacher or aide full access, let them know ahead of time that if they plan to type on any documents you share, they MUST make a copy of the file first or it will mess up your template for the students.  

ADDING STUDENTS
You can add students to your class manually by typing in their email addresses. But that can be very time-consuming. Every class has a unique class code. It's much easier to share your class code with your students and have them add themselves. They will click on "Join class" on their home page, then enter the code you share with them. 

Adding students to your Google Classroom™ class  www.traceeorman.com


You have the ability to display your class code from your screen (using a projector or smart board) to share it with students:


This is also where you can set parameters for your students. Do you want them to be able to create posts? Comment on posts? Or neither? I have found that for some classes, I welcome the feedback and interaction of the students and for others, I had to disable all comment privileges because they made inappropriate remarks. You will need to decide what is best for your classes.

Set permissions for your students in Google Classroom™  www.traceeorman.com


Here's a recap video for adding other teachers and students to your class:




In the next post, I will show you how to add an announcement, assignment, poll your students, start a class discussion, and reuse a post from an archived or another class.


Here are ALL of my Google Classroom™ posts:


Tips for secondary teachers on how you should set up your classes (pros and cons of having one Classroom per subject or one Classroom per class period).

Google Classroom Tips www.traceeorman.com



Includes tips and tutorials for creating new classes; customizing the look of your classes; adding new materials/online text; adding students; and adding co-teachers, teacher aides, or access for special education teachers. 




Includes tips and tutorials for creating assignments, announcements, and topics. Also has tips on how to save and delay posting and collecting work for students.




Includes tips and tutorials for creating questions, the types of questions available (multiple choice & short answer), allowing students to interact and respond to one another, and how to easily reuse posts from class to class and year to year.




Google Classroom™ is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Brand Permissions. 

8.20.2017

Solar Eclipse Activities for English Language Arts


Solar Eclipse Activities for ELA teachers www.traceeorman.com

Solar Eclipse Activities for English Language Arts

If you're looking for some great ready-to-go (no prep needed) English language arts activities for tomorrow's solar eclipse, you can download them here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Solar-Eclipse-2017-Activities-3339317

Solar Eclipse Activities for ELA teachers www.traceeorman.comThe activities include a lesson on idioms, with students brainstorming various idioms related to the sun, moon, and/or eclipse and researching their origins. It is aligned to the Common Core standards for language and writing.

Another activity is a great back-to-school get-to-know-you activity for learning more about your students; students will share various details about themselves and predict what they will be doing when the next total solar eclipse happens in America in 2024.

A third activity is a fun playlist your students can create to commemorate the eclipse.

One of the best things about these activities is if viewing the eclipse is a bust (it's cloudy, or raining, or the students aren't allowed to view it), students can still do all the activities! Actually, the responses may even be more comical if it is a bust. 😂

Print and Go or Share Digitally Resources www.traceeorman.comThe handouts can be printed from a PDF file or you can share them digitally with your students through a secure online classroom like Google Classroom™ or Edmodo™. These are perfect for schools that are 1:1 or have access to computers or tablets.



And because I want you to make sure you get your money's worth, I will update the activities after Monday to make them usable for ANY eclipse in the future. :)


Solar Eclipse Activities https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Solar-Eclipse-2017-Activities-3339317



8.13.2017

Setting Up Your Google Classroom™ Classes

Google Classroom tips from a veteran user www.traceeorman.com


Google Classroom™ Tips: Setting up your Google Classroom™ classes

After over ten years of teaching in a 1:1 classroom, I've used numerous websites, servers, and apps to share work digitally with students. So far, Google Classroom™ has been one of the easiest ways to securely assign and share work from various devices. (It wasn't always like this when we switched to iPads®, but since then, Classroom™ has made vast improvements for Apple® compatibility.) 

If you are looking to use Google Classroom™ with your students, I'll be sharing some tips I've learned through my experience teaching high school English (these tips can be used by ANY teacher of ANY subject or grade level). This first post is about setting up your classes. 


There are a couple of different ways to create classes. I've tried it both ways and will share my experiences with both. I see the benefits of both options but every teacher/classroom is different, so I encourage you to find the way that works best for you. 



Google Classroom classes  www.traceeorman.com
An example of my Google Classroom™ classes.
    Option 1: Create a Google class for each class period you teach. I used this option this past year and it worked quite well. In an eight-period day, I teach six classes and one study hall. This past year I had four sections (or class periods) of English II, one section of English IV, and one section of General English IV. I was also a sponsor for the senior class, so I created a "Class of 2017" class to share information. Our principal uses Classroom™ for our teacher evaluations each year, so I was a "student" in those classes.





Google Classroom Classes Sample 2016 www.traceeorman.com
My archived classes from 2016.
     Option 2: Create a Google class for each different prep you teach. I used this option the first year of using Google Classroom™ to avoid having to repeat writing the same assignment over and over again (at the time, the option to select multiple classes for the same assignment had not been added). For example, I only had to create three Google classes instead of six: one for English II (which included all my students from three different class periods), one for English IV (which included students from two class periods), and one for General English IV (which included students from one class period). Some teachers who just had one class prep only had to create one Google class.




  PROS of Option 1:

  -You can easily see if everyone in the class has turned work in. This prevents you from becoming a broken record, reminding students to turn in their digital assignment. "Don't forget to turn in...oh, everyone in this class has turned theirs in. Great!"


Example Classroom assignment www.traceeorman.com


  -If one class/section covers the material at a faster rate than another, you don't have to adjust the due dates. (We all know how easily one section can get ahead of another; last year it seemed my morning classes were constantly cut short for various school assemblies, wellness checks--eyes, hearing, lice!--and school pictures, etc.)

  -If you are transferring scores into your grading program, your scores are already listed alphabetically by class period. This makes it much easier to transfer scores into your grading program. (I like to just look at the scores and input them down the line.)

Classroom scores example

  -When you create an assignment, you can create it for multiple classes so you don't have to re-type it for every class. You can easily use the drop-down menu and check off all the classes you want to assign it to. This was not always the case. The first year I used Classroom, it was beneficial to have just one Google class for my three sections of English II to avoid having to re-post the same assignment.  


Google Classroom assignment options www.traceeorman.com
Google Classroom™ allows you to share the same assignment with multiple classes.


  PROS for Option 2:

  -Having just one class for each subject/prep is less work. (Initially, at least.) Even though Google made it easier to share assignments with more than one class, I can't tell you how many times I forgot to use that feature last year (but it was many times). When I wanted to share a link to a YouTube™ video, or to a Quizlet™ list, or to a No Red Ink™ assignment, doing it all at once was much easier.

  -It's faster to see how all of your students in that class, as a whole, are progressing. For example, checking the progress of an assignment means just looking in ONE class, rather than three or four (or how ever many sections you have).   
Checking the progress of an assignment in Google Classroom www.traceeorman.com
Quickly check the progress of an assignment on Google Classroom™.
  -A larger number of students allows for greater discussions and/or polls in Classroom™. When I want to have a discussion on Classroom™,  it's beneficial to have a greater number of students in the class. Some of my sections are very small (I had one class with only three students and one with just six students last year!). It was very hard for the students in those smaller classes to have more diverse conversations. Most of our online discussion fell flat. The best responses happened when I allowed all of them to respond to one another (via Blogger, since I had separate classes in Google Classroom). They truly enjoyed the interaction with students outside their section. 
  Another benefit is when you want to poll ALL of your students enrolled in one prep (i.e. all of my English II students), you can just create one question in the class and get the results from just that one poll. Using Option 1, you would have to compile the results from all of your classes, which may take longer and you don't have that immediate feedback.


Share with all students or pick which ones get the assignment. www.traceeorman.com
Choose to share with ALL students, or just some, for differentiation.
  -Google allows you to choose which students you want to share an assignment (or announcement or question/poll) with, making it easy to differentiate within one Classroom class. Let's say that you teach math and have four sections of Algebra I--two in the morning and two in the afternoon. You set up one Google class for all four sections. One day you had a morning assembly, so your morning classes did not meet. You don't want them to get behind, but you won't see them until the next morning. To solve this problem, you have one of your students in an afternoon class video your lecture and your instructions for the assignment. In Classroom, you create an assignment with the instructions and attach the video (more on how to do that in another post) and assign it ONLY to those students who missed your morning class (and those who may have been absent in an afternoon class, as well). 
  This feature was added last year and made my life much easier for students who were absent. The only problem was that I had to do this multiple times for each section because I could only check off students in that particular Google class. 


Differentiate assignments or share with students who were absent in Google Classroom. www.traceeorman.com
You can share links/assignments with select students in Classroom.


I am sure there are other benefits for both options that I am missing. If you have some to add, please share in the comments below. Whichever option you choose for setting up your Google classes, there are many benefits. Look at your class schedule and decide which would work best for you. If you teach in a 1:1 school, Google Classroom™ is a secure, safe, and easy way to share and collect work from students, as well as a great way to connect with them.

You may have noticed that I am a student in a few of the classes shown. We use Google Classroom™ for teacher evaluations and for professional development, as well. It's a great way for administrators and fellow teachers or presenters to share information, documents, and even assignments with the staff. Share this with your administration if this is something you'd like to implement in your school. I can provide additional information--just contact me through Blogger or Google+ or one of the many social media sites I'm on. You can also see how it works through my Student Growth form for teachers and administrators.


Track student growth easily https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Student-Growth-Data-Tracker-Google-Drive-3267537?utm_source=traceeorman.com&utm_campaign=GoogleClass%20post



Here are ALL of my Google Classroom™ posts:


Tips for secondary teachers on how you should set up your classes (pros and cons of having one Classroom per subject or one Classroom per class period).

Google Classroom Tips www.traceeorman.com



Includes tips and tutorials for creating new classes; customizing the look of your classes; adding new materials/online text; adding students; and adding co-teachers, teacher aides, or access for special education teachers. 




Includes tips and tutorials for creating assignments, announcements, and topics. Also has tips on how to save and delay posting and collecting work for students.




Includes tips and tutorials for creating questions, the types of questions available (multiple choice & short answer), allowing students to interact and respond to one another, and how to easily reuse posts from class to class and year to year.






Google Classroom™ is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Brand Permissions.

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I teach high school English in Illinois; enjoy family time, baseball, collecting PEZ dispensers, and talking about anything related to my favorite books. They include The Hunger Games trilogy, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Chaos Walking trilogy, and anything written by Amy Tan.

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