Showing posts with label edchat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label edchat. Show all posts

Creating Assignments in Google Classroom™

Creating and Posting Assignments in Google Classroom™

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™

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™

Posting options in Google Classroom™

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™

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

Posting an announcement in Google Classroom™

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™

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™

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™

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™

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™

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™

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™

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™

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™

  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™

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™
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

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

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

Setting Up Your Google Classroom™ Classes

Google Classroom tips from a veteran user

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
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
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

  -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
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
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.
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.
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

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

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.

Favorite iPad Apps for Middle and High School: Notability

iPad Apps for Middle and High School Classrooms -

Notability: A Favorite App for Middle and High School Classrooms
As our school transitioned to iPads this year, I've had the opportunity to try out new apps with my students. I have found Notability to be one of my favorites.

Use Notability to annotate text or create original content

Annotate Documents
Notability allows students to open any document and annotate it. And not just annotate. They can add videos, respond with a voice recording, insert pictures, and so much more.

Notability app: Embed videos, images, web links into any document
Embed videos, images, text, web links, audio, etc. into
ANY document using the Notability app.

Create Original Content
In addition, they can create their own original documents and share with others for feedback. Students can use this app to take notes (either by typing or writing) and add pictures, doodles, web links--pretty much anything--to their document.

iPad Apps: Create original documents for note-taking and collaboration in Notability.

Record Audio
One of the best features is being able to record audio, which is linked to the note. During a lecture, students can record the lecture as they take notes.

Students can record themselves reading their essays or other texts to check for fluency (as well as to help with editing--they catch more mistakes when they read their work aloud).

iPad Apps: Record an audio response on any document in Notability.
Record audio, such as lectures or personal feedback, within Notability.

So Many Uses For Teachers, Too
Teachers can also use the audio recording feature to give personal feedback messages back to students. We all know sometimes it's much faster to say it than type it out. Plus, students can hear our tone and better understand our comments.

Teachers can take text they want to share with students and insert web links and videos to enhance learning. For example, you can share text (a story, article, novel) with your students and add links to definitions of words they may find difficult. Use the audio and pronounce the word for students.

If a story has an allusion to a famous painting, you can embed a photograph of that painting or commentary about it to deepen understanding.

Share PDFs You Purchased on TpT
For anyone who has purchased PDF resources from my store on TeachersPayTeachers, you have my permission to use Notability for those documents so you can share them securely with your students and they can respond directly on the page.

Compare/Contrast Any Text
Instead of printing and writing, you can share PDFs
through Google Classroom and Notability for a
paperless alternative. From Compare/Contrast ANY Text.

Any PDF can become a digitally interactive document in Notability.
Turn any PDF into a digitally interactive document on Notability.
From Common Core Reading Graphic Organizers, Grades 9-10.

We use Google Classroom in our district and though we had many challenges this fall, it is nice that we can share Notability documents directly through Google Drive/Google Classroom. Use the "upload" icon, which is a square with an arrow pointing upward to get to the sharing menu.

Sharing Notability documents through Google Drive.

It's OK to Take a Break From Technology
When technology is working, it's a great thing. But, it's always best to prepare for when it's not working. Besides, it's OK to take a break from technology. We all need to put the devices aside and just communicate in old fashioned ways each day. At the end of a class period (when your students are wanting to pack up anyway), let them put their devices away and just talk to one another. I like to share humor with them and discuss it just for fun. It reminds us all that no matter how great technology is, nothing replaces face-to-face communication.

Technology can't replace the benefits of face-to-face communication.

Suggestions? Questions? Your Favorite Apps?
I plan to continue this series, highlighting additional apps such as Google Classroom. Let me know if you have suggestions or questions.

Also, please post below with any of your favorite apps for tablets OR websites you use in class. (We love No Red Ink and purchased a district license this year. More about that in another post!)

By the way, I am not affiliated with Notability at all, nor was I asked to write a review. Actually, I hadn't even heard of it until last spring when another teacher at my school asked if we could purchase the app for all students. This post is my opinion based on how I've used it so far this year.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Mrs. Orman's Classroom -

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