Easy guide to setting up your google class
by Jon Belt
Google classroom will dominate my classroom this year. I have played around with google classroom before, but never taken the proper steps. I have a classroom set of iPads, and a set of Sony headphones. My teacher theme this year is "change for the better." I am super excited for this adventure. I would like to share my tips for this great tool.
The sign up process is easy, but you need to go through your district. Google Apps for Education is free to districts. Your district has a password for you to get started, and once you get this, it will prompt you to reset your password. Our district is lucky enough to have very skilled and talented Informational Technologists to assist. Get to know your technology department in your district, because they can solve many of your issues quick and easy.
2. Create a Fake Class
Once you are in the classroom hub, it's a good idea to create a fake class. I had my wife and coworker join this fake class. You can navigate and make fake assignments. I actually made real assignments in hopes my wife would do them, but I am still waiting -- I should have put a due date.
3. Sign up your students
This seems like an easy step, but takes a few collaborators to make it happen. First, you must have permission from your students' parents/guardians. This is a simple email agreement that must be signed. These were easy to collect because I prefaced it with "If you do not turn this in you will not be permitted to use an iPad." I received these forms the next day from 104 out of 107.
After receiving permission, you must send these names to your informational technologist. They will develop an email and password for each student.
For elementary and middle school students, remembering this long email address is quite daunting. We practiced logging in and logging out continuously until they felt confident. Guess what? I still had students that could not login correctly, so we practiced more. We are still getting there, but it's only been two days.
*Note: All districts have different procedures. This is the procedure our district has in place.
4. Navigate Google Drive
We are completing Joy Journals every day for "Solo Time" this year, and they started writing them on paper and pencil. Once they were signed up through Google Classroom, they were required to transfer the Joy Journals to a Google Doc. I do one with them every day and showed them the format I required. This was a great beginning to Google docs, and how to create them.
As an English-Language Arts teacher my grading system has never been the most efficient. Grading through Google Classroom makes the process much easier. I did my first batch of grading this weekend. The only snag I ran into was finding some of the documents the students were to turn in (Mark as Done). I am certain I did not give the proper instructions, but 'hey' we are all learning here. I left a comment to the entire class that I was unable to see their document, so we will fix that on Tuesday (Had PD Day on Monday so NO SCHOOL). Also, you are able to see who is Done and who is NOT DONE. This is due to the students not clicking on the blue button named MARK AS DONE. They may have finished the assignment, but not marked it complete.
What I LOVE most about this feature is being able to leave comments.
Jon Belt lives in