In my previous post, I covered the basics of Google Classroom, provided some tips for naming classes, and how to change the header. In this post, I will cover adding assignments, announcements, questions, and reusing posts. Google Classroom is so flexible. I can share a post with all students in all classrooms, or just one student in one classroom. I love this!
Open Google Classroom and select your class. For illustrative purposes, I’m using my Test Class. Once opened, click on the plus sign in the bottom right corner, and a list of options for posting will open that include create announcement, create assignment, create question, and reuse post.
Creating an Announcement
I’ll walk through each of the post options in order from create announcement. So, click on the plus sign then on the speech bubble icon (the one on the bottom) to create an announcement. Doing so will cause this pop-up window to appear:
First off, I can select which classes I want to include in the announcement. If my Freshman English class is having a quiz, I don’t necessarily want to tell my Junior English class about it. However, if I do want to announce something to all my students, I would click the down arrow next to the class name and check the boxes next to the classes I wanted to include. This is such a time-saver. I don’t have to type the same announcement on every classroom page.
What if I want to create an announcement for just a few kids in one class, let’s say a reminder to hand something in? I can click the down arrow next to all students, a list of students in that class will be populated, and I can check boxes for only those students who need the reminder. The announcement will be displayed to only those students I selected when they open classroom. Genius.
In this case, I want to remind students of an open house. After selecting the audience, I can type in my announcement in the space provided. I can also choose a topic for this announcement. Topics act like hashtags. They can help sort posts. Once I add a topic in this slot, Google Classroom automatically adds it to a topic menu on the left side of the page. This can be helpful if I need to quickly find a post later. Students can find assignments quickly as well. I HIGHLY recommend using topics.
You can also add files from your computer, Drive files, YouTube videos, and links to the announcement. I’ll show you how to do so when I go through creating assignments a little further down this post.
The bottom left of the pop-up window gives you options for how to post this announcement. I can post it now by clicking post, or I can schedule it to post at a later date (think about all those pro-development days you could enter in now and could be posted later), or save it as a draft. In this case, I’m ready to post it now, so I click post and the announcement is now posted to my page.
Creating an Assignment
Click the plus sign in the bottom right corner and click create assignment.
This will open a similar pop-up window:
I have all the same options for creating an announcement like selecting classes and specific students. I need to choose a title for this assignment. Last year, I didn’t use numbers for assignments, which was fine, but if I used numbers, I could find the folders in my Drive much more easily. TIP: use a numbering system for assignments. The one that I think will work best for me is just start at 1. For this assignment, I would use 001 How and Why We Read. The next assignment will start with 002 and so on.
Type in any instructions you want your students to follow. I do not just retype in the instructions they would find in a textbook or worksheet. Instead, I would include page numbers to read or to follow an attached link and what to do next. In this case I want them to respond to a YouTube video in a journal entry.
Assign a due date and time, if desired. Add a topic to help sort this type of assignment from others, just like we did for the announcement.
I want them to watch a particular video. Classroom will allow me to attach it to the assignment. Click on the YouTube icon on the bottom left.
And a window similar to this will open:
I can either search for a YouTube video directly from this window or I can click the URL option and copy and paste a URL. If I decide to search, I just type in my search terms in the box and click the magnifying glass. Options for selecting a video will be generated. I can preview videos in this window. I know I want the Crash Course video, so I select this one by clicking the description box.
I want to attach the digital journal from my Drive to this assignment as well. So I click on the Drive icon in the bottom left of the window.
And this window will open:
Classroom defaults to showing your most recent items used or created in Drive. If the document I want isn’t shown, I can search My Drive, Team Drives, or Starred options. Additionally, I can upload something from my computer in this window. If I can’t see the one I want listed, I can use the search function as well. For this assignment, I want the “How and Why We Read Journal” Google doc. All I need to do is click the assignment image and then click the blue Add button.
VERY IMPORTANT: Once attached to the assignment, Google Classroom will generate a list on how I want students to interact with it. Once the assignment is scheduled or posted, you cannot go back and edit to add “Make a copy for each student.”
- Students can view file: students can read the file, but do little else. If you want them to answer questions, they will have to make a copy. Once they make a copy they can edit the document however they want to do so.
- Students can edit file: Students can edit the document immediately. This is a great option for collaboration (I’ll add a post on this at a later date), but will alter the original. If this is what you want to use, have an original that you make a copy of and share the copy. I usually name the original and add make a copy to the title to remind myself not to share it.
- Make a copy for each student: Google Classroom will create template and then make a copy for each student. I use this option about 85% of the time.
Decide how to post the assignment (just like the announcement):
And now the assignment is posted to the Classroom Stream:
With an assignment, you will have a quick view of how many have completed the assignment or not. These numbers are also a link to the page for grading work. I promise I will cover more on this later on a blog post in this series. If I allow students to comment on the page (this is done on the student page – I’ll discuss this, too!), students can ask questions or share on the bottom of the post.
What if I decide I don’t like the topic I chose for this assignment? Good news! I can change it. Click the three dots on the top right of the box named “Topics” in the left menu. The option to delete or rename the topic is provided.
I want to rename the topic, so I click that option.
All I have to do is type in the new name and then click “rename.” Now my topic is changed.
What if I want to edit my assignment? Again, good news, Classroom allows it. just click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the assignment post.
From this menu, I can edit, delete or copy link. This is helpful to change wording, clarify directions, add links or docs, or maybe delete the assignment altogether because I decided to try something else. The only thing I can’t do from here is change how I want students to interact with a document to “Make a copy for students.”
Create a Question
Two down, two to go. Alright, I want to post a question to my class. It’s early in the year, so I want to get to know them better, so I’m going to ask about books and authors they like. TIP: posting a question is a great way to review concepts from the previous day OR to provide a type of formative assessment at the end of class. Click the plus button again and select Create a question.
This pop-up window will open:
This is very much like the Create assignment option. I can select classes and students I want to pose the question to, add the question, set a due date and time, provide instructions, attach video, docs, links, or upload files. One difference is I can ask them to respond with either a short answer or multiple choice answer. If I choose the multiple choice option, I can create the response options. Since I’m using this to get to know my students, I’m selecting short answer.
I can decide whether or not I want students to interact with each other, and if they can edit their responses. If I was using this as an assessment, I probably wouldn’t allow them to edit their answers. Again, I can decide how I want to post the question: ask right away, schedule, or save as a draft. I want to post the question, so I click the Ask option. If I wanted to use this as an exit ticket, I would schedule the question to post in the last ten minutes of class.
Students can now respond to my question.
Last year I had this great assignment about learning inventories I want to use again this year. I do not have to sift through my archived classes to find it. All I have to do is click the plus sign and then click Reuse post.
This pop-up window will then generate all of my current and archived classes:
In this case, I know I posted it to 16-17 Q4 Sophomore English S1. So I click that class title.
All the assignments from that class are then generated. I just click on the “Learning Style Inventory” assignment. If I want to keep the attachments from this assignment, then keep the box checked in the bottom left. If not, uncheck the box and Classroom will not attach them. Now I’m ready to click the blue Reuse button on the bottom right.
All the options for a new assignment are available. I can even change the name of the assignment. Add classes, students, due dates, docs, topics, etc. Then I also have the options to post, schedule, or save as a draft.
And here it is:
I have covered how to post the four different kinds of posts on the Google Classroom Stream. Whew! That is a tone of information. It is my hope that this step-by-step approach will help teachers dive into Google Classroom.
Next time, I will cover the items available on the Students page. The following post will cover the About page. Then, I will come back to grading work.
Questions? Feel free to comment below.
Thanks for stopping by,