If you and your students are using Google Apps in the classroom, Google Classroom can save you tons of time and effort. It helps you assign, collect, grade and return work seamlessly.
But, like anything else, there are tricks that can help you do the same work in less time.
They make you more efficient and effective.
Here are 10 tips to save you some time while using Google Classroom:
1. Find student work in Classroom by using Google Drive.
Digging files out of assignments in Google Classroom isn’t the only way to open and review student work. Files that students turn in to you are saved in a folder in your Google Drive called “Classroom.” They’re sorted by class and by assignment, too. You can always find those files by opening the subfolders in Drive. You can also use the search bar to search for a specific student name or assignment name.
2. Let students help each other by posting a question.
Teachers don’t have to answer every question! We can empower students to help each other. Use the “+” button to create a question for a particular assignment or project. It can serve as a discussion board where students can help each other. (Of course, you can always pop into the question to view discussions to make sure they’re accurate and on point.)
3. Get just the right amount of email by adjusting notification settings.
Is all the email that Classroom sends you killing you? There are some settings that let you customize it.
First, Classroom lets you turn email notifications on and off (Classroom sends you emails when someone adds a comment to your post and when a private comment is posted on a student’s assignment or question submission.) Click the menu button (three lines) and scroll down to “Settings”, then check or uncheck notifications.
Next, Google sends you notifications for a variety of actions. To change those notifications use the button next to each action to toggle them on or off.
Get notified of late student work.
Google Classroom will now email you when students turn in late work. So you can turn on that notification and receive an email for it.
4. Use keyboard commands instead of the mouse.
Keeping your fingers on the keyboard can save you seconds each time you do many things on Classroom, and those seconds add up quickly!
For example: When entering grades, once you’ve clicked on one student’s grade, you can push the up and down arrows to move to students’ grades up and down the list. This is SO much faster than clicking and typing.
Other keyboard commands: Tab can move through links and text fields on the page. The space bar works like a mouse click.
Of course, don’t forget the basics: Ctrl+C = copy, Ctrl+X = cut, Ctrl+V = paste, Ctrl+Z = undo. Another favorite: Ctrl+K = add a link. (Use Command instead of Ctrl on a Mac.)
Not all keyboard commands are faster than clicking with a mouse, but you can definitely find some that save you time
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6. Keep everyone up to date by sharing the class calendar.
This shared by Sean Fahey.
Making the class Google calendar public so parents can see what assignments are due helps save time when parents want to know what assignments are due, missing, late, etc.
First, go to calendar.google.com and find your class calendar.
Then, click on the three dots next to the calendar and choose "Settings and sharing".
From there you can change the access permissions and make the calendar available to the public.
Finally get the shareable link and email it to all of your parents and guardians. Now they have an easy way to see whats due and when!
7. View all student work in one place.
Tip shared by Sean Fahey.
Go to people tab and select a student's name.
It will give you an overview of all assignments for that student.
Go to people tab in Google Classroom and select a students name.
From there, you can:
- Filter by status of work assigned, turned in, late, or missing.
- View any grades for classwork.
- View any attachments to submitted work (you will see a paperclip icon).
- See if the student sent you a private comment (you will see a comment icon next to their work).
8. Connect other tools to Classroom quickly.
Lots of great educational websites work hand in hand with Google Classroom.
Check out 30 apps that work with Google Classroom for a list of awesome apps you can use to make Google Classroom work even better for you and your students.
Here are some examples:
- Formative (goformative.com), which lets you create digital assignments for students and provide real-time feedback, lets you add those assignments directly to Google Classroom.
- Quizizz (quizizz.com), a site that turns your activities into game-show-type games, lets you assign those activities as homework through Google Classroom. Once you assign a Quizizz game as homework, you can add it to Google Classroom.
- Other sites: Google for Education has partnered with lots of other sites and digital tools through Google Classroom.
9. Organize and sort your posts with topics.
Do you feel like all the assignments, announcements and questions in your Classroom are too unorganized? Tag them with topics and you can filter and sort them to create some order!
Create topics by clicking “Add topic” in the topics window in your Classroom stream … or create a new topic when making a new assignment, announcement or question.
Click on an individual topic to see ONLY the posts in that topic.
(Curious about that animal cell claymation video you see above? Click here to watch it.)
10. Reuse posts so you don’t have to create them again from scratch.
Do you create the same kinds of posts over and over? Don’t re-create them from scratch each time! Use the “reuse post” option.
- Click the “+” button. Choose “Reuse post”.
- Select the class where you posted it first. (Note: You can take a post from one class and reuse it in another class!)
- Select the post you want to reuse.
- Classroom will create a new copy of that same post that you can customize. You can add it to any class, change the text, add new links or files, etc.
- Click “Assign” to assign it to your class immediately, or use the dropdown arrow and choose “Schedule” to schedule it to post later.
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