In the last post on Google Classroom, a very broad overview of the differences between Google Classroom, eBackpack, and Hapara Teacher Dashboard was given. This post will introduce you to the Google Classroom interface.
Logging into Google Classroom
To get to Google Classroom from your browser, go to classroom.google.com. You and your students should download the Classroom app as well. You can only use Google Classroom with your FCS Google account. The first time you log in, if you are a Middle or Upper School you will see a listing of all of the classes you teach. Before you can use Classroom with your students, you will have to click the Activate button on each class listed. If you do not see any classes or if you do see classes but would like to create your own Classroom, click the “+” in the upper right corner to make a new class.
Add a class name and a section. The class name should be the title of the class. (“Mrs. Johnson Fourth Grade,” “Spanish 3,” “8th Grade Social Studies”). The section should identify which of those classes it is (for me, mine say “2nd period” for the section). Then click “Create.”
Choose a theme
Once your class is created or you open the classes that have been created for you, you should take a second and choose a theme if you don’t like the theme that Google chose for you. Google tries to set a picture that reflects the name of your class. It can be hit or miss. At the top right, click “Change class theme” on the right side of the header. It will open a gallery of header images you can use to spice up your classroom.
Edit your about page
The About page (accessible from the middle menu bar) is home to the course name, description, location, and instructor contact information. In addition, there is a Materials section that allows the instructor to add files from Google Drive.
- The Google Drive folder for your class
- Each Classroom course has a Google Calendar associated with it. All of your assignments will also be listed in a Google Calendar that you and students can see.
- Add materials. This is a great place to link course specific documents that will be referenced regularly (syllabus, reading list, Google Drive folder with all the documents needed for the course, etc).
Add students to your Classroom
If you are using the classes that have been created for you already, you can skip this part. If you have created your own class, have them log into Classroom with their FCS Google account and click the “+” just like you did. It will prompt them for a class code, which you can give them (write it on the board, show it on a projector, etc.). Once they enter it, they’re in!
You are not limited to just adding students into a Classroom. You can also add other faculty and staff as students or co-teachers. This would be a great use for departments to share and collaborate on documents with each other while maintaining a one-stop-shop for all your communications.
This post has described how to customize the look of your Classroom, add information and materials to the About page, and how to add students to your Classroom. In the next post, we will discuss how to create assignments and announcements.