The more I use Google Classroom, the more ideas I get to make it accessible for families. I have posted a lot about Google Classroom, but I wanted to share how my Google Classroom has evolved in order to give other cluster program teachers ideas on how to organize your Google Classrooms. Here is a “tour” of my Google Classroom…
The stream part of Google Classroom is designed for announcements. You can post materials or videos to your announcements, but I wanted to keep mine user-friendly for students and families, so I have one announcement each day with the same basic message. I also include a translation of the announcement each day for my families who speak Spanish.
2. Usernames & Passwords
I have all the students’ username and password pages for their online educational curriculum (RAZ-Kids, Lexia, Dreambox, Xtra Math) at the top of my Classwork page so it is easily accessible. I also put an emoji picture of a lock next to the passwords so it is easy for students and parents to find and reference. While in teacher view, you can see all of my students’ username and password pages, I only share a student’s password page with that student. In the student view, a student will only see their username and password page at the top of their Classwork page.
3. Daily Schedule
I have my Classwork page organized into the days of the week and I have numbered the order in which students are supposed to complete the activities. Each day, students start by watching a video of the Class Code (rules, mantra, zones of regulation) and then they watch the Math Meeting video (check out my blog, Adapting Math Meeting for Remote Learning). After, they have two educational websites to log on to (Monday and Wednesday it is the same two, while Tuesday and Thursday are a different two sites). Depending on the day, I have also included a video of a social story or my Special Olympics practice video. I like numbering the activities because the order is clear and I also like including the emoji symbols to make using the daily schedules more user friendly.
4. “Field Trip” Friday
While I have a daily schedule on my Google Classroom, so many parents are still working during the week and often are not able to help their children access their work until the evenings or weekends. I created “Field Trip” Friday as a way to help families catch up on work. I have the assignments from the educational websites listed from the week, so students are able to catch up on Friday or the weekend. I also post a YouTube video of a virtual tour of one of the museums in our city for students who may already be caught up or just as another activity parents can have their child do semi-independently. Our mayor is doing a series where she gives virtual tours of our city’s museums, but you can always search for a virtual tour of a museum in your city or just a video of another part of the world.
5. How to Log On Websites
When I first introduced educational websites with individual student logins on my Google Classroom, I introduced one site per week for four weeks. I posted the instructions each day, when introducing these sites for the first time. Now since my students have logged into each site, I no longer post the instructions each day, but still wanted a place families could reference the instructions if they needed to. I put a “How to Log On to Websites” section at the bottom with all the step-by-step instructions (in English and Spanish), so parents and students could find them easily. For more suggestions on how to create step-by-step instructions to teach families to log on to educational websites, check out my previous blog,Teaching Parents and Students to Use Online Programs.
I hope you got some ideas for your Google Classroom setup. Please share below how you make your Google Classroom user-friendly for your parents and students. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!