Learning with the power of Google can make the classroom dynamic. With technology being a universal tool in our world, it’s sometimes best to steer into the skid and start using the technology skills students are entering the classroom with to our advantage. This is where Google Classroom comes into play.
What is Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a free online tool created to help teachers go paperless in the classroom. With this tool, teachers can post assignments and give feedback in real-time with Google Drive. While many feel like Google Classroom is primarily for secondary classrooms, elementary teachers can use it too.
#1 Keep Parents Informed with Google Classroom
One of the best features of Google Classroom is the ability to keep parents informed with the calendar and Google Drive. By using these interactive tools, parents can see when parties are, what is being worked on in the classroom, and if there are any reading goals or big projects coming up they need to know about. While many people use folders for students to take home every night, we know students aren’t always great at relaying the message and a busy night might mean mom or dad don’t look until it’s too late. Using a spreadsheet, calendar, or document on Google gives parents real time updates at their fingertips.
#2 Give Positive Feedback
When students first start typing and working on new skills whether that’s writing, reading a new story, or developing a new literacy skill, it might take them some time to fully understand. Google Classroom gives you an opportunity to comment real-time with a student. Having the ability to type in a few short comments right when something is done will give the student instant feedback so they know how to improve their skills. In addition, this helps you differentiate your instruction.
#3 Post Assignments
Google Classroom is great for anything in real time, which means it can allow you to post assignments from anywhere. Suddenly sick? Google Classroom is here to help! Instead of having to run to school to pull out what you need from the sub binder you have on hand, you can simply take the documents off your computer and upload them. Always leave the needed login information for your Google Classroom available and you can have your day planned in no time at all.
This can also work really well for literacy centers. While you want to have some manipulative, hands-on activities, having an area where students work on Google Classroom projects is a very effective use of time. You can have task cards available on Google Classroom to give students they can do more than once for extra practice.
#4 Share Game Boards with Google
Another great way to use Google Classroom in elementary classrooms is to make game boards available online. Having a game to play for fast finishers is incredibly helpful when it comes to classroom management. In addition, games can be effective in learning centers and when you need to go back and review various concepts in the classroom. You can put any kind of document in your Google Classroom, therefore you can put any type of game online for your students to use including Scoot questions and Squares your Brain activities.
#5 Student Collaboration
Just like you can give students feedback, students can work together on various projects or problems without having to use their “inside voices.” If two students get done early, they can work together on a problem or challenge each other in a game while the rest of the students work on the assignment. When students work together, they can correct each other’s errors which is sometimes more effective than the teacher repeating information. It’s kind of like having a mini-teacher in the room.
#6 Stay Organized with Google Classroom Tools
One of the hardest things to do as a teacher is to stay organized. You do a lot in a day and a misplaced paper isn’t exactly uncommon. Google Classroom allows you to keep everything in one place, the world wide web. With this progam, gone are the days of carrying home a heavy bag loaded down with endless piles of paper. A simple computer bag will do. Plus, your lesson plans are at your fingertips and easy to update and share with administration as needed. Sounds nice right?
Google Classroom is an innovative classroom that gives you Google power to differentiate, give meaningful feedback, and grade without the backache. Google Classrooms have endless possibilities; you just have to login and start creating.