I have spent quite a bit of time in the past week helping teachers set up their Google Classrooms and in the process have: (a) discovered some good resources and, (b) started to understand which tips & tricks are the most useful to share.
Tips and tricks first:
- Spend less time in the Stream and more time on the Classwork page. In the video below they suggest ignoring the Stream. This seems a bit dramatic but makes sense. Classroom defaults to the Stream which can get very unorganised, and posts quickly disappear at the bottom of the page. Classwork, on the other hand, can be easily organised using Topics. A good suggestion is to get students to bookmark the Classroom page as described HERE.
- Give some thought to the Topics you use on the Classwork page. Consider asking students what they would find useful. Make Topics by clicking on the Create button. Topics only show up when assignments and materials are added to them, and you can click and drag to move things around.
- Train students to click either Hand In or Mark as Done when their work is ready for you to look at it. This will make the new Grading section
- Start using the Grading Tab. Once you start assigning work as Assignments in Classroom and students get used to clicking Hand In the Grading tab should start to be a very useful overview of student work.
Here are some resources that I found helpful: This slide show is the most comprehensive Google Classroom resource I have found. If Slides work for you feel free to click through them, otherwise I have provided links below to PDF versions that you can download and print.