Using Google Classroom

Have you used Google Classroom? I learned about it last year, and love incorporating it into my own third-grade classroom. More and more Virginia schools are moving toward 1:1 classrooms. A few counties have already done it (I know Arlington County is almost completely 1:1 now in terms of iPads for upper elementary school students. My school unfortunately is not, but I love learning more and more about technology! I have lately been researching how to use Google Classroom and Google Drive in my own classroom.

At first I thought I’d be unable to use Google Classroom with my kids. After all, we are not 1:1. My classroom has a total of five laptops for the kids to use. How on Earth would this work?! Checking out mobile laptop carts can be a pain in the booty, and our iPad checkout is always INSANELY BUSY. I found that I can easily use it in my classroom during language arts or math, since the kids can rotate with stations onto the computers. I also have an iPad and let them use my personal computer if we need more.

There are definitely some neat things to do on Google Classroom! Below you can see some ideas that are simple to incorporate into your classroom, even without having a device for each student. All of the apps below are included on Google Classroom assignments, so they are simple to get your students started with.
  • Writing brainstorm
  • Create a graphic organizer
  • Create a timeile
  • Mind maps
  • Kids can create a mind map to sum up their learning on literally ANY subject! Ancient Egypt? Geometry? Grammar? What are the major ideas and concepts? Sum up those BIG IDEAS!
My kids definitely love Google Slides the most. Google Slides is simply a cloud-based version of PowerPoint.
  • Slideshow presentations
    • Influential Americans: Each student picks an influential Americans and uses a database like PebbleGo to research and present
    • Ecosystems: Groups of students work together to research and present information on an ecosystem. Many students use Google Slides when we are working on a PBL.
  • Online resources
Kids can collaborate and write a piece as a group! Google Docs is neat because all kids can work on a specific document together…at the same time… on their own devices!
  • Group folktale story (I love doing this when we are doing our Folktales unit!)
  • Write a newspaper article on a current event for science
  • Write a newspaper article on an event in the past, pretending to be a journalist of the time period.
Have you used Google Classroom? What ideas do you have to incorporate and teach the curriculum using it?

Update: For more detailed tutorials on Google Apps or GAFE, please see: ClassroomSlidesFormsHangouts, Drive, Docs

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