Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lesson Design in Google Classroom

I was an early adopter of Google Classroom.  I was one of those on the waiting list so I could use it right away!  As a former Moodle user, I LOVE Google Classroom for my type of classroom.  I do not need a full learning management system like Moodle.  The one aspect that I have had to really improve on is how I set-up my lessons or projects.


By June, I had figured out the best way to communicate to students the directions even if I was not in class that day.  This was so helpful for days I was away writing curriculum.  I discovered that giving a brief intro followed by numbered directions works best when there are multiple attachments in the assignment.  (Below is the Teacher View)

I also discovered that I had to really think about the order in which I place all of the attached files and documents.

Larger Projects:

Most of my classes are project-based.  I really love using Google Classroom for this purpose.  I am able to write a project description, give a copy to each student their design folder, rubric and examples of student work.  Making the rubric available at all times as well as the examples of student work is so valuable.  I observed students referring back to those files frequently. 

Towards the end of their lengthy project, I am able to add various announcements to aide in completing their design folder.  Even in announcements, I can attach example questions, a lovely Google Forms cheat sheet from Shake Up Learning and a few screencasts made by their lovely teacher to help them complete their newly acquired technology skills.
My students really appreciate when I make a screencast of how to execute and use a new technology skill.  Students were able to go back and watch my videos multiple times, pause and complete each step or even spit their viewing screens and complete it while watching my video.  The best part is that absent students can get their work they missed before I even see them in class if they choose.  

An added bonus:  If you invite your co-teachers or your various intervention teachers into your Google Classroom, they can refer back to your directions to assist their students too!

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