When I was a classroom teacher, I always tried to front load any preparation for my classes in my grade book, my planner, my website, etc. Since I was a drama teacher, I was constantly busy with rehearsals and other projects, and if I didn't have everything in order at the beginning of the year, I was sunk! I became a TL before Google Classroom came out, and have this tool makes me sometimes wish I was a classroom teacher again in order to experiment with how I would use it with students and for my own personal organization.
As I think more about how I worked as a teacher, I begin to see exactly how I would use this new technology to making my classroom even more streamlined and organized. One of the ways in which I would use Google Classroom is to create an Archive class of each of the preps I teach.
What exactly is this? Here's what the plan would be. . . . .lets say I teach Sophomore English. In my Google Classroom, I would have my actual sections of Sophomore English with my students in it as well as an "Sophomore English Archive" class. What exactly is in this Sophomore English archive class? Every single one of the assignments I will ever assign in my actual Sophomore English class.
I have a fake classroom of mine which I entitled "Sophomore English Archive Assignments." I have a variety of things in here, such as assignments, announcements, and questions. I have put in every single one of the assignments I would like to eventually assign into my actual Sophomore English classroom. When I am in my actual Sophomore English classroom, all I have to do is click "Reuse Post" and I can pull anything from my archive class.
But doesn't Google Classroom allow you to archive old classes and reuse posts from there? Yes, it does. This is more intended to get organized that first or second year you use Google Classroom.
But doesn't Google Classroom allow you to save drafts that you can post at a different time? Yes, it does, and you can do it that way. However, if you really wanted to front load everything at the beginning of the year, that would be a lot of drafts you would be scrolling through constantly. Plus, you only see a little headline. If you create an archive class, you can see exactly what you said in your instructions and what attachments you made at a glance.
Plus, perhaps you want to share your archive class with another teacher or more? This way, all of you can have access to all different kinds of assignments and use them for their own individual Google Classrooms. Or perhaps you want to create an archive class just for a particular unit? With being able to add up to 20 teachers in one Classroom, you can really work together to develop classes and units together.
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
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