Google Classroom.... The beginning of a love affair...sigh

Friday, September 19, 2014
Ugh..... My pile of grading is daunting....

Ha! I make myself giggle sometimes! Seriously, that is my pile of grading. Google Classroom is amazing and fabulous and I'm a school girl in love.
I told the kids that this year I wanted top go "paper light".  All assignments would be in paper form and online. Students could decide how they wanted to complete them. I also have the luxury of 5 old laptops, 2 beautiful macs, and one iPad in the classroom and a study hall time for kids to accomplish assignments.

The kids were hung ho! I spent a whole day doing a tech sign up for the entire middle school (Google Classroom, Engrade, Quizlet, etc.) and showing them how Google Classroom worked. I was fortunate enough to have one of our tech instructionalists from the district join us, because when it comes to tech, an extra set of amazing hands is always welcome.

 The kids fell in love and we have been off without a hitch. I post all my assignments (as well as posting them on Remind... My other love) on Google Classroom. Weekly, I assign a current events article with Common Core close reading questions to support my English Language Arts teachers. This assignment can be "turned in" through Google Drive and they looooove it.

 About 70% hand the assignment in digitally. Interestingly enough, they still prefer to have the reading in paper form but love to do their writing in digital form.

Once we got started, I decided to step up my game. This summer I took a two day conference with EdTech Teachers and... Well.... It was amazing!!! My workshop was all about learning how to use technology to help struggling learners. With my special ed beginnings and my new endeavor in a district with a huge number of students who speak English as a Second Language, I was captivated by the entire two days. Beth Holland, my teacher, wrote a guest blog post for Richard Byrnes about combining Google Drive and Newsela.

 I took some of the suggestions and combined with this blogpost and found liquid gold. The first time I did this I used Junior Scholastic.  Junior Scholastic now offers a lower lexiled article online for teachers.  I then used the summarize tool on the mac to make an even lower lexiled version.

The second week I used Newsela to organize three articles at three different Lexile scores.

 I spoke with my ELA teachers and organized my readings into three levels, created folders in Google Drive for those three levels, and shared them with the students based on their SRI and MCAs scores.

 For bonus, I put reading comprehension questions in the comments based upon the reading level of the article.

 For my lowest level group, I made an audio version of the article, using QuickTime on the computer(something I learned from those crafty EdTech Teachers) and put that in their Google Drive as well. 

Voila! Instant reading groups, leveld discussion, teacher feedback and read alouds to meet every IEP.
Have I reminded you how much I love Google?


  1. Wow! This is super exciting! Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to look into Google classroom! Amazing! :)

  2. Do you use dococtpus to distribute the files?

    1. No... Google Classroom takes the place of Doctopus. It distributes on its own!

    2. You said you made 3 different levels of work. How do you assign it to all three groups through Google Classroom?

  3. I'm trying to create a Google Classroom account. Is this a platform that I must pay for or connect through my district to use?

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