I was alone at a friends house a few months ago when one of their breakers got tripped and shut off my very important TV show. I proceeded to flip it back but when I did, the soundbar wasn’t working! It took me FOREVER to figure out how to reconnect it correctly, and I was so frustrated! Of course when I told them about it, they were like, “Oh yea… you click this and that and push this and you’re good to go!”
Sometimes I feel like Google Classroom is this way – frustrating to figure out until we finally get it.
Not a day goes by where I don’t read a frustrated post by a teacher in a Facebook group about something they can’t figure out in Google Classroom. Now don’t get me wrong… Google Classroom is a fabulous tool for what it does. But a few things consistently trip us up and frustrate us.
If you had the answers, wouldn’t life be easier? Good news, my friend! These are the top six questions I see online, and the answers to all of them. You’re welcome.
1. Why can I sometimes “make a copy for all students” and sometimes I can’t?
Great question! The very first time you create an assignment and push it out, you can make a copy for all students. However, if you post the assignment and then try to edit it, you cannot make copy for all students. You would have to create a whole new post for the assignment if you’ve already posted it and are trying to edit the settings.
2. Why do I not have the option to include a due date?
This is the difference between an assignment post and a material post. creating an assignment allows you to set a due date and points. You can also make a copy of documents for all students when you create an assignment. Creating materials are for student reference only. This might be something like an announcement, a link to your website, or something else students consistently use that they will not turn in.
3. I get so many alerts in my email… how do I manage them all?
First, turn them off! On your main menu with all of your classes, click the three horizontal lines to open up the side menu. At the very bottom, click the settings gear and scroll to see the notifications section. You can select or deselect all or any notifications on the list to get emails for! You can even select specific classrooms. (Also, check out my digital missing work form. It’s a LIFESAVER!)
4. I want to make posts or parts of my directions stand out. Can I bold or italicize my fonts?
You would think, right?! Unfortunately this is a feature Google Classroom does not have! I use emojis to emphasize my posts. Read about it here!
5. My stream is so disorganized. How do I clean it up?
Turn that bad boy off! I rely solely on the Classwork tab unless I’m posting an announcement (usually that I’m not there for the day and there will be no Google Meet). By keeping the Classwork tab organized, students can only go one place to look for assignments. Inside of each Classroom, you can click the settings gear in the top right corner and scroll down to General Settings. Under Classwork on the Stream, select Hide Notifications.
6. I assign work to all students and they swear they completed it. But when I look at the post, there’s no assignment. What is happening?
There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that your students are deleting the work and telling you it went missing. The good news is, once you assign it to them (whether they delete it or not), it’s shared with you and in the Classroom folder in your Drive. Simply open the Classroom folder, find the class, find the assignment and their name should be on it! When you open the file, you can see their edit history – showing whether they did it or not.
It took me a while to figure out some of these tricks and tips. Now you can feel a little more confident navigating Google Classroom properly so that you can troubleshoot quickly and keep teaching!