Let’s Take a Look at Your Class Settings
Each class in your Google Classroom can have its settings customized. As we’ve already considered, a classlist can have its own “personality”. You may have two classes of grade 8 science; one might be very diligent and quiet as a group, whereas the other may be more chaotic and noisy. It’s not that you, the teacher are instructing differently, it’s the infinite combinations that students bring to school with themselves every day! As always, click the gear to access your settings.
After I click on the gear, I am met with the following screen. Let’s talk about the parts.
The first segment of the screen is the details about your class. This information does not need to be filled out, but if you deem it valuable to do so, simply type the information into the appropriate fields.
The second section allows you to control a good deal of your class.
Class Code – this is the random access code that students need to know in order to join your class.
In this space you can choose “Display”, and Classroom will enlarge the code in the centre of your screen – this is great if you are having students join your Google Classrom while they are in your physical classroom. Display it on your screen or TV and students will be able to see it clearly.
You can click and choose “copy” if you are wanting to paste the code into a course outline, a Remind message or any other place.
Additionally, you can reset the code, or disable it entirely.
Stream – The stream contains global settings for your classroom. You can allow students to post and comment, comment only, or neither.
This is a fantastic opportunity in your physical classroom to have a face-to-face discussion with students about digital citizenship and the online learning environment. The commenting space is not for “chatting”. It is for asking questions about the assigned work, answering questions and helping one another out. There are many places where “chatting” can occur, and Google Classroom should not be one of those places.
Once you have students enrolled into your class, you can control those permissions on an individual basis. Personally, I rarely shut students down altogether in Google Classroom. I generally gave it a try (my grade range was 7-9 during my usage of Google Classroom) with students allowed to comment only, and found that almost all of the time, that worked well for everyone.
Classwork on the Stream – Historically, the differences between “classwork” and “stream” have been a little bit foggy. Adjusting your settings to control IF and HOW the classwork shows up on the stream can really help clear that up.
The stream runs chronologically, always. It includes announcements.
The classwork space is where you post (and you can grade) student assignments.
You can choose in Classwork on the Stream if you wish for assignments to appear in the stream, if you want condensed versions to appear there, or not at all.
The good news is that at any point in time you can change these settings if you change your mind for any reason.
Show Deleted Items – This toggle determines if deleted items are only visible to you, or if they remain visible to students as well.
Guardian Summaries – Parents are not members of your Google Classroom, only students are.
When guardians join Google Classroom, they receive regular, automatic email summaries for each of their students. Guardians choose the frequency of the emails—daily or weekly—and can unsubscribe at any time.
Guardian email summaries include:
- Missing work—Work that’s late at the time the email was sent
- Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or work that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails)
- Class activity—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers
By default, email summaries for your classes are turned off. If you wish for parents and guardians to have the summaries set, you must turn that on in your class settings for each class you create.
For your grading system, you can choose Total points or Weighted by category grading. In both, grades are calculated for you, and you can let students see their overall grade.
If you don’t want to use a grading system, you can choose No overall grade. Grades won’t be calculated and students can’t see an overall grade. Google offers further details into this grading system should it be of interest to you. Please bear our Chinook’s Edge Assessment philosophies and policies in mind as you consider this.