After the initial setup of Google Classroom, I continue to use Classroom as the go to hub for all things digital in my classroom. Students know that they login and go to classroom for anything on our Chromebooks.
First thing in the morning I get 4-5 Chromebooks out and use these Chromebooks for students to check in. I have created a Google form which I put in Classroom as an announcement. The google form looks like this:
After I have signed in the Chromebooks, students get into classroom and fill in the form. I have left the submit another response option on to the end of the form so another student can come in behind them and check in. When finished students come to the carpet have a short discussion time as they wait for other students to finish checking in,and the morning announcements. Following the morning announcements, students start with calendar on the Interactive whiteboard, as I take my Chromebook, check the results of the form and take attendance and lunch count.
At the end of calendar time, we go into ELA whole group time, which they use their Chromebooks to get into classroom and open their hyperdoc assignments. ( See https://goo.gl/dKu8C7 for information about blended learning and the hyperdoc).Each student is given their own copy through the assignment feature in Classroom. Each slide represents a day of the week slide one Monday, slide three Wednesday, etc. I recently changed it so that students fill the background color of the square once they have completed the activity.
For those go to websites that students often go to for early finishing, or free tech time, I place those within classroom. These most used websites are located under the About tab. I then have a quick tech talk with my students about where to find these resources, then we practice getting to the sites and interacting on these sights. There are certain times students can and can not get on these sites, as I want to make sure to instill a good balance in their lives.
In the last couple of months Google Classroom has opened a feature that allows the teacher to differentiate assignments within the Classroom Stream. This has been a game changer for me, when it comes to being able to give students at level text for them to listen to and read. I use this feature in conjunction with Texthelp’s Fluency Tutor. Students are given a passage at their Lexile level, can listen to it as many times as they need and then record themselves reading the passage, which they submit to me and it lands in my drive. I can then do a running record with the WPM and % accuracy is calculated for me as I mark the passage. I can then grade students on a premade fluency rubric and students can see their scores. I can then use these recordings at conferences with parents if I want them to hear something I want them to really work on at home.
I often get asked how I keep students accountable for actually getting work done and not just playing games the whole time. My answer is instilling digital citizenship talks throughout the year. I also use the all to handy teacher institution, you know that feeling you get when you're working with other students and you can tell students are off task, either the look around room sneaky, or they are obviously playing games when they should be typing sight words.
I have shown students how to access their files in drive and tell them that this is how I check to see how they are doing on their work to see if you need help. My main concern in Kindergarten is not to punish students for their misbehavior but to get them use to the tools and help guide them with making digital citizenship choices. Like all other things Kindergarten is setting the foundation for school. I don’t scold students who aren’t doing work when they are suppose to but say, : I see you didn’t get very far in your assignment, can a Google guide or I help you?” This often opens up the discussion so students see, it’s OK to not know and ask for help.
These are just a couple ways in which you can implement and use classroom to help blend your instructional practices with little's. There are many more, be sure to check out christinepinto.com, #Gafe4littles chat on Tuesdays (1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month), listen to awesome ideas on Google Teacher Tribe podcast or the #gttribe. Look to your PLN for ideas as well.