Customizing Your Google Classroom Headers

Organizing Your Google Classroom

Honest Truth: Organizing my pantry is something I NEVER do- well almost never. But on those very rare occasions that I break down and do it, I feel like a brand new woman! There’s just something about how order and beauty (well, as beautiful as cans of veggies and boxes of cereal can be) makes you feel.

Keeping your Google Classroom organized can give you that same feeling! Let me show you how you can structure your Google Classroom to be cute and functional in a way that makes you happy.

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Why Organize Your Google Classroom?

Organizing and structuring your Google Classroom will help avoid future frustrations as your assignment stream gets longer and longer. I like to have several different classes set up. There are the obvious classes, such as your morning math block and your afternoon math block, but there are other “classes” you should add to make facilitating your lessons smoother. The more organized you are, the faster students find the resources they need, and the more effective your digital classroom is!

 

How To Structure Your Google Classroom

Here’s a video where I’ll walk you through the steps to getting your Google Classroom set up for success.

Plan Your "Classes"

I put classes in quotation marks because you can structure your Google Classroom to have more than just your traditional classes (AKA groups of students.)

Let me guide you to think about what “classes” might be right for you.

  1. How many sections do you have? Maybe you have a morning class and a different afternoon class. Create 1 “class” for each section you teach. (You can always duplicate classes.)
  2. Do you have any long-range lesson systems? For example, my students worked on their math facts every single day.  I also had a year-long warm-up resource that they completed each morning.  It made sense for me to create a “class” for The FACTZ, my fact mastery program and another “class” for Lotsa Math, my spiraled review program.  These were both parts of our day that were independent from the new learning and graded assignments, so it made sense to house them separately from our regular learning.  Plus, these were things we used over and over every single day, so including them into the main “class” would clutter up the feed fast!
    You might have your own parts of your day that would merit their own “class” in Google Classroom.  Perhaps you do book clubs or have a daily grammar practice. Take a minute to think of the routine things you do and see if it makes more sense to isolate them from your regular classwork. 
  3. Do you want to have a resource library? Having resources in one place is helpful for students.  Create a “class” that houses links to virtual manipulatives or online resources. It will keep your feed clutter free and will make it faster for your students to find what they’re looking for.  If you use digital interactive notebooks with your students, you can house that in your resource “class.” 

Color Code Your Google Classroom Classes

Color Coding Your Google Classroom

TIP: Google uses a dark overlay for each class so that the title and code pops no matter how you customize it.  Use a very bright version of your color so that it still looks nice when the dark overlay is added.  Lots of teachers have complained, and Google has said they are working on this. We’ll see. LOL!

Assigning a color to each class makes it faster to find what you’re looking for.  I’ve always taught two classes, so I liked to assign colors that mix together.  For example, I would color code one class with red and the other with blue.  Then when I created “classes” that were shared by both groups, I would make them purple.  Visual cues are awesome!

The colors can coordinate for both your paper-based resources and your digital resources.  Gather folders and binders in your class colors and watch how a little tiny bit of organization will help make you more efficient. 

Unfortunately Google will “colorize” your virtual classes and you don’t really have control over how it happens. However, when you click to go inside the class, you’ll see the color you designed. 

Create Customized Headers for Your Google Classroom

Bitmoji Google Classroom headers and virtual classrooms are all the rage right now! You can use that alongside my structuring strategies to make your digital classroom extra cute. I’ll walk you through exactly how in the video above!

Color Code Your Corresponding Folders

Once you have your Google Classroom structure set up and your classes all created and customized, you can make your Google Drive folders match.  This makes digging for student work much faster and less frustrating.  Again… VISUAL CUES ARE AWESOME!!!

You can check out how to do this is the video above!

Your Structure Can Be Flexible

Remember, your Google Classroom can change as often as you need.  “Classes” can come and go.  Let’s say you’re working on a project-based assignment.  Create a class for the assignment, and once you’re finished, archive the class.  The biggest mistake teachers can make when structuring their set up is to try to keep everything in one space.  Keeping things organized in a way that makes sense for your class will make keeping up with your digital classroom much less stressful!

How Are You Going To Set Up Your Google Classroom?

We’d love to hear your advice for setting up your digital classroom!  Share on Instagram @CassiNoackTEACH or leave it in the comments below!

What Are You Waiting For?

Scroll up to find the tutorial video where I’ll walk you through customizing your Google Classroom headers and updating your drive folders.

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