How I Use It
As an ICT teacher at a primary bilingual school (Spanish and EFL), I have many classes each week. In Google classroom we do individual, pair, group, and whole-class tasks. For example, students use Slides as a digital copybook, completing different activities in each slide.
We use Google Forms a lot, as exit tickets, surveys, quick reviews, and more.
We also use it to create a whole class collaborative documents. Each student edits a slide or page, and all together they create a class presentation or document. When it is done, we go over the whole document using the class projector, and each student presents their part to their friends.
I also add links to other websites where they have to complete tasks related to the topics we are working in class.
Google Classrooms is a great tool when you have many classes and you want to have a paper-free classroom. I find it really useful to organise the different activities we do; it is very intuitive for students, even for the small ones in grade 1.
One important aspect is that it allows the teacher to assign the tasks to the whole class or individual students, which is great for doing group work, and to differentiate.
In our school, we have the email app disabled, as well several other Google products, because they will not be used in our classes. This is something to consider when setting up their accounts.
I find that dealing with the login process can be quite challenging for younger kids, especially if the name of the school is really long. This is something that needs to be considered when planning, as it can take a long time. If they always use Chrome on the same device, and you have 10 classes or less, their username can be saved and appeared on the list when they click Sign in. But, in my case, as I teach more classes than that, it did not work. To solve this problem, I had to set up another tool (Clever) so that students can use QR codes to login easily.
All in all, using Google Classrooms has been really useful in my classes, it has enriched them, and make things easier to organize, grade, and assign.