Monday, April 20, 2015

The comment feature on Google Classroom

Most Teachers, when creating a class in Google Classroom, change the class setting to "Only teacher can post or comment."  I would say, off all the teachers I have trained and visited, this has been the setting so there is not a projector surprise awaiting as some student who posted something inappropriate waits for their wonderful words to display.  However, today I visited a class where the teacher continues to use this feature and claims it has helped her students, especially English Language Learners.

Ms. S, as I will call her, gives students lists of vocabulary words.  There are assignments associated with them, but students are required to comment on the assignment.  Students write a sentence with the vocabulary word in them.  She claims that this practice is easy to grade and that as students practice this more and more, they get better at the sentences.

Deep Thinking Questions:
Ms. S will put her notes on Classroom or will create assignments associated with a book chapter or other reading.  Students will comment on the assignment with a deep thinking question.  She can quickly view them, discuss the need for a deeper question and work with students on better word choices to express what they mean.  Students then are required to address two of those questions for homework.

Discussion Participation:
Students are often asked to participate in class discussions.  The comment section of Google classroom is a place where students can add to the conversation even when they do not have the confidence to speak up during a conversation.

Management of the Comments:  All comment sections are associated with points, students who act up or type inappropriate comments are given zeros on the assignment and parents are emailed.  As of yet, I have only heard that Ms. S had to perform this once, and that may have been a setup.

Obviously not a complete list, but a great place to start.  How are you using the comment section?

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