10 Easy Steps for Organizing Google Classroom

10 Easy Steps for Organizing Google Classroom

It is never too late to organize or reorganize your Google Classroom. After all, how many times do we reorganize our in-person classrooms throughout each school year?? Teachers are learning as they go while teaching virtually, so it’s totally acceptable to realize there are better tools for organizing Google Classroom after the first few weeks of school. If you’re teaching in-person right now, but preparing for the possibility of a switch to virtual learning, these 10 easy steps will help you to create your Google Classroom for the future. 

All of the following steps were created with our students in mind. It is key that Google Classroom is user friendly for learners. There are a few added bonuses for making the lives of teachers easier as well.

1. Start by organizing Google Classroom Topics by week.

Click the Classwork tab at the top of your Google Classroom > click “+ Create” > click Topic > title the Topic by one week of school > repeat these steps to create multiple Topics that each designates one week of school.

Organizing Google Classroom by topics each week
Tips for organizing Google Classroom

The current week will be on top. If you have not “published” assignments in a topic yet, the students will not see that Topic or Week of school yet in their Classwork tab. 

2. Since students cannot see unpublished assignments or Topics, schedule next week’s assignments ahead of time!

Click +Create > Assignment > Then design your Assignment and be sure to assign it to the Topic week it’s intended for (see step 3 for directions on doing this).

Instead of clicking “Assign” once finished creating the Assignment, click schedule and choose the correct date for the assignment to post.

Google Classroom tips for teachers
Google Classroom tips for teachers
Google Classroom tips for teachers

Notice that unpublished assignments appear in light gray and italics. Once published, they will appear in black font. Students will not be able to see the assignment until it’s published and appears in that black font. Organizing Google classroom this way makes it easier for both students and teacher to keep up with current assignments.

3. Arrange for assignments to go under the week in which students should complete them.

Click + Create > Assignment > Topic (on the right side of your screen) > Choose the appropriate week

Google Classroom tips for teachers

4. Title each individual assignment with the date you posted it/date students should complete it on.

Under the Assignment, Title the assignment with the appropriate date, like “Friday 9/22”

Google Classroom tips for teachers

Organizing assignments by day of the week appears in a more kid-friendly way for students. It’s easy for them to see which assignments they should be working on each day!

5. Add emojis to color-code by day of the week or by subject.

Google Classroom tips for teachers

In this example, the read book emoji is for ELA assignments, the blue book is Social Studies, the orange book is Math, and the Yellow book is Science!

You can copy emojis for free at getemoji.com. You can also use emojis to show which assignments will be graded.

Google Classroom tips for teachers

The red exclamation point is a perfect emoji choice to show that it’s a graded assignment!

6. Don’t want to use emojis? You can use abbreviations in parentheses at the beginning of each titled assignment.

Google Classroom tips for teachers

Consider using abbreviations like Math, ELA, Sci, or SS to clearly label assignments.

7. For miscellaneous documents, create a “Classroom Resources” topic.

Click the Classwork tab at the top of your Google Classroom > click + Create > click Topic > title the Topic “Classroom Resources”

 tips for teachers

YES, that’s right, you CAN paste emojis into Topic names as well. Pro tip: Drag the Classroom Resources Topic to the bottom of your Classwork Tab by clicking and holding on the 3 dots on the right and dragging it to the bottom. 

When organizing Google Classroom this way, students will still see the current week’s assignments first at the top of their Classwork tab instead of the Classroom Resources.

8. Create a “Week at a Glance” Topic.

Click the Classwork tab at the top of your Google Classroom > click + Create > click Topic > title the Topic “Week at a Glance.”

 tips for teachers

Create a new material each week to assign under Week at a Glance then attach a Google Doc with an overview of the week.

Click + Create > Material > Title it by the week > click Add > Google Drive > Attach a premade google doc outlining assignments for the week.

Google Classroom tips for teachers
10 Easy Steps for Organizing Google Classroom

9. Utilize the “Upcoming” tab to grade assignments.

tips for teachers

On the left side of your Stream tab screen, you’ll see a small box titled “Upcoming.” Students see this as a reminder of which assignments are due soon. However, teachers can click “View All” to see which assignments are ready to review/grade.

 tips for teachers

Rather than clicking individual assignments for grading, utilize this “Upcoming” view all option to clearly see a list of assignments ready to review and look back at assignments you’ve already reviewed.

10. Only use the Stream for opportunities for students to socialize.

Students will mostly use the Classwork portion of Google Classroom to complete work, however, the Stream allows opportunities for students to socialize, comment on assignments, and interact with the teacher. Be sure to not overload the Stream part of your Google Classroom and to simply use it for socializing purposes rather than assignment purposes.

Using the above 10 easy steps for organizing Google Classroom, here is what your final product will look like under the Classwork tab!

Google Classroom tips for teachers

For Fun: Update the banner of your Google Classroom using Google Slides

  1. Open a new Google Slides and select File > Page Setup > Custom > 20 x 5 Inches
  2. Design a slide the way you want your Google Classroom Banner to look
  3. Screenshot the slide
  4. Upload the screenshot to your Google Classroom by selecting “Upload Photo” in the bottom right corner of your current banner in GC. 
Google Classroom tips for teachers
Google Classroom tips for teachers

With these 10 easy steps implemented, your students are sure to be excited to log in to Google Classroom each Monday to see what’s on their plates for the week!


10 Easy Steps for Organizing Google Classroom

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Jenna Marcal


Jenna is a 5th grade teacher in Upstate New York! She loves to cook, dance, and dance while cooking! When she's not taking care of her succulent babies, Jenna can be found grading a stack of papers with one hand and holding a chilled glass of white wine in the other.

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