Ways to use… Google Classroom

Ways to use... Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a fantastic tool for both engaging students and organising learning.  You may be learning about it for the first time, you may be using it at a basic level or you may be using it as a main tool to engage and manage learning.  The key idea of Google Classroom is to make teaching, learning, collaboration and communication easy and enjoyable.

Ways in which to use Google Classroom are wide ranging and a good thing to remember is the tool itself is only as good as what you do with it.  It can be used to simple push out links and information to students.  It can be used to ask questions and generate discussions.  It can be used to distribute engaging multi resource “assignments” and allow for collaboration to work on these.

New to Google Classroom?

I like to explain the tool like this.  Pretend you are sitting in front of a class full of students.  You may provide information, you may ask questions and you may explain a task.  Google Classroom is the digital version of this.  You can make announcements, you can ask questions and you can explain and provides materials for learning tasks.  The below video is a good introduction, as is this site.

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The below are suggestions for using google classroom and will mostly work both in class or for home learning.

Push out links

Pushing out simple website links is one of the easiest ways to use Google Classroom.  Use this just to get something to students but not ask for anything back. 

Links could includes Informational sites, interactive sites and videos.  This is also a great way to begin flipped learning where the content is viewed prior to students seeing the teacher.  Anything you can grab the link for you can push out to students so they can click and view.

Adding instructions for students on their purpose of visiting the link (practice your times table for 15min or find 5 facts about mars) is helpful, as is adding a link to a specific page rather than a wider website. 

Use the “Share something with your class” option on the main stream screen, click the add button and add the link.

These are examples of types of links you could push out using Google Classroom.

Interactive learn to type

Interactive reading

Interactive times tables

Exercise Video

Explanation Video

Informational news article

Strategy Explanations

Reading Practice

Check out our growing range of ShareWithUs digital collections for more practice resources, creative ideas and teacher supports. 

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Ask questions to generate discussion

The question tool allows you to pose a question to your students and have them answer.  Of course they can leave a comment on any post (providing you have this turned on) but the question function treats the question as a “must answer” so will track which students have and haven’t answered for you.

It is a great tool for generating discussion or gathering feedback from students.  Just like you would do physically in class you can show content such as a video or selection of text and relate the question to that.  The beauty is that students can answer in their own time, take as long to read/view/rewind etc as they need and can even comment on others answers.  You will often find students that are reserved in class discussions provide more engagement when offered in this way.

You can ask questions of the whole class or select certain students.  Once answered a student is able to see others answers. Answers are not private.

Use the Create/Question option on the classwork screen.  The add or create buttons allow you to add attachments and the settings on the bottom right to choose if students can reply to each other and edit their answers.

These are examples of questions you could ask.

Reading Comprehension

Type or link to a section of text and then ask a question to show understanding.

Problem Solving

Type or link to word type math problems and ask students to explain their answer and how they reached it. Problem Ideas


Type or link to riddles and brain teasers that will engage students thinking. Riddle Ideas


Link to text (news article, non fiction article etc). and ask students to summarise what they read.


Ask students what they enjoyed learning this week, what they would like to learn more about etc

Prior Knowledge

Ask what students know about a topic before starting learning on it.

Key Competencies

Ask students how they or someone else showed a key competency or school value.

Independent Learning

Ask students what they completed during any independent learning time.

Ask a question

Prompt your students to ask a question about the days learning or a particular topic.

Set learning assignments

The assignment tool is the most comprehensive function of google classroom.  It allows you to create a little package of learning for students which could include instructions, content such as a video, weblink, pdf etc.  You can create a google file (doc etc) for students to complete the task on and ensure they each get their own copy, or shared if you prefer. They can also attach their own material when submitting.  You are able to view their learning as they do it, send comments and mark completed learning.

This is where Google Classroom really is as good as how you use it.  The potential is there you just have to have the ideas and content to push out to students.

A great place to start is to provide some content/learning material along with an activity to complete.

Use the Create/Assignment option on the classwork screen.  The add or create buttons allow you to add attachments. Be sure to check what option you want for student copies (view, edit, own copy).

These are examples of resources that could be used in assignments.

Digital Task Cards

Usually in google slide or doc format these are ready to go tasks you can push out to students with the “own copy” option. Along with them you could link to a video or site that helps explain the learning prior to or during the activity.

Text & Questions

Text in any format (this is a digital school journal story) shared as view file then a set of questions shared as an editable google doc (copy for each student). 

Thanks to Bridget Wright for this activity.

Choice Board / Must Do Can Do

A range of activities for students to complete.  Could be a simple view only doc/pdf or an editable version for students to track their progress.  Be sure to also share copies of any files needed to complete each task.

Project Based Learning

Creating and pushing out a scaffolding type workbook (like this example) is a great way to support and keep track of where students are at with a bigger project based piece of learning. Make sure to give students their own copy.

Thanks to Wairakei School for this activity.


A Hyperdoc is a way to include both learning material and tasks in a sigle file (usually slides or docs).  Depending on tasks they could be shared as view only or a copy for each student.  Check out this example.

Digital Manipulatives (Crtl drawings ones)

There are many manipulatives like this example that are available online or you can make your own.  Google drawings is a great tool but google slides can work also.  Best to share a copy for each student.

Collaborative Presentation

This Google Slide presentation was shared to students as “edit” along with this video.  They took a slide each to complete creating a collaborative presentation. 

Collaborative Writing

A Google Doc shared on “edit” can easily be used for multiple students to write on.  Either place a prompt on the doc itself like this one or link to video/image etc.  Starting with a table to get used to writing on the same doc is a good idea.

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