Organizing assignments for students can be a challenge when we’re in the physical classroom. Now, it’s even harder during distance learning. Let’s talk about how to organize assignments with a digital schedule for any age student whether you use Google Classroom or not. I do use GC, so many things I discuss will revolve around GC, but you can adjust this to fit your needs!
If you’re a visual learner, I made a video tutorial explaining how I organize assignments with weekly digital schedules.
How you organize your Google Classroom is something that depends on your personal preference and your students’ needs. Depending on the subject, grade level, or even the amount you post on Google classroom can change your thoughts on what organization strategies work best for you.
This post is going to go over how I organize my Google Classroom using a to-do list, or what I call a flexible schedule. Before I begin, I want to thank two people who got me using flexible schedules in my classroom a few years ago. Chasity over at Let Them Teach and Denae @texasteacherella are the two who introduced me to and motivated me to start using a “flexible schedule” with my third graders. I have morphed it into my own needs, and now that I moved districts and use Google Classroom, this is the main way I keep my kids (and their parents) on track with our week!
What is a “Flexible Schedule”?
Thanks to Chasity, I learned about letting go of some control around our daily schedule and giving my students choice in what, but also what order they completed things. If you want to read more about it, you can check out her blog post here.
Essentially, as the teacher, you list the assignments for the day(s), and your students get to work on things in whichever order they like. At the same time, I was pulling small groups of students (and kept them however long I needed because I wasn’t tied to a clock!) At the time I also taught third-grade math and science, so I had a little more wiggle room than I do now teaching middle school math. Here’s an example of what my flexible schedules look like in middle school.
Think about yourself and your to-do lists. Do you always complete the list in order? Probably not. You might list them with the most important or most pressing item first, but you don’t always follow that. So for me, I think of this as teaching a life skill.
Students not meeting with me would work on their assignments in partners, or independently if required, and got to move along at their own pace rather than when a timer went off. When students finished everything for the day, they had some free choice on what they did next. It was amazing.
Now onto the good stuff.
Last year I used flexible schedules with my middle school math classes. At first, I was printing them out, only to realize this definitely wasn’t necessary for everyone. So, I started posting it on Google Classroom and linking to the required videos, notes pages, and activities. This year because we’re starting the year online, and most likely will have both remote and in-person students, I am going to use this to keep everyone on the same page.
There are many ways to organize this schedule and I use Google Slides because it’s much easier for me to manipulate my “templates”. The schedule includes different tables for each day of the week, and within that includes things we will go and their assignments or homework to complete.
Generally, I list them in the order I would prefer students to work in, but I don’t usually tell them they HAVE to go in the order I listed. Now, all your students have to do is pull up their weekly schedule to see their assignments instead of clicking all over to only give you the excuse they didn’t know what to do.
If you need some templates to get going, you can get them sent to your email by clicking on the link below!
In some later posts, I will talk about the activities and assignments I put into my schedule. I have a lot of math digital math activities in my TPT store if you’re looking for low prep assignments. I hope this gave you some ideas on what’s possible to organize your assignments using a schedule. I would LOVE to see what you come up with and hear how this helped you this year!