If you are a GSuite school, you should have access to Google Classroom. Classroom is an incredible platform for teachers to manage the "ebb & flow" of a digital classroom. It is clean, simple, and easy.
The top of each Classroom has a graphic, automatically assigned upon creation. This header is a great way to help both you and your students visually associate this Classroom with their time in your room.
You are always welcome to leave it as is, but you may choose to create your own header. This can be an exciting way to share your creativity and better indicate the content you cover. [Likewise, if you are using Classroom for a club or activity other than an academic content, you can customize it to fit your group perfectly.]
Many teachers will go ahead and create their header at the beginning of the year and leave it.
But ... here's something to think about ...
Why not let your students create the header?
Use this to start the year and work together to create a header the students have input on and create a header they own. During this activity, you can informally assess your students on various levels. You'll see their tech skills, encourage creativity and collaboration, begin building your classroom community, and see how your students interact with each other. Providing guidelines versus allowing a free-form creation can serve different purposes, too. If you will be creating multiple classes, guidelines can provide a bit of that structure to create graphics that clearly separate one class from another. Giving students free reign over the graphic allows creativity flow freely.
And the best part? . . . . . this doesn't have to be a "one and done" activity! What if you repeated this each quarter or semester or unit? What if your students saw their work each time they logged into Classroom. Imagine the pride your students will feel when they see their work! And better yet, surprise them when the unit or quarter rolls over!
You might be saying at this point, ok, ok, all fine and good, but HOW do I do this? It's pretty simple. I created a template you are welcome to use. Keep in mind, the header in Classroom IS responsive. This means that the header will automatically resize based on the device it is being displayed on and some of your design might not display fully. Don't get super involved in having too many things on your header - another reason why this is a great activity for even the littlest of students.
Here is the TEMPLATE for you, along with some tips and specific information on the "how to". When you click the link, it will show a blank white rectangle ... don't worry! Clicking the "Use Template" in the upper right corner will make you your own copy and allow you to see the tips and instructions I've included.
If you'd like to have your students create a header, now that you have your own copy, share it to your Classroom using the "make a copy for each student" option (or groups of students), and let them go to town! As with all my templates, feel free to adjust any of the info I've included on the Drawing - just don't adjust the size of the Drawing. This will give you the best base to start with.
Good luck! If you have your students create headers, please let me know! I'd love to see them! You can tag me on Twitter (@kiefersj), comment below, or even email me firstname.lastname@example.org . I enjoy seeing what students create!
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