Finding great resources to use with your students is one thing, but actually sharing them with your students is a whole ‘nother ball game. If you use Canvas, Schoology, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, this blog post will be a starting point for setting up Slides/PPT and Forms assignments for your students.
Example assignments in Learning Management Systems
Guest post by Elicia Cárdenas
We get asked a lot of questions about the best way to use various platforms to assign computer based work to students, especially from teachers using FLEX plans.
Ask tech questions to tech support!
Often, these questions are tricky or even impossible to answer because every Learning Management System (LMS) has features that others do not have, and some school districts and schools pay for features that others don’t–not to mention all the various browsers, hardware, and software, and the varying school requirements and expectations that are different from school to school!
It takes months of training for someone to become proficient in tech support for a certain product: I can attest to this from personal experience as tech support at US Bank in a long-ago lifetime and by watching my spouse work as tech support for a major learning management system. Be sure and thank any one who is on the other end of an email, chat, or support call. They are working just as hard as teachers right now!
Example assignments from four LMS
We know you have questions, and we want to help you as much as we can. To that end, I asked a few different teachers to model how they use different systems (Canvas, Schoology, Microsoft Teams, and Google Classroom) to assign the kind of assignments that are typically found in FLEX units, as well as in El mundo en tus manos: Google Slides and Google Forms. I also asked them for their top tips for utilizing the system that they use. They kindly shared the directions they give their students in the assignment as well- because sometimes, we just need to see how someone else explains it! To make a copy of these directions for yourself, click the button to receive a packet with detailed instructions and Copy & Paste directions for your students:
Written by Meghan Loveless, a high school teacher in Colorado
When it comes to Schoology assignments, the most important piece of advice I can offer to teachers is to keep it consistent. There are many different ways to assign work, so whichever way you choose, stick to it. This will allow your students to know what to expect and it will help you with assigning it, too. Soon, you will be a pro and it’ll be second nature! For me, my consistent workflow is
- Add materials
- Add assignment
- Add instructions for the student
- If it’s a Google Slide, I use “Assign from Google Drive resource app” for Google slide. If it’s a Forms assignment, I insert the FORMS link.
Find what works best for you and your students to create consistent expectations!
Here is an example of one of Meghan’s Schoology assignment set-up for a Google Slides assignment:
For more about Schoology, check out this short video that demonstrates how I use Schoology with Google Assignments:
Meghan is a high school Spanish teacher in Strasburg, CO, just east of Denver. This is her 10th year teaching and 3rd year teaching with SOMOS curriculum. She is also a Digitizer for the Comprehensible Classroom. Her favorite memories are from class stories and laughing so hard she cries.
Written by Courtney Blu Jackson, a high school teacher in Colorado
One of the biggest keys to my success in using Google Classroom has been to keep it very organized by using the Topics feature and consistent naming conventions for every assignment. If you are a Google Classroom teacher, I’ve got three pieces of advice to get you started:
- To keep your Google Classroom organized, use your “Topics” feature. I like to organize my assignments & materials by naming my “Topics” after the unit, (ex. Unit 1: Dice) to keep all of the assignments together.
- Especially if I am uploading multiple assignments per unit, I name my assignments by date & title (ex. 08/25 Mi diccionario) so that students can always search by date to find past work for days they are absent.
- My final piece of advice for Google Classroom users is to use the “make each student a copy” option for assignments that will be turned in and “student can view” option if you are uploading read-only materials.
This is what my Slides assignments look like from my teacher view:
To create a Forms assignment, simply upload your form as the assignment, and only choose the “locked” mode if all students will be using a Chromebook.
Courtney is a 5th year Spanish teacher in Castle Rock, Colorado, just South of Denver. She teaches middle school Spanish 1 & high school Spanish 1-4 using SOMOS. This is her 3rd year teaching with SOMOS. Courtney is also Curriculum Author for The Comprehensible Classroom. Courtney is thrilled to be transitioning her classroom to nearly paperless thanks to SOMOS FLEX & to be implementing new, creative ways to engage students!!
Written by Ayleem Connolly, a teacher in Tennessee:
Microsoft TEAMS is the intended Microsoft version of Google Classroom, and it has a significant learning curve. The organizational structure of TEAMS is based on tabs:
TEAMS has a large variety of features, so my best advice is to just try to keep things simple and take one step at time. My biggest piece of advice is to get familiar these three essential elements in order to teach with TEAMS:
- Learn how to set up a meeting
- Learn how to set up an assignment, whether with forms or any other document
- Learn how to set permissions.
The great thing is that almost all Google-based resources, including the resources from SOMOS/Nous sommes/Sumus Flex, are compatible with TEAMS. However, Google Forms is not– so you will need to learn how to work with Microsoft Forms. If you find a Google Forms form that you LOVE, you will need to re-create it from scratch to be able to use it as a Form in Microsoft Forms.
Finding Microsoft Forms in TEAMS
- Go to your Outlook.
- Click on the nine dots on the top left of your email account. It is the same place where you can find all apps from Microsoft 365.
- Select “all apps” so you can see the Microsoft forms app icon open.
- When the app is open you can begin creating your form and when you are done, you will attach that form to your assignment by selecting the option Quiz.
Creating & Assigning Microsoft Forms
If you are familiar with Google Forms, you will find that creating a Microsoft Form is very easy, as it is the nearly the same process for Google Forms!
- Select the question type you need: open ending, multiple choices or any other.
- Save the slide with the bellringer as a picture with snapshot, and insert into the questions.
- Select the number of points, and type or select the answer for self-grading.
- Repeat the process for every question.
Once you’ve created the Form, create a new assignment and select the Form. Remember to use clear labeling with numbered units so that your students know which topic that assignment belongs to! You can further organize by adding a Category or Tag based on the week’s number.
Assigning a PPT assignment in TEAMS
If you find a Google Slides resource that you would like to assign to your students, first download it as a PPT. Once it is in PPT format, you can add to your OneDrive and use it as an assignment in Teams. Here’s how:
- Go to the Assignments tab, then click create.
- Immediately, select assignment option, and go to “add resources section”.
- Finally, you can upload from your pc or transfer from your OneDrive your FLEX slides.
- As soon as it is uploaded, click on the three dots on top of the attached FLEX slides and select “Students edit their own copy”. This will allow students to edit the document inside of TEAMS.
Remember, if you need any help, always get in touch with a teacher mentor, instructional facilitator or your IT department. You can also connect with Ayleem and other World Languages teachers that use TEAMS in this Facebook group that Ayleem started!
Ayleem is a 6th year Spanish teacher in Memphis, TN. She is originally from Dominican Republic. She is a High School Spanish teacher level 1-4. This is her third year using SOMOS curriculum in combination with her district curriculum. She learned how to better implemented SOMOS thanks to the support from the group and the SOMOS Fun Club Training last summer. Ever since, she has never looked back. Her passions are her family, her students and supporting other educators whenever she can in the SOMOS community.
Finally, if you are one of the bazillion new users of Canvas this school year, welcome aboard! Canvas is super powerful. I (Elicia) am a middle school teacher and also the Director of Training for the Comprehensible Classroom. Here is my advice for using this Learning Management Platform:
My biggest tip for CANVAS users is to keep it simple. Canvas can do so many things that it is easy to get overwhelmed. To create assignments like I did, you will need to:
- Create an assignment in Canvas,
- Learn how to insert a link into the assignment.
- Use the external submission field to link your Canvas assignment to your Google FLEX assignment (so that Canvas sends copies to each student).
To see this in action, check out this video tutorial that I created as well.
I recommend you work with the Tech Team at your school to learn how to do this, as each school has different procedures and expectations. It is pretty easy once your tech team links your Canvas account and your Google Drive account, but most users will need an administrator to do this for them.
Elicia is a middle school Spanish teacher in Utah, as well as the Director of Training for the Comprehensible Classroom. She has been teaching with SOMOS for 6 years and is excited to be teaching in any format.
Get all of these resources in one place!
To make it easy for you to see the tips you need for your Learning Management System and grab Copy & Paste student directions, we’ve put together all of these tips in one packet.
If all the Slides and Forms assignments make you want to go bananas, try Garbanzo! Garbanzo is an online library of more than 700 stories and informational texts in Spanish. Each text can be assigned to your students as an interactive lesson in which students read through it slide by slide, with visual support and embedded processing questions to help them understand the text as they read. Garbanzo is the most comprehensive online Comprehension-based reading resource for Spanish language learners!