Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Google Classroom and New Marking Periods Without Moving Students or Losing Assignments

Advice for which I often hear teachers ask is what to do with Google Classrooms at the end of a marking period. Whether on a trimester, quarter or semester system, I have heard numerous teachers ask for ideas and best practices. Many asking about this talk about how they don't want kids to access old assignments, but they still want to keep them available for future use. They want to accomplish this without having to make kids join a new Classroom each marking period.

Many educators simply create a whole new Google Classroom for the new marking period. But let's be honest. That's tedious and it's one extra thing students have to do. The ideas demonstrated in the screenshots below show you how to skip the tedium of creating new Classrooms and having students join new ones. Credit for these ideas goes to my colleague Larissa Goosev who came up with this brilliant idea during a recent ILT meeting.

Start by going to the Google Classroom homepage where you see all of your classes listed. 

Choose a class and click the three dots in the top right corner. In the drop down menu, click Copy. It is this copy of the Classroom that you'll save for future reference.

After clicking Copy, a window will appear where you will name the copy and add other information. Click Copy when all information is entered.

It takes a minute or so for the copy to appear in the Google Classroom homepage. 

What you will do next is go into the People tab of the copy of your Google Classroom. There you will find the invite link. You access this by clicking on the Invite students button.

When you click the Invite students button, a small window will appear. In the window, you will see an Invite link. To the right of the link, click the Copy button. Click Cancel after copying the link.

After copying the link, go back to your original Classroom. Delete any old assignments or posts you no longer want students to access. 

After getting rid of old assignments and posts, go to Create and click Material. You are going to post the Invite link to the copy of the Google Classroom as a Material in this Classroom. 

Title your Material and click Add. Click link and paste the Invite link.

When you want students to access old assignments from the previous marking period, instruct them to go to the Material containing the Invite link to the copy of the Google Classroom. My advice is to have this Material posted in a Resources topic that you keep at the top of Classwork at all times. This makes it easy to find and access. 

When students join the copy of the Classroom via Invite link, they will be see the old assignments from the previous marking period.

This idea and other Google Classroom hacks are going to have to suffice until Google gives teachers more features and controls that help deal with multiple marking periods. Google does listen to feedback. In the bottom left corner of Google Classroom, click the "question mark" button to leave feedback for features you want. If we all leave feedback often, changes will be made.

If you have any questions and would like a follow up, contact me via Gmail or Hangouts at 

My book, The Complete EdTech Coach: An Organic Approach to Digital Learning, co-authored with my wife Katherine Goyette is now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase. It is published by Dave Burgess Publishing. Be sure to follow the hashtag #OrganicEdTech and #CVTechTalk for updates.

1 comment:

  1. I have a question about doing this. When I just made a copy of the class- the students will not access to the materials or their work right in google classroom. Everything is in a draft. Am I doing something wrong?