Decorate your Google Classroom with Custom Banners
I always say, if you can get your students on Google Classroom, they are one step closer to doing their work. That's why I use the Google Classroom Stream as the "four walls" of my virtual classroom, where I post announcements, anchor charts, community questions, and generally try to create a place that will encourage community building and class communication.
Using the Google Classroom banner to upload custom images can be a great way to make your online learning space a more interesting, informative, or engaging place to be.
5 Ways to Use Google Classroom Banners:
1. Let your class choose a class name, and upload a banner that represents that name/theme.
I like allowing my class to choose and vote on a class name, it typically brings a sense of community and unity to the group, plus I have a collective name to call them rather than "class" or "students."
Below is an example from the 7th graders last year, who hilariously named themselves Gary.
2. Find a Gif on Google Image Search
Did you know Google Classroom supports Gif files? They do! Sometimes a little moving image is just what you need to pump up the energy in your online space.
I've provided a few examples of different gif banners you could use in multiple content areas in the resources below, but if you'd like to search for your own, you can do so using the following criteria:
Google Image Search (type in search term, i.e. "dolphin)
Aspect Ratio: Panoramic
File Type: GIF File
3. Create your own poster/class norms
In the resources below I've also included a Google Drawings template that uses the dimensions needed to create a custom Google Classroom banner.
Consider adding images and text to create a "poster" that you might see on your brick-and-motor walls, like this one on our school norms.
4. Create your own anchor chart
You also might consider creating anchor charts for the units you are currently teaching, so your students get that quick reminder every time they logon.
5. Create your own "virtual classroom"
I've seen this trend floating around the EduTwitterSphere recently, where teachers are using their Bitmojis layered on top of a classroom image to replicate the classroom environment.
In this example, I've placed my Bitmoji on the image of the classroom from "Hey Arnold!" and then added a chalk board, where I can add daily messages to my students, which would be quick and easy to change on a daily or weekly basis. See how I update mine in one minute here and use the banner template here.
Google Classroom Banner Template
Click the image above to access a Google Classroom Banner Template. The link will ask you to "Make a Copy" of the document in your Google Drive.
Virtual Classroom Banner Template
Click the image above to access a Virtual Classroom Banner Template. The link will ask you to "Make a Copy" of the document in your Google Drive. Consider adding a Bitmoji to your room, and typing a message to your students on the chalk board.