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Guest Post - Google Classroom

This is the second installment of a little "guest blogger" series on this ol' blog.

The wonderful information below is provided by a 1st grade teacher at my school, Tania Hiserote-Santiago (@Mrs_TSantiago).  Mrs. Santiago has been teaching for 7 years. This is her fifth year teaching in a first grade bilingual class. She taught 2 years in a second grade monolingual class in Houston prior to joining our school district. She recently got her GT certification by the state of Texas. She has served as a Science Curriculum writer and translator for the Writing curriculum as well!

In order to work towards reaching her T-TESS goal, Mrs. Santiago knew it would be helpful if she could share resources with other teachers in our building who shared a similar goal. She created a Google Classroom to help her do just that.  Enjoy the post below and don't forget to follow her on Twitter!

Why Google Classroom?
Google Classroom offers many advantages for an educator seeking to learn and share their knowledge. When I started to work on my goal for this year I began to wonder - Is there another teacher on my campus that has the same or similar goal as me?  Would I have the time to meet with these people frequently?  What would be the best way to communicate with them? How accessible would my sharing method would be?
Google Classroom offered the perfect easy-to-use layout combined with the accessibility I was looking for. One of the biggest reasons I love using google classroom is the effective feedback that acts as an immediate support to the learners. It also has a great commenting system, which is very useful for online discussions about certain articles, topics, etc.
At first I was a little intimidated about making one. I wasn’t sure if I was tech savvy enough, but if you don’t take a chance, how would you ever know, right? If you have the courage to begin, then you have the courage to succeed. So that’s how I started a google classroom focus in vocabulary development and I am so glad I did.
This year the First grade team had really benefited from this amazing tool. Even though some of team members did not share the same goal as me, they still benefited from the information available in the google classroom and even use it as an “add on” to their own goal. Sometimes, we would find ourselves discussing “offline” about an activity we tried and how it worked with our students. We have now extended the invitation to other staff members that had expressed interest in joining the class.

I feel like google classroom has opened a door of endless possibilities for me to reach my goal. It has encouraged me to continue to be part of this streamlined collaboration system that has made me a better learner; therefore a better educator. Sometimes learning begins at the end of our comfort zone.

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