Google Classroom is a closed environment. This means that the assignments and discussions in Google Classroom are only available to students in the class. I view this as a positive thing to protect the privacy of students in our classes. Earlier I had published a blog post on Backupify on this topic. However, we still want our parents to be able to see the assignments students are doing. It is important to have transparency as to what is going on in our classroom.
Make a Directions Document
Currently Google Classroom does not have the ability to duplicate assignments or copy them over to another class. I recommend that you always create a Google text document that has the directions for the assignment. This will allow the directions to be reused and shared efficiently.
Google Drive Folder
Keep your directions documents in a single Google Drive folder. This folder can be shared with parents through a class website. Any new assignment will be easy for parents to locate right in the shared Google Drive folder. You may wish to create a subfolder that does not have viewing rights for parents for assignments which are upcoming.
Number Your Assignments
One of my recommendations for Google Classroom is to number your assignments with a 3 digit number. Click here for my blog post on this. This will make it easy to locate the assignment next year to reuse the assignment. This will also make it easy to direct parents to the assignment since the assignments are numerically alphabetized in the order you assigned them.
Create a Template
I recommend you create a template Google Document to provide consistent formatting. Include at the top of the document a set of quick directions that can be copied and pasted quickly into the assignment text on Google Classroom. At the bottom of the template include the additional resources you used to build your lesson set in Google Classroom. Hyperlink to the Google Docs you attach right in your document.
Click Here for a sample template.
First in Lesson Set
When building your lessons sets have the first item you attach be the directions document set as Students can view. Copy and paste the abbreviated directions into the Google Classroom text box.
Classroom Website or Blog
I highly encourage you to have a website that shows parents what is going on in your classroom. Use a blog style to daily or weekly post pictures from class activities, celebrate student success, post classroom goals, post supplies wish list, list of questions to ask their child, and links to the directions documents you created that are posted in Google Classroom.
Have a link in the sidebar of your website to the assignments folder in Google Drive. Make sure the folder is set that anyone with the link can view. Parents now have one place to locate all of the directions for the assignments all year.
Next year when you have a new class all of your directions documents are neatly organized in one folder. Since you numbered the documents it is easy to locate which assignment comes next. When you create your new Google Classroom class you can easily copy and paste the directions from the Google Document and attach the file.