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3 Ways to Begin Using Private Comments in Google Classroom

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Assign Students to Respond in the Private Comments

When I first started learning from Alice Keeler, I thought it was strange how she always talked about assigning work in the private comments of Google Classroom. If you are an advanced Google Classroom user, you may be thinking “DUH,” but as someone who isn’t naturally fluent in edtech, this wasn’t a DUH moment for me at all. As an educator who wants to build a student-centered and safe classroom community, using the private comments helps students feel seen, even when they are not yet comfortable to speak up. It allows real wait time so we don’t continue to call on students who raise their hands the most. As a beginner, you can find these next steps in Alice Keeler and Kim Mattina’s book, Stepping Up to Google Classroom: 50 Steps for Beginners to GET STARTED!

Stepping Up to Google Classroom
Click on the picture to find out more!

Leave Assignment Feedback in Private Comments

In Stepping Up To Google Classroom, Alice Keeler and Kim Mattina share ways teachers can begin and get right into their Google Classrooms, and even if they are beginners, this book helps get it all set up and go right into using it. So when it gives instructions to leave private comments on the Assessment Screen, they also say to leave your initials at the beginning of your comment so to help distinguish between your’s and your students. Getting used to this process opens up the door of communication with your students and gives them access to growing more confident in conversing with their teacher. Every assignment allows for private comments and it’s only seen between you and the individual student.

Feedback is more than just a letter grade! Creating this dialogue can really impact a student’s learning!

Use private comments to form dialogue with your students.
Step 26 in Stepping Up to Google Classroom

Assign a Private Comments Exit Ticket

Your digital exit ticket can be a conversation! Use the concept above, and after they share their ideas and thoughts, by answering, you start a feedback loop. Can you imagine your shyest students getting excited because they can share their thoughts without feeling overwhelmed? A win for Google Classroom users! Love the idea of using your comment to them as a bell ringer so the first thing they get to do is read the teacher’s comment and then respond to it!

Assign a private comments exit ticket
Step 28 in Stepping Up to Google Classroom

Create a Feedback Conversation

Put the emphasis back on the learning process and less on a grade when creating a feedback conversation. Maybe your student is super close to getting that “AHA!” moment and you know just exactly how to guide them, or maybe they are still confused on the difference between multiples and factors. All of these safe and individual interactions will help you help your students. They are also a wonderful way to celebrate learning success and growth!

Creating a feedback conversation will help you help your students in the areas they are struggling or showing growth and success.
Rule 48 in Stepping Up To Google Classroom

Perfect Way to Personalize Staff PD

Admins can model this concept with their staff. Maybe this summer, having a Google Classroom with teachers, gives them an option to share what they are learning as well regardless of how they go about professional development!

About the Author

Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author.

Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. She and her family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019.  McAllister is 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of the I’m Sorry Story.  She is also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing and Alice Keeler, LLC.  McAllister has spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and writes about her journey in her blog, HeGaveMeAMelody.com.  If you would like to schedule an author read with your class, please contact her on Twitter or email her at melody@mjmcalliwrites.com.

Join Melody’s BookChat every Wednesday at 8pm EST at YouTube.com/alicekeeler

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