How Can Students Contribute to Their Classroom Culture?

Google Classroom Banners

Back in the day, educators would spend hours making their classrooms cozy, comfy, and inviting for students.  Walls would be littered with inspirational quotes, fun puffy rainbow fonts and images students could relate to.  As students filled these spaces they too would help build the world around them by adding their artwork, poems they were proud of, and items of usefulness to build connectedness with the people who filled the room.

So what now? How do we (teachers and students) adapt to these virtual classrooms? Where do these spaces live? Who owns them? How do we ALL contribute to these spaces? 

Here are my thoughts: Brick and Mortar classrooms are not all that different from our Virtual classrooms. Teachers still hold the keys to the rooms, but what is inside belongs to EVERYONE. 

So, like I said, “What now?”

How about we start thinking through how STUDENTS can contribute to the “walls” around them. Where do these walls live? How about in the Learning Management System (LMS)? Where do students start their days? If it is in a Google Classroom, how about encouraging students to create Google Classroom Banners? Let’s dig into how teachers can assist students in creating Google Classroom banners. I’ve created a few tutorials for teachers and a few you can share with students to get them started. 

Google Classroom Banners can be as simple as an image a student has drawn to as intricate as an animated GIF that moves across the page. In the process of being a contributor to the “Classroom walls” they are also learning how to use valuable tools that will help them show and share their learning throughout the year.  The tools that will be mentioned in these tutorials are Jamboard, Google Slides, and Screencastify. 


How can I use this in my classroom? Idea shared by Christ Tuttell @ChrisTuttell

  1. Teacher: Create a Blank Google Slide (or copy the Template above) and make the dimensions 800×200 pixels 
  2. Assign the Slide to the students so that every student gets a copy.
  3. As the students turn the assignment in, the teacher can download as an image (PNG preferred)
  4. Teacher: Once downloaded, open the Google Classroom and click on “Upload photo” on the Google Classroom Banner.

What are some ways your Students are helping build their classroom culture?

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