Google Classroom icon

What is Google Classroom? Classroom is one of the district's learning management system tools, usually used in grades 3-12. Teachers can post assignments, questions, and materials for students, and students can submit digital work for teacher review & feedback. Google Classroom can also be synced to a teacher's Synergy gradebook and class roster.

Start arrow New to this Google tool?

Check out our "Basics" section for resources to get you started off on the right foot.

Compass Ready to learn more about this Google tool and go further?

Take a look at our "Tips & Tricks" section to get ideas and suggestions.

Open padlock Not sure if your students have access to this Google tool?

The "Who can use" section outlines which grade levels have access to this tool.

Rocket taking off Wondering how this Google tool ties into Deeper Learning?

Scroll down to our Deeper Learning section for ideas and resources.

Google Classroom tips & tricks

​​​​​​Tips for assignments & student work

Tips for organization

Other uses for Classroom

Who can use Google Classroom?

Google Classroom permissions & access

All staff and students in SFUSD have access to Google Classroom. It is also available as an app for smartphones and tablets, in both the Apple Store and the Google Play store.

Please note that staff can both create and join classes, while students can only join classes. Google Classroom classes can hold up to 20 co-teachers and up to 1000 students.

If you have any questions, please submit a Help Desk ticket.

Deeper Learning has 4 core instructional priorities

Person looking at some images and text while thinking Inquiry

The thinking and questioning of students is the focal point. Students build connections to prior learning and experiences, and are independent learners who make their thinking visible.

Three students working together Collaboration

Students interact in meaningful ways through conversation, or participation in collaborative structures. The educator serves as facilitator and a collectivist or communal approach is used. 

Three people linked with a dotted line to an image of a book Equitable Access & Demand

Curricula is designed and instruction is delivered to ensure access for all and cognitive demand for “each and every” student, supporting independence, not dependence.

Two people talking or communicating Assessment for Learning

Students are provided with time, space and support to set goals, assess learning, track progress and present their growth. Students are seen as co-designers of their assessment, owning and sharing their learning.

To learn more about Deeper Learning in SFUSD, visit the Deeper Learning Towards the Graduate Profile website.


Question feature

The question feature in Google Classroom allows teachers to ask students a single short answer or multiple choice questions. There are a variety of settings that determine if students can see what each other answered and if they can respond to each other. This can be a great way to gather student questions or to let students build on each others' questions to make connections. The question feature is also the simplest way to allow students to see each others' contributions, and students can even paste in links.

Learn more about Classroom's question feature.

Class comments

Depending on your settings for your class' Stream tab, students and staff may be able to post "class comments" on announcements and assignments. These class comments are visible to everyone in the class, and they are timestamped and attributed to the student's account. Class comments can be great for students posing questions or commenting with their connections. You'll want to set norms and expectations for class comments, to help students be successful.

Learn more about adjusting Stream settings for students.

Note: If you need to temporarily remove a single student's ability to comment, you can mute individual students without removing comment permissions for everyone. Muting a student shouldn't be a permanent solution until other interventions have been tried first.

Making thinking visible

One of the neatest things about Classroom is how easily it integrates into other tools. Although there isn't a native feature of Classroom for students to create multimedia artifacts to show their thinking, there are many other SFUSD-approved digital tools that can post their assignments to Classroom or that final products can be submitted to Classroom. When you think of Classroom as a "basket" for students to turn in virtual work, you'll see they can turn in a lot of different things! For example, you can post Seesaw assignments in Classroom, for students to record a video while drawing on a template you set. Students can submit links and attachments, so they can turn in finished products from Adobe Creative Cloud Express (formerly called Adobe Spark) or other creative tools. Many things are possible in Classroom when you realize it's an organizational tool that can facilitate a wide range of activities and assignments.


Group projects

Classroom has made a lot of improvements over the years, but it was designed as a more individual space, where students turn in individual work. It's not super simple yet to do group projects in Classroom, but you can "hack" a few features of Classroom to make group projects happen, such as the differentiation features and the access level setting for attachments. If you create an assignment only assigned to the group members and you set the attached file as "Students can edit file", which allows only the students in the group to edit the file, you can give the group a digital space to collaborate. You can even attach a second file to the the group's assignment and set it to make a copy for each student if you want them to each turn something in. 

Learn more about collaboration with Google tools.

Screenshot of setting group projects in Classroom

Equitable Access & Demand

Differentiation in Classroom

You can easily assign different work or post different to specific students. When editing an assignment or post, there's a dropdown menu on the right side that says "All students". You can check and uncheck students, and only the checked students will see this assignment or post. This is great for students who were absent or for group work.

Learn more about differentiation in Google tools.

Screenshot of assigning to specific students in Classroom

Offering choices for students

You can also put multiple attachments on an assignment to give students options on which item they'd like to complete. Choices help students have agency and engage more with the work they are doing because they chose it. 

Learn more about offering and managing student choice.

Creating a learning space & community in Classroom

Learn more about building a learning community.

Learn more about managing a virtual learning space.

Assessment for Learning

Feedback with private comments

Classroom has built-in feedback features that can be used to support student learning.

Learn more about giving students feedback with Google tools.

Return & resubmit features

Coming very soon!

This page was last updated on July 19, 2023