Technology Pursuit

Blending Technology Into the Language Arts Classroom

Tag: Google Classroom Update

Add Class Snapshots to Google Classroom Banner

My 6th period Expository Writing class accused me of bragging about my magical skills when I showed them the new Google Classroom banner I made of them.  So, I told them they could choose their own banner.

They did:  they made me stand on a chair and take a picture of them with their mascot, the “writer’s block.”

Expository Writing Pic

I should also add that 6th period has a friendly rivalry with my 5th period Expository Writing class.

And by friendly rivalry, I mean that I’m wearing a bullet-proof vest and SWAT team gear for 5th period when I meet their wrath.  I’m also 99% sure I’ll have to take a picture of them and then split-banner the two.

Changing the banner is a great opportunity for teachers to build class morale.  Students can earn the right to choose the banner of the week, or as my students did, proclaim their ownership of the page with a photo of themselves.

Personalize Your Banners for Google Classroom

I’ve waited for this day to arrive–the day when I get to choose my own banner from a photograph of my choosing rather than the selection Google provides.

As soon as I arrived home tonight, I reset two of my three classroom banners.  Here are the results:

Expository Writing ClssrmBritish Literature Banner


Obviously, the cool thing is getting to personalize your own banners.  Possibilities include

  1. Adding an image to represent the current unit (as I did with Macbeth)
  2. Adding photos taken from classtime of the students
  3. Using photos of the top-notch visual work of students (posters, drawings, etc.)
  4. Allowing students to choose a “banner of the week” as a reward

But the change has come with some not-so-cool things…

  1. When choosing an image, remember that your class name will appear in the middle of it (and your picture will show up on the student side), so it’s important to choose a background that will not obscure the name of the class or look strange if your pic is thrown in.  If I had my way, I’d like the option to get rid of the class name (and pic) entirely.
  2. Images do need to be at least 800 pixels by 200 pixels.  Larger isn’t a problem; you’ll be prompted to crop within Google Classroom.


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