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Group Your Science Assignments by Topic

Google Classroom teachers can use topics to keep their classwork page organized. Find out how to move your Science Buddies assignments into topics in Google Classroom.

Add Science Buddies assignments to topics in Google Classroom

Creating topics within Google Classroom is a great way to organize your assignments and announcements into thematic units. Whether you group assignments and resources for single explorations (e.g., Monday's lab) or set up larger topics to hold multi-part assignments that might be completed over weeks or months (e.g., science fair projects), using topics can be helpful. Timelines that break larger science and engineering projects into individual tasks with clear check-in points keep students on track and give teachers better oversight and a way to ensure that everyone is moving forwards. No teacher wants to see a student starting a project in the final days before it is due!

With the topics feature in Google Classroom, science teachers doing science or engineering projects with students can easily set up a timeline to help students navigate the process.

Create Assignments and Add to Topics

When creating announcements and assignments at Science Buddies, you can't currently choose the topic, but once the announcement or assignment is made, you can easily move it into a topic within Google Classroom. The following walkthrough shows you how. (Note: Topics are available to teachers using the Classwork tab in Google Classroom.)

  1. Create an announcement or assignment at Science Buddies. Log in at Science Buddies as a Google Classroom teacher and use the Google Classroom button to create an announcement or assignment for a specific class. (Need more information about using Science Buddies with Google Classroom?) Once you have successfully created the assignment or announcement, return to Google Classroom.

    Make assignment at Science Buddies
  2. Create a topic. If you do not already have topics set up, create your topic in Google Classroom. On the Classwork page, click the "Create" button and select "Topic." Enter the name for your topic in the pop-up box to create it. You will see the topic appear on the Classwork page under the assignments that are not in a topic.

    Create a topic in Google Classroom

    To move your topics up or down on the Classwork page, click the three-dot icon for the topic and choose Move up or Move down. Note: your first topic will appear below the list of uncategorized work. You cannot currently move a topic above that list.

  3. Edit an assignment or announcement to add it to a topic. Locate the assignment or announcement in Google Classroom on the Classwork tab that you want to add to a topic. Click the three-dot button and select "Edit."

    Edit an existing assignment to add a topic
  4. Specify a topic. On the "Edit" screen for the assignment, click the drop-down arrow next to "Topic" and select the topic for the assignment. (Note: you can also create a new topic at this point.) Save your changes.

    Select topic for an assignment
  5. Review the topic list. The assignment now appears at the bottom of the list under the selected topic header on the Classwork page. You can move assignments and announcements up or down within the topic by using the three-dot menu.

    Topics in Google Classroom

Share Your Story!

How do you group your science assignments? Our Scientific Method and Engineering Design Process guides can help students move step by step through each process. (You can view a table of supporting materials like quizzes and worksheets here.) Assign individual steps as reading material and consider assigning related worksheets and quizzes or requesting that students turn in summarization or reflection assignments. Once students move into experiment and testing phases, having them turn in photos from their projects or screenshots of their lab notebooks can be a good way to have them checking in.

Share your tips and best practices for using Science Buddies with Google Classroom! Email us at scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.




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