Everything You Need to Know about Guardian Summaries in Google Classroom
Over the past couple years, Google Classroom has become the organizational hub for the majority of my classroom resources and assignments. Of course, I could go on and on about the mutual benefits of using Google Classroom with my students, but that's another blog post for another day.
However, one thing I realized shortly after settling into our new paperless lifestyle is -- since most of our assignments were now assigned, completed, submitted and graded digitally -- that parents weren't able to see as much of their student's work at home anymore. I've always posted a daily schedule with important dates on our school's grade level blog, but wouldn't it be great if there were an easier way to communicate our digital activity to parents?
Enter: Guardian Summaries from Google Classroom!
Guardian Summaries was added to Google Classroom in August 2016 to enable parents and guardians to receive weekly email summaries of their student's Classroom activity -- exactly the type of integrated feature I had been hoping for!
Eager to try out this new feature, I sent a message to parents at the beginning of the year through our school's student information portal. I explained how we use Google Classroom (for those who may not be familiar) and included a link for parents to sign up for the weekly summaries. The link took parents to a Google Form I created, which I used to collect email addresses and organize submissions. From there, copy and pasting the email addresses from the response Sheet into Classroom was a breeze.
You can download my form and adapt it to your needs here: Guardian Summary Sign-Up Form.
Note: When you click the link above, you will be prompted to Make a Copy. This will take you to the Form’s response sheet. To view and edit the form, click “Form” on the Menu bar and then click “Edit Form” from the dropdown menu.
How to Add Guardians
To add a guardian email, click on the Students tab in your Class. Next to the student's name, you'll see the "Invite Guardians" option.
Once an email address has been added, parents will receive an email with an invitation. They will have to accept this invitation in order to begin receiving summaries.
The Summary Emails
Summaries include the name, date and description of any assignments and/or announcements that have been posted from the past week, as well as upcoming assignment dates and any missing work the student may have. Parents will not be able to see your posted attachments or their child's work.
By default, emails are sent every Friday around 4:30 PM. Guardians can opt to change the frequency from weekly to daily if desired.
It's also worth noting that summaries includes the feed from every Class the student has joined, not just the Class that the email address is initially added to.