Creating a class Facebook group is a great way to further build classroom community and increase family involvement. Use this step-by-step guide to help you create one today. Perfect for distance learning or keeping parents involved all year long!
As teachers move to distance learning because of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, you may consider creating a class Facebook group. At Simply Kinder we LOVE Facebook groups and so we wanted to share with you all of the details.
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The benefits of doing a class Facebook group:
- You can easily group everyone together.
- You can organize you activities into units.
- Families can easily respond to assignments with photos or videos.
- Families may already be on social media all day.
- You can easily go live with your content.
- You can stream ZOOM to it so you can see your entire class too.
We shared a video on how to set up a class Facebook page so you can see exactly how it is done.
TO CREATE YOUR GROUP:
- From your personal Facebook account, go to the CREATE in the upper right hand corner and select group.
- Title your group.
- Add a spouse or teammate as your first member. It’s also good to have another person in there who can be an extra set of eyes.
- Keep the group Private and make it Visible.
- Check the PIN TO SHORTCUTS so the group is listed in your left sidebar so you can easily access it.
Now you are in your group. Start by uploading a cover photo.
- Upload a cover image. You can use Canva’s preset Facebook Cover image setting to create an image. You can do a class photo or it might be good too to make an image of all of the important things you want parents to know (like what time you will post new lessons, etc.)
Now adjust your settings. Consider adjusting the following settings:
- Group type – change to Social Learning if you want to post assignments.
- Add a short description.
- Apps – this is where you will connect Zoom if you choose to do so.
- Privacy group – just be careful with this setting because you can only change it every 28 days.
- Badges – This is a fun option you students may like once you are more comfortable. They can earn badges for different things in the group.
- Sections – Add Social Learning Units if it is not done yet.
- Membership Approvals – I would set to ONLY ADMINS AND MODERATORS. This means you will be the only person who can approve people into your group.
- Membership Requests (Ask Questions) – I would Ask Questions. I would maybe ask, “who is your student” and “how are you related to your student.” This will help you approve people so you know who is there. You can also ask for family emails, or really anything you may need.
- Membership Requests from Pages – Don’t allow.
- Posting Permission – You need to decide if you want families to be able to start new posts in your group. Set that up accordingly.
- Post Approvals – Again, you will have to choose. If you do approvals, just remember you will have to be available to approve posts.
- Keyword Alerts – Adding words to this section will alert you when a word is said. This is good for monitoring conversations so they stay on teaching and learning.
Your group settings may take a few minutes to process (especially the Social Learning sections).
- Create your first unit. I would do one unit per day so families can just pick the day they are working on and see everything they need to do for that day.
- Then the different lessons (or posts) will be your activities. So create the post and include the details for the lesson. You can also upload a file or create a quiz.
- Then as you go day to day, you can add different activities for your students. When they log in, they will go to the UNITS tab and see what they need to do. (This is just a sample so you can see).
When students complete a unit, they can mark it DONE which will be nice for keeping things simple and organized!
THINKING OUT LOUD IDEAS:
Simply Kinder has run many Facebook groups including lots of popup groups (which is the technical term for a temporary Facebook group if even for a year). Here’s a few things we think you may want to know or consider:
- Post your activities and ask families to reply with a comment like a photo of the activity. Then when you go to grade it you will have all of the student work in one spot.
- To share the group with your families, grab the URL and email it to them or send in your communication platforms. OR you can enter their FB email in the right ADD MEMBERS section. Every once and while, I have have issues getting someone in. I would suggest just friending them, adding them, and then unfriending them once they are in.
- Creating videos is SCARY – just being honest. It gets easier and your students won’t care.
- Remember, your students families are most likely working from home and your students may have other siblings. Make activities be things they can do at anytime.
- Your students won’t necessarily be able to see your personal Facebook account – this is 100% dependent on your personal Facebook profile settings. Your group is completely separate from your page.
Hopefully this will get you going with a private class Facebook group. Please let us know if you have any questions.
And remember, we have all of our Send Home Sub Plans that can be uploaded to your private class Facebook groups for families to download and print.