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9 Secrets Of Microsoft Teams For Teachers

Microsoft Teams is a digital hub for users of all ages. It provides a space for all of the information you communicate with a colleague, student, teacher, or classmate to appear in one place. All of your conversations, media, content, apps and assignments live in one spot in Teams. Microsoft teams for teachers support the development and facilitation of collaborative classrooms that connect students with their peers and teacher. Teams can also connect in professional learning communities and provide a communication channel for school faculty.

Microsoft Teams operates on the belief that effective classroom technology is digital advancement delivered with purpose to inspire creativity and cultivate curiosity. The classroom experience in Teams empowers the generation that embraces technology as their first language, encouraging their developing voices and helping educators implement learning strategies for their future success.

Creating your own Team

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform within the Microsoft 365 Suite where teams connect through shared notebooks, chat/conversation sessions, virtual meetings, and resource sharing. Using both Microsoft and non-Microsoft tools, including hundreds of third-party applications, teachers can create groups or classes that include any member of your organization, making it a great fit for sports teams, clubs, and leadership committees. Teams is already integrated with Infinite Campus so the creation of classes within Teams is automatic with all your students already set up.

Learners can share resources, work on projects, delegate tasks, and communicate their progress via their Class Notebook, and teachers can create assignments and share files via SharePoint, so students get individual copies. There’s also the option to provide kids with private feedback through their individual notebooks. Assessment choices are numerous and include feedback via rubrics, files, links, videos, and text.

Microsoft Teams gives educators a lot of flexibility when it comes to establishing classroom norms and setting up communication in the classroom. Teachers can decide how they want to organize their teams. This could include different class periods or special projects students are working on during the school year. They can even invite other members of their school (or district) to join a team.

With Microsoft Teams, students and teachers can manage projects, tasks, and content. The applications you use every day are all available in one spot. This increases the efficiency and quality of communication throughout the school day. Real-time information comes through to both students and teachers through asynchronous team conversations and scheduled meetings that teachers can moderate. Since it is integrated with Microsoft 365, users can easily access tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote Class Notebook. You can add apps like Flipgrid (Microsoft now owns this!), Planner and Forms to the list as well.

The Different Types of Teams

As a Classroom Teacher, you will automatically have a Classes Team. There are four types of Teams in total: Classes, PLCs, Staff and Other. With Microsoft Teams, you can create as many teams as you’d like, so it is important to know the differences between the four types of teams. This document provides detailed information on each type of team.

microsoft teams for teachers

Classes

  • If you are a Classroom Teacher, you will be using the Classes team for all your classes. All your students will already be synched to your Teams.
  • If you are an elementary teacher, you will have one team for each section of Infinite Campus within the team. For instance, you will see a team for AM and PM Attendance, Computers, Art, Music, ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies.
  • If you do not wish to see all these Teams in your list, “Remove Favorite” the Team by clicking on the 3 dots next to your Team. This will not delete the Team, but will hide it from view. If you delete the Team, because Infinite Campus syncs every night, that Team will simply show up again the next day.
  • If you are a middle or high school teacher, you will have one class for each period you teach in the team.

PLCs

Use this team if you are collaborating with other team members as a Professional Learning Community. This type of team includes a shared OneNote Notebook as well as an individual OneNote Notebook for each member of the team.

Staff Members

Use this team if you are collaborating with other team members or administration on projects. This type of team also includes a shared OneNote Notebook as well as an individual OneNote Notebook for each member of the team.

Other

Use this team if you are collaborating with other team members or administration on projects. You can also add students to this team. This type of team can be used for anything. The biggest difference between this team and the PLC and Staff Member teams is that there is no OneNote Notebook included and the individual members of the team do not have a OneNote Notebook either. You can add a shared Notebook if you wish.

Posts, Chats and Calendar

Meet virtually with your class and send messages in chats and channel conversations.

Posts

The Posts tab in Microsoft Teams appears in the General channel, as well as any additional channels you create. All class members can view and add to conversations in the General channel. In other channels, use the @Mention to invite certain students or staff to participate in a conversation.

Conversations are different from chats because they are visible to everyone in a channel and not private. You can also “mute” one or all students if you do not wish to have them conversing during specific times in class. Conversations can also be deleted. Documents shared in a conversation automatically become part of the Files tab in that file. Here is a great document detailing Conversations in Teams.

Channels are a great way to provide everyone on your Team with information at the same time. Rather than creating and sending out an email to a group, now you can simply post a message in the Conversations and everyone on your Team will receive a notification that there is a message waiting for them. You can attach documents, links, pictures, polls using Microsoft Forms, etc. all in the posts tab.


When you want to get the attention of a person(s), you use the @[their name] in the Conversation box. This message will NOT be private but will alert the individual(s) that you are speaking to them specifically.

Note: The default setting in Teams allows members to “delete” messages in Conversations. This has already been an issue at some sites with students posting undesirable remarks and then immediately going in and deleting their comment pretending it never happened. To resolve this, you must “uncheck” the box in the <Manage Team> section, under <Settings> and <Member permissions>.

Chats

Chats are NOT enabled for Students. However, this is a great way for you to “instant message” colleagues on your Team. Chats are private between you and the individual you are chatting with. Note: If you are chatting with an individual and then decide to add another individual to that chat, the added individual will only see the “chat” from the time they were invited to that chat. They will not see anything prior in the chat section.

To loop more people into a private conversation, just click Add people to team button in the top right corner of your screen. Then, type the names of the people you’d like to add, select how much of the chat history to include, and click Add. Note: Currently, you can include chat history only when adding someone to a group chat (not a one-on-one chat).

Click the New Chat icon to start a New Chat. You can privately share files within a chat and even have a video chat that is similar to Skype but within Teams.

Calendar

Calendar in Teams can be either Audio meetings or Video meetings. The Meetings in Teams works in conjunction with your Outlook calendar as well. When you open up your Meetings icon, you’ll see anything you already have scheduled in Outlook will show up in your Meetings calendar as well. Click the “New Meeting icon to schedule a new meeting. You can also have your meetings recorded, transcribed, and time-stamped.

Explore the following resources to understand how Meetings in Teams can work for you. Students can also “meet” in Teams as well. This could be a great way to have your students collaborate on projects.

A Simple Way To Join Microsoft Teams Meetings
How To Track MS Teams Attendance Report And Download Report After Meeting
Recording Teams Meeting | Step-By-Step Guide

Assignments and Feedback in Teams

Creating assignments for your students in Microsoft Teams is simple. You can manage due dates, instructions, add resources, rubrics, and more. Choose the following tutorials on Assignments and Feedback in Teams to explore.

Creating Assignments in Teams tutorial
Editing Assignments in Teams tutorial
Save an Assignment as a Draft tutorial
Review, return, and turn in assignments using the feedback loop tutorial

Teacher Feedback in Microsoft Teams – The new rubric feature in Teams is just one way to give feedback to students. By establishing open lines of communication, teachers can provide feedback that is timely, relevant and actionable. Feedback should move learning forward.

Using Rubrics in Microsoft Teams

A rubric is a powerful classroom tool, and now Teams gives educators the ability to create, store, and apply rubrics to assignments. This feature makes it easier than ever to provide actionable, timely, and relevant feedback to students.
Right within Teams, you can now access rubric criteria and skills-based grading for all of your assignments. This means your grading will be more transparent while giving students the information they need to reflect and move forward. Since the rubrics live within Teams students can view expectations before they get started with a new task.

Creating Quizzes in Teams

  • As an educator, you can use Microsoft Forms to quickly assess student progress and get real-time feedback through the use of quizzes that you design and share with your class.
  • You can create a quiz with questions that are required to be completed, display question hints, and even display students’ points and feedback after they complete the quiz, which make for a more interactive learning experience for your students.

Explore the following resources for creating Quizzes with Microsoft Forms within Teams.

When you access the Assignments section of Teams, select Create and you have the option of creating an Assignment or a New Quiz.

Read more about Quizzes, Assessments Just Got Faster: Introducing Quizzes in Teams and Create a Quiz with Microsoft Forms tutorial

Channels and Tabs

Teams are made up of channels, which are the conversations you have with your teammates. Each channel is dedicated to a specific topic, department, or project. Tabs allow team members to access services and content in a dedicated space within a channel or in a chat.

Channels

Each Team has a General channel as a default. This is where all your “whole-team” conversations take place, etc. You can add other channels, however, if you would like to create differentiated groups, separate topics, or keep other things organized. Some teachers have created channels for different groups of students within their classroom, other teachers have created channels for different projects that students are working on.

Tabs

With every new channel, two tabs are provisioned by default, Conversations and Files.

With every private chat, four tabs are provisioned by default, Conversations, Files, Organization, and Activity.

Owners and team members can add more tabs to a channel or chat by clicking Add a tab + at the top of the channel or chat.

Using OneNote Class Notebook within Teams

  • Every class team comes with its own linked OneNote Class Notebook. Your Class Notebook is a digital notebook for the whole class to store text, images, handwritten notes, attachments, links, voice, video, and more.
  • Teams delivers these essential components of the OneNote Class Notebook experience:
  • Student Notebooks — a private space shared between the teacher and each individual student. Teachers can access every student notebook, while students can only see their own.
  • Content Library — a read-only space where teachers can share handouts with students.
  • Collaboration Space — a space where everyone in your class can share, organize, and collaborate.

Accessibility Features in Teams, OneNote and Word

There are a variety of ways to create more accessibility when using Teams as well as OneNote, Word, etc. within Teams. It is imperative that we give our learners the tools they need to have full access to the academic content. Read this article discussing ways to use Windows 10 features with Teams for a more accessible experience.

Using Microsoft Forms Within Teams:

  • Use Microsoft Forms to assess your students, collect feedback from parents, and collaborate with other educators.
  • Create surveys, quizzes, and polls, and easily see results as they come in.
  • Share quizzes with your students using any web browser, even on mobile devices.
  • Create formative assessments using branching.
  • Use built-in analytics to evaluate your students’ quiz results.
  • Create assessments as a team by sharing a quiz draft with other educators.
  • Export data, such as quiz results, to Excel for additional analysis or grading.
  • Now, you can distribute a quiz or survey created with Forms into your Teams. Not only can you share a Form with your students (or fellow teachers) within Teams, you’ll have access to auto-grading, feedback, and scores, which go directly in the Assignments grade book.

Use Forms outside of Teams and share the link to your students or colleagues in:

  • the Conversation tab,
  • as an assignment for students,
  • in content pages such as through OneNote

Use Forms within Teams and create a new Tab with Forms – doing this allows your students also to create a new survey, quiz, etc.

Creating a Poll in Teams

In the conversation tab, type @Forms. The @Forms will pop up with an example of how to ask your question. You need to put a SPACE after @Forms before you type in your question.

Next type your questions along with the possible answers. Be sure to include the question with the question mark, then your options separated by a comma.

Students will choose their option so that you (and they) can see instant results.

Using Flipgrid Within Teams

  • Flipgrid adds video discussion, elevating personal engagement and shared community. Integrate the two platforms with Flipgrid’s Teams integration.
  • Create a Flipgrid Tab – Your Grids, Topics and Responses appear as tabs in any of your Microsoft Teams channels, placing student discussion alongside all other class resources.
  • Record Within Teams App – Amplify student voice and strengthen classroom community by including Flipgrid in your Microsoft Teams courses. Students watch and record from within the Teams app.
  • Teams Notifications – Everyone on your Team is alerted of any new videos or new topics added to the Grid.

Noise suppression in Microsoft teams

Go to your profile picture at the top of the Teams, go to Settings > Devices > Noise suppression. In the menu, select High for an even stronger suppression of background sounds. So whether your roommate barks at the mailman or does gymnastics outside your door, Teams has you covered with a blanket of quiet.

That’s how Microsoft teams for teachers works.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which finding from today’s report did you find most interesting? Or maybe you have a question about something that I covered.

Either way, I’d like to hear from you. So go ahead and leave a comment below.

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