We have created a training document that can step a teacher through getting Google Classroom setup to use with students. You might find it very helpful in getting started on your own: bit.ly/aisdgclassroom .
Probably the biggest feather in Classroom's hat is that it helps organize documents shared with students. By sharing documents within assignments, Classroom will place the new document in a folder in the student's folder (created by Classroom) and include the student's name in the document filename. This standardization will help the teacher to file locations for all students in the class.
Classroom is able to change ownership of student work. When students Turn In assignments to the teacher, the teacher becomes the owner and can grade/comment on the work. Students can get the paper back to continue editing it, but it again changes the ownership and will be reflected in the Turn In date recorded by Classroom.
There are almost too many ways to share conversations between teacher and student. Classroom discussions can be shared in the main class stream. Students can comment on the assignment directly to the teacher before turning it in when it is turned in and after it is turned in.
One of the last updates opened the door to having multiple teachers in one classroom and allows for saving assignments as drafts. Saving drafts is incredibly valuable since you can pre-create several assignments and publish them when you are ready.
There is much more to Google Classroom. Check out the training document linked to above or contact Instructional Technology for personalized on-campus training.
Do you have experience with Google Classroom? What worked well for you? What did you have to problem-solve? Share your experience or questions below in the comments.