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Using Google Forms To Assess

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Earlier this week, I posted about my love for Google Apps for Education (GAFE, for short) and I shared how I utilize Google Sheets to collect and analyze data.  You can go back and read all about that here, but today I'm going to talk to you about another of my favorites: Google Forms.

Whether you feel comfortable with Google Docs and Sheets or not, you can use Google Forms to create a super simple assessment that will export data into Google Sheets.  Newsflash:  It's not that complicated.

I use Google Forms to create exit tickets, surveys, and short assessments for my students.  They are very quick, easy to use, and, because they export directly into a spreadsheet, they give me lots of tangible data to analyze for next steps.

Here are just a few of the ways to use Google forms in the classroom:

1.  Exit tickets - Sometimes I'll ask students to share 1 or 2 things they learned during today's lesson using a generic form like this one.  Other times, the questions are more lesson-specific, like this exit slip for third grade math.  You can even turn on the "quiz" feature and Google will grade them for you! (Hello, extra free time!)

2.  Surveys - You can use Google Forms to administer informal reading inventories and pre-assessments to determine student interest or level of prior knowledge.  For instance, last school year, my class participated in the #GratitudeExperiment and they had to fill out a pre- and post-survey.  Totally did them on Google Forms to save time and money!  You can check out the pre-survey here.


3.  Student conferences - As you walk around the room and conference with students during reading, writing, or math workshop, record your conversations and notes in Google Forms.  You can email this directly to the student so they will have it or print for your own notes.  It will be super easy to go back and look at previous conference notes and organize that data for parent teacher conferences!  Here's an example of an independent reading conference you might use in your classroom.

4.  Rubrics - You can create rubrics in Forms and use them to streamline the grading process.  I haven't actually done this one yet, but I can't wait to try it out this school year.  Have you used it before?  Let me know what you did!

My absolute favorite part of Google forms has to be the data you get from it!  To start, it provides you with a spreadsheet you can export, like this one I got from my #GratitudeExperiment survey.  From here, you can organize and analyze as needed.  Check out my last blog post about using Google Sheets to manage classroom data.


And as if it Forms wasn't amazing enough, it also summarizes the data for you, giving you beautiful little charts like this one so you can see results at a glance! If this isn't Google's way of saying, "I love you, teachers," I don't know what is.



Have you used Google Forms in the classroom before?  There are a million ways to use it and I can't wait to learn more from you!  Head on over to forms.google.com and be creative - then share what you've done!




GAFE for Classroom Data

Monday, July 10, 2017
Use Google Apps for Education to manage classroom data.  Use Google Sheets to create a data sheet for collecting student data and format it to provide quick analysis. Use share function of Google sheets to collaborate with others, share with team members, administration, and parents.

Am I alone in saying that Google has been a God-send for teachers?  With the rise of the Google empire, we've been able to connect, collaborate, engage, and organize like never before.  For those of you that are familiar with Google Apps for Education (GAFE, for short), you know that they can be used to simplify a teacher's life tremendously.  I use them pretty much exclusively for my classroom needs, including for lesson planning, data collection, data analysis, and collaborating.

This post is designed to give the Google beginner some tips and tricks for using Google in the classroom.  While there are a million ways to use Google with students, I also love utilizing it for my own personal organization and efficiency.  Today, I'm going to explain to you how to use GAFE to collect, analyze, and share student data.

Let's face it, no one became a teacher because they like to look at data.  Or maybe they LOVED to grade papers as a kid, but quickly realized that the follow-up work as a teacher made it almost unbearable.  The reality is that our jobs are highly tied to data now and rightfully so.  Collection and analysis of data makes it easy for us to track where students are and make plans to accelerate their learning or intervene as necessary.

I personally love using the GAFE suite to collect and analyze data.  I originally started a data sheet on Microsoft Excel but quickly moved it to Google Sheets after realizing that I did not have to be tied to one device in order to access it.  I can pull up my data on my laptop,  a school desktop, a colleague's computer, or any iPad.  (I will say that I've tried to access the GAFE suite on my Kindle Fire and it's a little more complicated.  I'm not sure about other Android devices.)  I also love that I can share my spreadsheet with anyone. This is especially helpful when we are looking at classroom data in our professional learning community and is great to modify and share with parents.

1.  Collect student data.

I collect student data in a couple of ways.  First, I use it to keep track of the universal screener data we collect in the fall, winter, and spring of every year.  For example, we assess students using the Developmental Spelling Assessment, the Developmental Reading Assessment, and the Test of Word Reading Efficiency three times a year.  This data is all compiled in one Google Sheet.

Use Google Sheets to manage universal screening data given three times a year.


Additionally, my data sheet has essentially taken the place of my grade book and I use it to keep track of weekly formative assessment data. My data sheet is set up very much like a standard grade book, with the name of the student going down the left side and the assessments going across the top.  The biggest difference is that each of the assessments are grouped by standard so that I can easily track progression within the standard.



2.  Analyze student data.

Once the data is collected, this sheet becomes my life.  It's very simple to format the data so that it tells a story about each student, as well as your teaching.  Below are a few ways I format my data sheet to help tell the story of our classroom:

  • Color coding - I use red for novice, yellow for apprentice, green for proficient, and blue or purple for distinguished.  This is my favorite part of the data analysis because I can easily see who is performing at grade level and who needs interventions after every assessment.  You can easily do this by selecting the data, choose Format at the top, and then select Conditional Formatting.  From there, you can set the formatting for each cell based on a simple "If.. Then" statement.
  • Class averages - I can look at a glance to see how to entire class performed on the assessment.  This gives me a clue into my effectiveness of teaching.  When I have a bad week, the data shows.  You can calculate averages by selecting a row or column of data, then clicking the Functions (pointy E) button and selecting "SUM.
  • Standard average - This is my way to evaluating student progress toward the standard.  While we don't use standards based grading (yet), this is a great way for me to plan small groups and intervention.


3.  Share with others.

In the top right corner of every GAFE product, there is a "Share" button.  Use this button to share with your professionally learning community, administrators, and others.  For example, I keep all of our grade level data in one Google sheet and it is shared with my team mates, our instructional coach, the school interventionist, and our administrators.  If anyone has a question about a student's progress, all they have to do is look at the data sheet that has been shared with them.  No need to call and ask.

We also have a Google sheet with the entire school's universal screening data and every teacher in the building has access to it.  I love this because it creates a very transparent culture.  It also creates a sense of collaboration even though we might not be able to have common planning times.

It is also possible to utilize this data to share with parents.  Of course, be careful and don't EVER share the entire document with them.  But you can highlight their student's score, paste them in a word document or another Google sheet and share them that way.  Since scores automatically average once you've set the Sheet up, you can easily transfer the data to weekly or monthly progress reports.

So, that's just one way that I utilize Google Apps for Education in my own classroom.  How are you using it to make your data management more manageable?  I'd love to hear!




Teacher Toolbox DIY Makeover

Monday, July 3, 2017

You guys, I LOVE my teacher toolbox!  I bought it from Home Depot about 5 years ago and it's been sitting in my classroom ever since.  The first year I got it, I wrote on some white Avery labels and stuck them onto it.  It wasn't super pretty but, hey, it worked!  Pinterest, Instagram, and TPT have gotten the best of me and I had to give it an update this summer.
This is the toolbox I bought from Home Depot.  It's not my actual toolbox, as mine is blue, but it's the same style.  You can see in the pictures below that my nasty labels were starting to come off.  The best part about this project was that it was less than $5 to make!  I just printed some labels that I made, grabbed some Modge Podge that I already had, a paintbrush (you can use a sponge brush), a pair of scissors, and Rust-o-leum Painter's Touch spray paint in magenta.  It's my fave color, if you couldn't tell.  :)


I started by taking the drawers out of the toolbox shell.  After wiping the toolbox down with a wet paper towel to get any dust off of it, I took it outside and spray painted the first layer.  The paint went on really thick!

While it was drying, I took the old labels off the drawers and washed them.  I tried to get the tackiness completely off, but there was still residue.  It didn't matter though because the label and Modge Podge covered it up.







After cutting up the labels and drying the drawers off, I painted the Modge Podge on the front of the drawer.  I stuck the label on it and then painted over it with more Modge Podge.  Even if it's thick and kind of opaque, it's okay because it will dry clear!





I had to put a couple more coats on the toolbox to cover up the original dark blue, but I am so pleased with how it turned out! I love it and it will look so good in my classroom!


Just look how pretty those labels are!  So cute!  You can pick up your own labels here for just $2.



Happy DIY'ing!  Share in the comments if you redo your toolbox too!


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