Google Forms Gets Even Better

This August, I’m participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! ūüôā

If you want to join in the blogging fun, it’s not too late! ¬†Go HERE to sign up! ūüôā And here are the directions and some awesome helpful prompts if you need something to help you blog!
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I LOVE Google Forms! I use them all of the time for a variety of reasons- both education related, with my swim team and for personal use. They are such a super easy way to collect info into a spreadsheet super quickly!

This may not be NEW news for many of you as Google introduced it at the end of June, but for those of us on summer break who haven’t opened Google forms to use in a classroom all summer, it is new and exciting information.

QUIZZES!
This new feature will allow auto-grading multiple choice and checkbox questions¬†which can give INSTANT feedback to students¬†and allow teachers to see if they need to spend more time on a topic.¬†SO STINKIN’ AWESOME! I have used the Flubaroo add-on before to do this same thing, but I always found it glitchy and a little hard to manage. I have already played around with this and it is SO easy to use.
Creating a quiz is super simple, here’s how:
  • Go to¬†your Google Drive.
  • Click on New and then choose form.
  • In the upper right corner,¬†click Settings in the top right corner and choose QUIZZES.
  • Next to “Make this a quiz” click the on button to make the form a quiz.
  • At this point you have a few options you can choose to turn on or off,
    • Release the grade immediately after each submission or do not release the grade
    • Change what students can see, Missed Questions, Correct Answer and Point Values.
  • Click Save to save your chosen settings.
After that you just start building your quiz.  You can make an answer key for multiple choice, checkbox, or drop-down questions.
  1. To add a new question, click Add.
  2. Fill out your question and answers.
  3. In the bottom left, click ANSWER KEY.
  4. In the top right of the question, choose how many points the question is worth.
But wait…there’s MORE!¬†You can even add explanations to answers- including links, videos,¬†or websites so students get immediate feedback!
To add feedback, just click on Answer Key and then on Add Answer Feedback.
Type feedback for both INCORRECT ANSWERS and CORRECT ANSWERS.
You can find out even more about creating a quiz with Google Forms HERE.
Way to go Google- YOU ROCK!

 

Never Ending To Do List

The first day for students is Thursday; we just had two days of teacher institute covering your normal back to school things and a handful of brand new things.¬† Tomorrow is teacher work day, the best day in our calendar, it allows teachers to do final prep, digest the previous two days, plan with other teachers and basically have a day to do what we need to do before we meet our new batch of students on Thursday.¬† It’s like the perfect built in mental health day so we can start the year fresh and ready to go.

I am feeling a little overwhelmed, which is normal for the first week of school.¬† I have all these different ideas on how I want to start the year, that I tend to put off the actual planning because it’s so hard to choose.¬† I have things written down, but not finalized.¬† I am going to try and do a bit of it tonight.

My classroom is bare. It was repainted this summer with shiny paint, so nothing holds up the posters.¬† Last year I tried command strips, hot glue, packing tape and finally gave into duct tape.¬† We have been told duct tape CAN NOT be used at all, in any manner.¬† I don’t know how to get things to stick on my walls. Someone already tried the Marvelous Tape and it fell down within two hours (she ended up using duct tape, but SHHHH don’t tell). The posters aren’t even official heavyweight paper posters, they are printed on printer paper and laminated because I tend to make my own or find them for free on the internet.

I am feeling like I have a LONG list of things to do and don’t know where to start.¬† Bonus is that I won’t see my 6th grade students for the first time until Monday, but Geometry starts right away on Thursday.¬† I will spend the morning tomorrow planning with other teachers that I co-teach with (7th grade and 8th grade), so not all of my teacher work day is for me. ūüôā

This too shall pass, I know it will and I will be excited once I get to meet my kids!

Day 4 – Professional Learning Conversations & ISN’s

Yesterday I found out about a meeting I needed to attend today that all of the interventionists/specialists from the district were invited to attend.¬†It is the first of four professional learning opportunities with Dr. Pam Rosa. Here is what I found out about her online, prior to attending the meeting: Dr. Pamela Rosa, a certified Danielson Facilitator, and a consultant of educational initiatives, specializes in teacher and principal evaluation, professional growth processes, as well as mentoring and coaching. She has worked as a teacher, literacy coach, principal, district administrator, and state board consultant. Her educational leadership and policy degrees are from Illinois State University and University of Illinois.¬† I wasn’t sure what the focus of the meeting was going to be and¬†because I only met my 6th grade students yesterday, I decided to attend the meeting for the morning portion and come back to teach my students.

We received the book Learning-Focused Supervision – Developing Professional Expertise in Standards-Driven Systems.¬† Dr. Rosa talked about how the title should really be Learning-focused Conversations because Supervision makes it sound like we are higher than the teachers we are working with, which isn’t true.¬† We had a lot of great conversations in our groups and I am excited for the next three meetings to continue the discussions.¬† It sounds as though my district is trying to move towards having the interventionists also be “coaches” to work with teachers as well as the students we are working with.¬† I LOVE this idea and it is something I think I will be good at, however I thing they should be separate positions.¬† If the interventionists are really there to assist struggling learners across all grades in their school, then there is little time to really focus on helping teachers in an effective way.¬† This isn’t finalized, just an idea I think right now, but I will be interested to see how it all pans out.

Today in 6th grade students completed a reflection on yesterday’s Pentomino activity for their warm-up¬†and were given their composition notebooks for their Interactive Student Notebooks. ¬†Times have changed and students are not issued textbooks anymore because our math resources are fully digital. ¬†However, we still need to practice good note taking and have a place to show our work and practice, so the students and I will be creating our own textbook this year, called the Interactive Student Notebook (ISN). I have used ISN’s for a few years now and love them.¬† It will be different working on it along side the digital math program, but I am sure we will find a process¬†that¬†works well.

I collected their homework from the night before which was the pennant about themselves. I had two students not color or decorate even though the typed directions said to and I had one student who didn’t complete it. When I asked him why and had him complete my missing homework form, he stated he had soccer practice and couldn’t do it.¬† Seeing as though it was the FIRST assignment that required them to tell me a bit about themselves, I was a little surprised…I could expect that from an 8th grade student, but I wasn’t expecting it from a 6th grade student.¬† I had a conversation with him about making sure he brought it on Tuesday and I debated the rest of the day whether I should use this as a first contact with his parents.¬† I decided to let it go and see what he brought on Tuesday.

They completed their “I Notice/I Wonder” again for Friday and some of the things they wrote were adorable and insightful:
I Notice
“That I am making new friends.” (I forget that the 6th graders come to us from 3 different elementary schools.)
“You are a really fun teacher.” (YIPPEE!)
“That you wrote back from yesterday.” (I heard them talking when they sat down that I wrote them back. I am glad they liked it.)
“Everything is organized! I love that!” (Awesome…a girl after my own heart!)
“There is a basket that looks like a basketball hoop.” (Yep, bought it last year for Trashketball!)
“You play music everyday for math.” (Yes and I need to get more music to play. I use an app called Seconds to organize music with breaks and this idea came from Mr. Vaudrey and I have LOVED it since I started using them! I think it will work better with the 6th graders too.)

I Wonder
“When we will have a party.” (Hmmm…this is middle school, no parties. Unless we are celebrating Math!)
“If I’ll ever memorize my passwords.” (Yikes, we even tried to make them easier for students by having most logins & passwords for multiple sites be the same. But this is all new for the 6th grade students.)
“If Math will always be this fun.” (ABSOLUTELY!)
“What digits is about.” (I need to explain this more. It is our districts adopted digital resource for our curriculum.)
“How many pages we will use in the composition notebook.” (All of the pages! Actually, good question, close to all I think.)

ISN Pages – I will link to my printable pages or where I found the pages.
Title Page – Math Coloring Page
Author Pages (in Pictures & in Words – Sarah Hagan’s Math Autobiography Foldable)
Study Buddies & Clock Partners
Table of Contents (TOC booklet¬†– Shelli’s great one page TOC)

They seemed excited about the ISN and I was reminded that I need to get more tape dispensers and glue sticks.¬† The materials I had from last year didn’t quite make it. I purchased new materials bins with lids that don’t come off, but they are smaller, so I think the tape and glue sticks will have to stay somewhere else.

I am looking forward to a nice long Labor Day weekend.  I have planning to do for next week, but I will probably save it for Monday!