Yes, its been a while since I last posted here. Sorry for the absence. I just transitioned into a new job this school year, and as everyone knows, the start of school is a hectic time. Now I’m back with a new post, and a new look – check out the new logo. So even though it is already September, I hope you’ll forgive me for making this my Back-to-School post.
As I started training for faculty this summer, one of the most popular tools for classroom, as always, is Google Forms. Google has released a few great new features this summer including:
- Intelligent Response Validation
- Checkbox Grid Questions
- Default Preferences
But if you are new to Google Forms, you’ve got to give Forms a try. This is a powerful classroom tool that you can’t pass up. See what you can do!
Increase Student Engagement
One thing I always tell teachers is that a Google Form is a great way to gather much needed information. Create a form and ask the basics, such as Name, Address, Contact Info, Parent Contact Info, but also add on a few other pieces. Ask students about their favorite subject, hobbies, favorite color, sports, and activities. Once you’ve done so, you’ll have a spreadsheet with valuable information that can help when teaching. For instance, you can use information about students in sample problems, examples, and connections with content. This is the easiest way to increase student engagement and interest in the subject you’re teaching.
Where I Went for Summer Vacation
Forms are also a great way to break the ice and get students talking. Create a Form and ask them their Name, where they went for summer vacation, and include the City and State they visited. Then you can use the info you gather to make a Google Map plotting all the points students visited over the summer. Take it one step further, and add pictures or video to each plot point so students can learn more about each destination. You can also use this idea when talking about historical novels or geographic locations. Make a spreadsheet including locations, create a map from your info, then attach video or images to each plot point for The Odyssey or The Grapes of Wrath. Watch this video to see how.
What’s your T-Shirt Size?
Are you a club sponsor or coach? Sometimes you need to gather info from students regarding membership or shirt sizes for uniforms. Since Google Forms has intelligent features to determine what you are asking for, you’ll find that simply typing your question gives you suggestions for answer types.
Upload a Photo or File
If you teach a journalism class in which students need to submit photos, or if you need students to upload files for your class, Google Forms can help. One of the options for a question type is File Upload. Once this question is created, you can choose the type of files that can be uploaded. Students filling out the form can attach their files, and all files are saved to a designated folder in your Google Drive account. Check out this video to see how.
Make a Rubric for Grading
Projects and student presentations can be hard enough to grade as it is. Ultimately, I have found it is easier to have my rubric ready to go as a checklist while students are presenting. That way, I can grade them as they present and tally up the grade so students can get feedback more quickly. I used to do this on a clipboard, but now I use a Google Form and a tablet. Autocrat is an AddOn for Google Sheets that can make this easier. Just set up your Form, create a Google Sheet for Responses and then use Autocrat to make a mail merge doc that is sent to students by email immediately after you score their presentation. Watch this video to learn how:
The no-brainer response to “what can I use Google Forms for?” is TESTS! If you haven’t used a Google Form as an assessment, you’ve got to do it. It means no more scoring large stacks of quizzes and tests. Watch this video to see how easy it is…
Password Protect Your Quiz
When using a Google Form for Quizzes or Tests, many teachers have expressed concern over students who are absent from school that may try to take a test in Google Classroom. They are worried students will skip school and try to take the test open-book. The easiest way to prevent this is to password protect your Google Form. Then give out the password only when students arrive to class. Watch this tutorial to see how easy it is to set up.
Early Childhood Visual Quizzes
Many K-2 teachers won’t use Google Forms, because they feel it will not work with students who have not mastered reading. But did you know that you can add images to questions and responses on a Google Form? You can, which means that teachers can create visual quizzes to help students identify shapes, colors, or sight words. See how…
Here is an ingenious way to use forms for student voting. This was devised by our student council sponsor, Michele Hofschulte-Colvin. She created Google Voting Classrooms for each grade level. We added students rather than use the code because she didn’t want any access other than those in that grade. She added a form (not quiz) with the list of Homecoming Queen attendant choices for each grade. Students were given a few hours one day to vote, then it was closed. Also included on the list was on option not to vote. She made sure in settings to mark only one response was allowed, and they could not see results.
Here is the brilliant part. When she opened the response sheet there was a pie chart giving the results. She could immediately see who got the biggest percentage of the vote. NO COUNTING!!!