The first year year I was fortunate to have 1:1 Chromebooks in my classroom, I used them daily for Listen to Reading during guided reading and math games during guided math. We would use them to play Kahoot from time to time.
But it wasn’t until the end of the year that I wanted to try out a few new ways to use the devices. Part of what was holding me back was my fear of something new and the hesitation of introducing something out of my comfort zone to my students.
I know Google Classroom is all the rage. But, the task of 7 & 8 year olds typing in their email addresses (that they never use) and then guiding them through a website that I am not very familiar with was just too much. So I went with what I did know and that was Google Forms.
Neurotic thoughts continued.
What if they couldn’t access and navigate the site? How would their typing be? What if they all needed help at the same time? I envisioned myself in the middle of the lesson just saying “Alright, never mind, put your computers away!”
But guys. That didn’t happen. Not one bit. Not at all. My students were SO successful that it made me want to find even MORE ways to use Google Forms in the classroom. So here’s a few things we did:
This one was a big AHA moment for me. I had my students access the Google Form to type each spelling word as I dictated them. I could even set them up to self grade! Students loved this switch up from a typical pencil-paper test.
And, the data would show me exactly which words were the most difficult so I could plan any review/remediation. I set up the Google Form to include a place for their name and then as many short answer questions as there are words for that week.
How amazing is this data?! You can see all of the most common errors which makes planning for reteaching and reviewing a breeze!
I love having my students apply for classroom jobs
. I feel like they take more ownership over their duties and then I can keep them in that position for longer instead of assigning and swapping jobs weekly. We usually applied for jobs each marking period or quarter.
Using Google Forms allowed me to see which jobs were the most popular and which only had a few applicants. I could compare responses and choose the best candidate.
Have you ever done a vote in class but it was clear that students were just looking to see what their friends picked? Google Forms was the answer to getting honest feedback! Anytime we would need to vote on a reward like PJ day or extra recess, I would set up a Google Form to collect the answers. It was private, quick and an easy 1 multiple choice question to answer.
I wish I would have used this more because collecting the information you need in order to plan your unit or lesson is so key! I used Google Forms to pre-assess for math most often. But it also makes for a great ticket out the door for any subject!
The way in which the information is organized makes it easy to see your students’ strengths and areas of need. This makes it the perfect tool to plan where you will begin in your math unit or who you might want to meet with to frontload vocabulary or foundational skills.
Finally, I love using Google Forms to get students feedback. Whether it be classroom community related or their opinion about how a lesson went, the anonymity of a Form makes it a great tool gather students’ honest opinions. I love that I can refer back to it when needed without holding on to a bunch of slips of paper.
I might ask students what they feel is going well in our classroom or what we need to work on. I might ask them to share something that’s been bothering them or a win they’ve had. Incorporating this sharing in a different format allows students privacy which leads to more honest answers.