1. Quizzes and Check Ins
This is probably the most popular way to use Google Forms. You can set up google forms to grade for you. This is most easily done through multiple choice, but you can set correct answers for short answer responses as well. I also like using checkboxes to have students select more than one correct answer. These have to be graded manually if you plan to give partial credit, but if you grade by question (not by student), similar answers get automatically grouped together which cuts down on the number of responses you need to grade. Once returned to students *if you made it a Quiz Assignment in Google Classroom* grades can be imported to Google Classroom in one click which is amazing.
The other thing I love about google forms is that I can duplicate a form, simplify the language, and add more visuals for my ELLs. When assigning the quiz in google classroom, no one needs to know who has which quiz (especially during virtual learning!). For some of my stronger ELLs, I actually assigned them both quizzes. I let them take the adapted version first as a warm up then move onto the typical version. I also let some students decide which one they wanted to take. They had very similar information and still covered standards; it was just a difference in accessibility.
My last tip thinking about quizzes is for math teachers – check out Equat.io as a google add-on to type in math symbols more easily.
2. I Have…Who Has… Cards
I love I Have…Who Has…activities. In the classroom, I created sets of popsicle sticks that were self-checking, used questions for quizzing yourself at home, and did the traditional passing out of cards where kids called out their options. I was trying to figure out a way to have kids do this virtually because I thought it would be fun. I can’t pass out individual cards to kids. I also love partnering activities where you find someone with the matching answer. I remembered how in google forms you can send a student to a different section based off of your answer. Therefore, if a student selects their name, they can get an individualized piece of information. View a google form set up for I Have Who Has like this here. You can make a copy of a sample google form I made for a class of 30 here.
3. Choose Your Own Adventure
Similar to above, you can have students go to different options and storylines based off of their response. This can get a little messy while creating, but it’s really fun!
How it works:
4. Parent Communication Tracking
At conferences, I pull up a google form and track a few notes of what we discussed and any next steps I need to take as a result of the meeting. This also works for phone conferences, but I find it really helpful to take notes through this method when I do fall conferences back-to-back with parents. Sometimes, those can blur together, and they don’t all fit in my planner as nicely as other times throughout the year.
5. Student Conference Tracking
I actually prefer to handwrite notes on a clipboard for reading and writing conferences, but I think if I had an ipad in the classroom, I would like taking notes via google form. You can type in a teaching point and follow up notes to refer back to for the next conference. If you had similar comments often, you could use checkboxes to select those common sentence starters or comments. I can imagine this information would be helpful especially for co-teaching situations where you needed anecdotal notes to be accessed easily by different teachers. While physical notes can hypothetically be passed from teacher to teacher using a folder, this sort of system would reduce the chance of something getting lost.
6. Interim or Progress Report Comments
While comments are always individualized to the student and circumstance, there is often a large amount of crossover in terms of listing what work is missing, typical strengths of students, typical areas of growth, and so on. I have a list of students, introductory comments, areas of strength, areas of growth, if missing work needs to be addressed, how to support as a parent, and a closing statement of support from my side. I make all of these questions as checkboxes so I can select what I need. When these are exported to a spreadsheet, I just select all the cells for that student, copy it into the document to send to parents, and edit for punctuation. While this took some time to set up, it has paid off and saved me so much time compiling thoughtful comments.
7. Book Choices for Book Clubs
You can insert pictures and youtube videos into google forms. I like to let students explore book trailers in google forms like a virtual book tasting. They can view the videos they like and ignore the ones that don’t catch their eye as much. Then, I have students rank choices of books for books clubs 1-3. To do this, I create three separate, duplicated questions. The question states if it’s a first choice, second choice, or third choice, I use the spreadsheet of responses to group students together.
8. Classroom Job Selection
I let students apply for classroom jobs through google classroom. The form is only a few questions and seeks their first choice, second choice, and third choice of jobs. I’m usually able to fill all jobs and give them one of their options. If you want to know more about my classroom job system, you can read about it here.
9. Feedback on Preferences
I ask for feedback often from students. These forms often only take a few moments for them to complete, but it lets me know what I should invest time into as I plan. For instance, I created a whole bunch of center activities for math one year trying to develop a strong plan for stations. I had created games and researched activities, and you know what they liked best? Coloring pages – ones that had different order of operations problems and if the answer is 7, you color it yellow. They loved these simple TpT products and puzzle worksheets that just required a couple bucks and some copies. Feedback is so helpful for teachers!
10. Scheduling Events
I have scheduled a few parent and community events where I wanted to choose a day and time when the most people were available. You can offer a table of options that people check off. You can also change the question where they have to pick one per column or per row. This helps enormously in breaking down availability.
11. Breakout EDU
The concept of Breakout EDU is that you’re trying to learn about some content, gather knowledge, figure out how that new knowledge can give you some codes or clues, then type those codes into a google form until you get the right answers! Usually all of this information (reading, videos, clues) is stored within a google site. There are several youtube videos that show how to use google forms to give students codes that they then solve the puzzle. It takes advantage of the self-grading features of google forms for short answers (which have to be answered a specific way in order to be counted as correct which can be a pain or a fun puzzle in this instance). There are tons of teacher created resources ready to go for you to use that can be sorted by grade level and content are here on the Sandbox. I would highly recommend modeling your thinking process for getting codes with your whole class or in small groups first, and then allowing them to tackle one on their own. Start maybe with a lower-grade level example if students have not been exposed before.
12. Attendance – Tip
With virtual learning, you might need to track attendance at separate times throughout the day or use checklists to track who lacked participation. My recommendation is to take attendance yourself (not rely on students) for live calls and check off who did NOT show up and/or who did NOT participate. This way in the responses spreadsheet it will track kids you need to follow up with. I take attendance only once officially through our school system during morning meeting, but I take attendance on a google form throughout the day so that I know which names pop up in my spreadsheet more often.
If you do have students report attendance for themselves, it’s a great idea to also use that as an emotional check in. I’ve seen lots of examples of this out there. Even if you merely ask students if they want to check in with you later, that’s great.
If you can’t tell, I love google forms! I know some teachers get frustrated by them or wish there were different options, but there are tons of possibilities. I appreciate that once kids know how to use it, you can keep using the same structure over and over again.