Interpretive Reading Choose Your Own

I’ve been slowly re-vamping my units to include more interpretive reading and I’ve been using Google Forms for the reading.  This is a Choose Your Own reading activity that asks students to choose an animal to adopt as part of a bigger Adopt an Animal mini-unit.  Here’s the great cool part: it has different choices based on their answers, so that there are basically four different possibilities for reading.

Here’s how to do it.

Go to section

To make the choose your own, you have students go to a different “section” in the form based on their answer.  That process is simple enough, but it is helpful to plan out your sections ahead of time.  First, I plan, then I make sections with those titles, and lastly I add questions.  Here’s my planning document for this form:

Pro-tip:  Have an end page where everyone does the same thing at the end.  It’s just helpful for setting up the form to have everyone dumped back to a common destination.  In this form, the students all get dumped back to a page where they write about why they chose the animal they chose.

So for my reading, first students say whether they want a dog or a cat.  Then based on that they go to a different page.

I do not know much about cats because cats make me go to the ER and have breathing treatments and weeks of prednisone, so I had to ask some people about what kind of traits cat lovers look for when I was building my form.   Also, I told students if they didn’t like cats or dogs to pretend they did.  Maybe I’ll update it for other animals and maybe I’ll just continue to tell them to pretend.

There is a third dog; it is just not in the picture.

Once they choose a characteristic, students have three animals with those characteristics to choose from.  I added those by taking a screen shot and then inserting the image.

And then lastly, students tell why.

 

You can try out my Adopt an Animal Choose Your Own yourself by clicking here.

To learn more about how to set up this type of form you can watch this video.  (Not about reading, but a survey for after school.  It’s the same idea.)

Faster, No Math Required Feedback

I am on a quest this semester to make feedback as fast and effortless with the least amount of mathing.  I hate trying to math by myself.  Give me four numbers and unless they’re all 2, I’ll have a different answer each time I add them up.  It’s mind blowing how terrible I am.  I’ve pretty much decided that from this point on in my life, I am going to math only with the help of a spreadsheet because it’s just less frustrating for everyone.

In the past, I’ve never used Google Forms as a way to “grade” (give feedback) on student presentations because I couldn’t figure out how to have it automatically add up the points.  Then, my friend told me about Form Publisher Add-on.  And I thought, how did I not know about this??!!

Form Publisher is a Google Form Add-on that allows you to publish your form entry to a doc or an Google Sheet.  (And the Google sheet means no mathing by yourself!)  Add-ons are amazing little programs that help you do great stuff in Sheets, Forms, Docs and Slides.  In Forms, to get an add on, click on the three dots then choose “Add-ons.”  Search for Form Publisher and then click add.  To run it, go to the puzzle piece and chose it. (You’ll run it after you set up your form. )

The Why

For as long as I can remember, I have always had intermediate students do a two minute oral exposé once a month or once a chapter.  I give them the topic:  Research a store, a country, a famous scientist, a problem, present your survey results, etc – you get the idea.  When I had my combined level 3 and AP class, I used the topics to help the AP students prepare for AP.  (I tricked them and had them preparing even in level 3!  They had no idea.)  I continued this even with my college classes. Sometimes I have it really structured- sometimes I don’t.  This unit for college they doing some reading and comparing and presenting a thesis.  The first one was, “Tell me about yourself,  your family and friends and what role do they play in your life.” I like it.  Students like it.  It’s a nice way to have some presentational speaking on a specific topic that goes along with your theme.    I needed a paperless way to add up these points.

The Set Up

There are two things to set up for Form Publisher.  One is the form and the other is destination document.  For my form, I took the student email addresses from my Google Classroom and entered this into the first question.  This way I could click on the student and populate the column that Form Publisher would use to share the document.  (You won’t see this in the example.)  Next, I added the names of all of the students in the class along with my own.  I have always had students peer grade for oral exposés.  A student would get two reviews: One from me and one from the reviewing student.

The Rubric:

I really like the presentational speaking rubric for AP.  It’s easy to follow.  It’s clear enough without being too wordy.  And I’ve used this for years in the high school as well in my college class.   (Note: When I had the combined 3/AP class, I used the same rubric for the 3s.  Only “appropriate structures” has a different meaning for level 3 and AP.)  I wanted the rubric to add itself up, so I made one question with a number  for the points (5,4,3,2,1) and one with the comment for that point value.  I wanted them to be side by side, but without fancy coding in your sheet you’ll need to have two questions.  I repeated until I had all of the criteria.

The Destination Sheet:

I made a template sheet in Google Sheets.  Form Publisher had a pretty picture in their example, so I tried to mimic that idea with relatively little success.  Because the destination sheet pulls information from the form, you have to have “markers.”  These are marked by << >>.  (I don’t know what their English name is, so I refer to them as “French quotation marks.”)  These have to match EXACTLY what is on your form questions or it won’t work.

I used a basic formula to have the points add up.  Here’s an example of what it looks like for the student.  (This was a test one.)

Each time you submit the form, Form Publisher creates a new document (or sheet) and can share it with the student.  It’s brilliant!  No paper!  Instant Feedback!  I have a section on mine for the students to do a little reflection after their exposé and after they review their feedback because if you give feedback and you don’t have them do something it’s a waste of your time.

You can make a copy of my form here.

You can make a copy of my destination sheet here.

Form Publisher has its own really easy to follow tutorials here.

Google Forms Test Security

I get asked all the time how to make Google Forms secure for test taking so students don’t cheat.  Whaaaat?  Students want to cheat?  Whaaaaat?  This technology…now all the sudden kids what to cheat.  They never did that before.

Here are some ways you can make your Google Forms tests more secure.

Walk Around and Supervise

If you’re unable to walk around and make sure kids aren’t cheating then assume they are.  There’s nothing that will ensure test security better than the teacher walking around.  That said, sometimes you can’t walk around and supervise.  (Like when you go back to work after back surgery and have to teach in a back brace for three months.  I did no walking around during those tests. ) One of my colleagues says if you walk around you can tell who is trying to cheat because they are very concerned where you are while everyone else is focused on the test.

Here’s some other things you can do:

Use Sections

Sections split your test up into “pages.”  Then you can shuffle everything on that page.  If you have a picture with questions about it the picture may appear at the end of the webpage, but I’ve given hundreds of Google Forms tests and as long as students know that they might have to scroll up or down to find the image there has never been an issue.  In general, I try to limit the number of questions per section to less than 10.

Click on the equals sign to add a new section and shuffle the questions in the gears.  Questions are shuffled within each section.

Add a Code

You can add a code by using data validation.   The first section of my test is name, and the code.  I usually make my code a number and as soon as everyone is “in” the test I change the code.  This way, students can’t log in unless they get the code.  Require the question.  Pro-tip: Check your test before you pass it out.  I’ve had teachers say that the correct code showed up when students typed in the wrong answer.  I always use the “number” “is equal to” and then add “Sorry try again.”  I add the code in the first section so that students enter their name and then wait for me to give them the code then they start the test.  

Stop Accepting Responses

As soon as the last student is done, turn your form off.  This will prevent anyone from accessing it when you don’t want them to.  When I begin a test, I keep the form off and make everyone click on the link and get the “This form is no longer accepting submissions” page, then I turn it on and then I have everyone refresh and then they start.  I just like for everyone to be on the same page.

Remove the Link

In Google Classroom you can add the form directly by clicking on the Drive icon and adding it.  This will allow you to import grades (if you want.) One of my colleague doesn’t do this and instead posts the link to the form in Google Classroom and as soon as student have taken it, he deletes that post from Google Classroom.  If you do this you won’t be able to post your scores in Google Classroom.

Establish Test Taking Procedures

A long time ago I got some advice that was revolutionary: establish test taking procedures and if someone doesn’t follow them you don’t get accused them of cheating- they just haven’t followed the procedures.  I had a student log in from home and take a quiz once.  I was highly annoyed, but fair play to her because I hadn’t explicitly said they couldn’t.  I add to all of my assessments now “Only assessments done in class and supervised will be graded.” And then I establish these procedures:  “You can have these tabs open:  Google Classroom, the form, and a tab with the accent codes on there.  If you have any other tab open you will earn a zero for not having followed test taking procedures.”  I add this in Classroom and I say it.  You could also add it to the form if you felt like you needed it.

 

 

Creating Individual Peer Review Forms

A colleague asked me to help her come up with a way for students to do peer reviews of projects using Google Forms.  The results had to be viewable only by the teacher and the student and all students had to have access to the links to submit the peer reviews for every student in the class.  The students also needed to be able to re-use the form.  I also added the criteria that the steps had to be easy enough that the average teacher could do it, because the things I found in my research were quite complicated even for me.

There are a significant number of simple steps for this, but it is well worth it if you will be doing a lot of peer review.  It will take you about 20 minutes to set up and about 10 minutes per class to have the students create their own forms.  You only need to do that 10 minute set up once per year per class. And – once you do the initial set-up, it’ll be ready for next year!

Essentially you create a generic form, force student to make a copy of it, then put then name on it and then submit the link to their now individualized form for others to use.

I have created a Google Doc that will walk you through all of the steps with images and links to copy examples of forms if you don’t want to make your own.  I also made a video that walks you through the entire process from both the teacher and student perspective.

Don’t let the number of steps intimidate you.  Lots of great things in life have lots of steps – like croissants and tamales and those are totally worth it.

 

Grade Short Answers in Google Forms

Grading has never been ____.

Yesterday Google quietly announced a new Forms feature that allows you to grade by question and allows for streamlined short answer grading.  Now you can create short answer/fill in the blank questions and grade them in Forms itself.  You provide an answer key (currently case sensitive) and if the student puts that exact answer, Forms grades it automatically.  All other answers can be graded quickly with clicks.

With this new update you can easily add short answer and fill in the blank questions to your Forms quizzes.

Feedback is best when it is ____.

The new forms update also allows for individual feedback for questions and even allows you to post a link and test in your feedback.  For example you could link to a video or screencast re-teaching the skill.  Alternately if the student showed mastery to a video that would challenge them to do more.

 

Hacking Tech Support with EdPuzzle

Tech Support – How may I help?

If there’s one thing I dislike it’s taking up precious class time to do tech support and answer technology questions.  It my seem ironic, but for an Instructional Technology Coach and teacher in a paperless classroom, I’m pretty picky about what type of tech I use in class.  Don’t get me wrong- at the beginning we spend a ton of time making sure everyone is comfortable with the technology we’ll use every day.  If I’m going to sacrifice time in the TL then the technology better be worth it.

At the end of the semester this year in French 102 I decided to do a survey “project.”  Students created a survey using Google Forms and then were going to present the results as part of their final.  (I was trying to trick them into using the past tense because if you’re going to talk about what people chose, said, wrote, you have to use the past tense.  #sneaky) First, I had them create situations in Google Docs (using a template) and I read and gave feedback and then they were actually ready to create the form.  We had just finished the conditional so most of their surveys used that.  And they were funny.  Students had to take five classmates’ surveys and then get five other people to take theirs so they had a total of at least 10 results.

Google Forms sometimes acts weird on mobile devices if they’re created in a GSuite account and you don’t unrestricted it from the domain.  And by weird I mean it won’t let you access the form even if you’re signed into the correct account.  I just don’t bother restricting any Google Forms for my class anymore- not worth the hassle.

Because students would most likely be using a phone to access their forms, I knew that they would need to know how to do this and I didn’t want to spend any time going over it in class.  I also knew that if I just created a screencast they wouldn’t watch it and then I’d still have to answer questions which would make me not happy.

The Hack

I created a screencast showing them what they needed to do, put it in EdPuzzle and every time I wanted them to stop and do something I put a question with two choices:

photo of a screencast

And then I had a nice little data set of who had followed my directions and who didn’t and everyone’s surveys worked great.

 

Time Saving Hacks with Google Form Quizzes

Google Forms is a quick and easy way to give an assessment, but it can be time consuming with all of the clicking necessary to make quizzes.  Here is a short video that will walk you through some time saving tips.  (Last week I actually wrote out a post with these directions, but decided on a video instead.)

You can view all of the Tech Bytes on YouTube.

 

Reset student responses in quizzes in Google Forms

If you are using the new Google Forms for quizzes and have it set to allow only response, but then find yourself needing to let a student take the quiz again you can work some form magic to do it.  It will delete the student’s original response, but if you’re ok with that follow these directions.

From Forms itself:

Click on responses.

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Choose the student’s name under who has responded.

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Then hit the trash button.  This will delete the student’s response from the form and the form will allow them to do it again.

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You can also do this in the Google Sheet associated with your your Form.

In Forms click on responses.

Click on the green cross icon to open up the sheet.

If it asks, tell it you want to create a new sheet.  (If you’ve already done this it won’t ask.)

In the sheet, right click on the number next to the row of the student who you want to be able to re-take the test.  Choose “delete row”.  Now the student will be able to re-take it because the sheet no longer sees their name.

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Now the student will be able to re-submit the form!

Google Forms Quiz for Exit Tickets

I’m so excited to use the new Google Forms quiz feature, but I doubt that I will use it much for quizzes.  I can see using this feature as a quick exit ticket.  I’m going to ask my students five to seven questions at the end of each lesson based on the lesson objectives.  Because I know what the objective is, I can create these quizzes ahead of time and because they are so easy to edit, if we don’t explore something as much as I had hoped I can easily change them.  Or, if there is a magical teaching moment in class, then I can edit them on the fly.  (I think of magical teaching moments are those times in class when something happens and it is so funny, or so memorable or so whatever that it just becomes part of the classroom culture.) Then, I am going to use the feedback feature for right and wrong questions to tell students what to do next.

I can see several applications for this new feature including:

  • Did you tell a story in class?  Upload a video of you telling the main story and ask questions about it.  (Of course your class version will be different.)  If the student gets the question right, ask them a follow up question in the feedback.  If they get it wrong, ask them to review the video.  I particularly am excited about this because I’ve had students ask to be able to hear the story more and this would be a great way to check their understanding.
  • Writing practice.  Yes, a boring close activity, but ask students several fill in the blank questions.  If they get it right – great!  If they get it wrong, direct them to review their notes (or a webpage or an activity or whatever you deem appropriate.)
  • No Homework Pass!  If students get above a certain score they don’t have to do homework that evening.  I think I would use this selectively and I would have enough questions on there that I would feel certain that they had a good grasp of the objectives.  I also wouldn’t tell them it was an option until the very end of the quiz.
  • Have an #authres you are using as an IPA?  Give quick feedback to students for them to know if they are understanding correctly.  If they get it wrong, you can even direct them to a more scaffolded version of the #authres to try again.

Google Forms for Quizzes

With the new changes in Google Forms, making quizzes is now even easier.  I’ve been using Google Forms exclusively for quizzes in my paperless classroom.  Here are some tips for making your Google Forms into Awesome Quizzes.  For more tips, watch my workflows on setting up a quiz from Google Forms.

Google Form Quizzes