One of my roles at my school, is director of the school play. And I LOVE it. I get to see shy students come out of their shell and really shine. Students who normally wouldn't be seen together outside of the classroom, come together for a common goal and make lasting friendships. It's something really worth doing.
In my daily role, I do not use Google Forms very often. I don't really need to. But also, technology is an issue becuase I'm a specialist. However, for the school play, I created a questionaire via Google Forms. I put it on my classroom website, so that I could direct students to it when needed. I had the 4th and 5h grade teachers have their students fill it out during their homeroom time, thus saving me the headache of finding enough technology for them to do it in my room. I wish I had thought of it sooner than I did! It had all their answers in a nicely organized spreadsheet. I was able to see what role(s) they were intersted in, and what they were willing to do to help with set design, etc. I also used the opportunity to answer any questions in the form before they even began the survey. This included a statement about how they are commited to the play and had even had to type in their name as aknowledgment. This made my life sooooo much easier. I no longer had to spend the first ten minutes of classtime answer questions daily about the school play. I could just refer them to the play section of my website! In order to include families, I also translated everything. And now, I just open the form when I'm ready for the next group of students!
While exploring websites talking about Google Forms, I came across one blog that mentioned that when she uses them, she has the spreadsheet color coded. WOW! I don't know how to do that, and her tutorial looked as though I could follow it, but I don't have a need for that yet. During distance learning, we weren't allowed to give students grades. However, this could certainly come in handy in the future to keep track of student progress (i.e. on grade level, almost, or far below).
I also saw some "add ons" to Google Forms in my exploration. Many of them were for the spreadsheet itself, but one I saw, looked interesting. It can give your students a certificate upon completion. You design what is "proficient", and a student receiving that grade, or above, can receive your certificate. I thought this was a great incentive for students!
The three Google Forms I created this week, will help me in the future. The first, will allow me to guage how students are feeling at the beginning of the day. By doing this, I can track their mental well-being, as well as allowing them to vent anything they wish, knowing I'd be the one to see it. This could help in our grade level student concerns meetings, help me to check in with students who may need a little extra check-in, and help foster better classroom discussions. In turn, it could help me with data for my driving question.
The second Google Form, is for me to help bridge the communication gap between school and home. In it, I ask for the best way for me to contact parents. I also ask for current phone number, email, and what their student likes/dislikes about shool. Using Class Dojo will also keep them in the loop, so I ask about their experience with that.
The last Google Form I created this week, will allow students to continue their art studies, even though they will not be seeing me on a regular basis like in the past. During VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies), I ask students to look at a picture (I do not tell them anything about it, nor the artist), and tell me about what is happening. In doing so, students are able to exercise their English language skills, critical thinking skills, collaborate, gain art vocabulary, connect reading strategies to the art in their readings, and have more insight to connect the art to their own lives. In this form, I structure the questions so that it can be scaffolded in a way that supports the students. This particular form is for the third week in fifth grade. These students have been using VTS for four years now, and should be able to answer the questions easily.
Sarah Magallano teaches 5th grade. She also coaches teachers on integrating art & engineering into their lesson plans.