Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Google in the Classroom: Anecdotal Records

We are surrounded by technology in our lives, and so are our students. I admit, I am not the most tech savvy person out there, and I can be resistant to adapt to it at times. But when I come across a way to use one of my "rectangles" to make my life easier, I am all about it!



I struggle with organization, and my guided reading binder was no different.  I had all kinds of anecdotal forms and lesson plans sticking falling out, and it was a hot mess! The excellent first grade teachers I work with came up with a way to streamline guided reading notes using Google Forms. Let me tell you- LIFE. CHANGED.


What is a Google Form
An easy survey-style way to collect data. It is an awesome tool for collecting classroom data because it takes the information that was entered and creates a Google Sheet (spreadsheet) to easily organize all the data. They are accessible from anywhere (no more "Crap, I forgot that at school!") and you can share them with one click (to interventionists, literacy coaches, administrators, their next teacher, etc)!

How do I use it for guided reading/ small group notes? 
On a tablet or laptop, open a Google Form when you start your group. I keep a shortcut to each one (guided reading and math) on my desktop so it is easy to pull up. You can customize the fields you need, and instead of scribbling notes like a crazy person, you click some fields and type in your notes. All of it will be saved, time- and date-stamped, in your Google Drive!

Here is what it looks like:

So, what happens when you click "submit?"
In your original form, you can select "view responses," and a Google Sheet pops up that looks like this:



Clearly using fake names, here

What I love about it:
  • All of your data is RIGHT THERE. All you did was hit submit and it is ALL RIGHT THERE!
  • It is time-stamped so you have evidence of when you met with your groups (my admin is very big on accountability- I have it all there, my booty is covered)
  • You can filter and view it in so many ways- by date, by student, by level, by book. It makes it SO easy to look for trends and create groupings- no flipping through pages
  • You save paper! No more bulky binder to lug around! This is a huge plus for planning at home
  • You have instant data for conferences, referrals, and lesson planning. Here's an example:
 I was able to quickly filter by student, and see that this guy knew to reread and use visual clues, but needed more coaching to chunk words. As he got to higher levels, he was able to decode, but needed to amp up fluency. This was an easy way for me to strategically group him with other kids who also needed that coaching, and I was able to talk with his mom about how to support him at home at his level.


Seriously guys. Life changing. I can't begin to describe how much time and frustration using Google Forms has saved me this year.

There are SO many other ways I use Google in the classroom, and you'll hear about them soon! Have you incorporated Google into your teaching? I'd love to hear about it!






11 comments:

  1. I love this idea. I am saving it for school. So much easier than a clipboard and papers to get lost.

    Teaching Under the Sun

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    1. Thank you, Candice! I am, ahem, organizationally challenged, and this really helped me stay on top of things! If you'd like a copy of the form to save your own changes into, I'd be happy to share!

      Deirdre

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  2. Ohh! I like this idea. I need to start using Google Forms more often. I love the names of the groups you gave to your students. "Power Rangers, Justice League, Avengers etc."
    123kteach

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    1. I tried to stick with my superhero theme! Google Forms have been a really great tool to keep me organized!

      Deirdre

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  3. Thank you so much for explaining Google Forms! My school is just making the transition into all things Google. We switched out email to Google, and we are currently working on getting all of our documents on Google Drive. Glad I learned another something new about Google! :)

    Carlee Van Ness
    The Kindergarten Press

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    1. I LOVE Google! We switched maybe 3 years ago, and it took me awhile to get the hang of it. I LOVE Google Drive, I can be forgetful, and I love being able to access it from wherever! I'll be going to "Googlepalooza" next week, can't wait to share what I've learned!

      Thanks for coming by!
      Deirdre

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  4. I love this, Deirdre! Would you be willing to share your form?

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    1. I'm glad it's helpful! Here is the link to a draft copy I made. Of course you can change it to fit your needs, but I hope it helps!

      https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1AiT3v8URTsJLryGPhzUa7usHkGK1DmdMtyQaOeqrUV4/copy

      Deirdre

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    2. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and hard work. The kindergarten teachers at my school and I appreciate it very much!

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  5. Thanks for these great ideas! I'm trying to make a Google Form similar to yours for my guided reading. Do you take notes on one student at a time, or on all your students in your group?

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