Assessment with Google Forms

Google Apps for Education is a powerful tool for teachers and students in the classroom. There are many different ways educators can harness the power of this tool. Many of the teachers I work with, are always looking for ways to make assessment quick and meaningful. 

Recently, I created a step by step video that takes you through setting up a rubric that you can use for observational assessment or any other assessment you may want to do in the classroom. The best part of Google Forms is that you can access it on any device and anytime. This makes assessment quick and easy. 

Let me know what you think and share how you are harnessing the power of Google Apps for Education in your district. 

Capturing Student Learning

The other day I was working with a few Kindergarten teachers that were looking for a tool to capture student learning. In the past, Evernote, has been used. However, my school board, has started using Google Apps for Education and I thought it might be good place to start.  

Since the kindergarten classes all have a set of iPad Minis, we downloaded Google Drive. Of course this can be done on any device or tablet.

Here are the steps you can take to create online portfolios to capture student learning:

    Click on "+" sign to create folders for each student in your class.                                         

This is also a great way for your to organize your student's work in any grade level or use to create an ePortfolio for each student.  

What online tool(s) do you use to capture student learning?

80/20 Innovation Model in the Classroom

On April 20th and 21st, I had the honour of attending and speaking at the first Google Apps for Education Summit in Kitchener,Ontario. I cannot begin to express how amazing it was to be among such knowledgeable educators who have the same passion and speak the same language. I came back with an incredible wealth of knowledge and ideas of how else I can utilize Google Apps for Education in my own classroom, school, and district.

One of the points that stood out to me during the Summit was the keynote presentation of the “Super Star” of Google Apps for Education, Molly Schroeder (@followmolly). Molly pointed out that Google implements the 80/20 innovation model as part of their work culture. This is where the employees spend 80% of their time on core project and 20% on “innovative” activities. Google has found that this 20% has actually started to benefit the company’s bottom line. For example, Gmail, Google News, AdSense are all products of the 20% innovation model.

This got me thinking; why not use this model in my classroom?

And so … a new project was born …

Heather Lynne (@buttercuphll) a high school teacher in my district (YRDSB) and I decided to carry out the 80/20 model with our students and keep a blog of our journey.  Heather’s journey can be found at The 20% Project 

You may also be interested in reading 10 Reasons to Try 20% Time in the Classroom.  

Learn more about the Google Work Culture 

What is your collaboration style?

As educators, we strive to create an environment where our students can work collaboratively. This got me thinking ... how often do we really practice what we preach. I think in many cases collaboration among educators is still a working progress. However, thanks to social media tools like Twitter this is starting to shift. In my own experience, I have to say Twitter taught me to be better at sharing and collaborating with others. 

So, what is your collaboration style?

Source: Creative Commons 

Health Lesson for all Ages

It's one thing to teach and discuss healthy eating with kids, but it's more powerful when kids can see a visual representation of what is being discussed / taught. And it's even more powerful when they have to create their own visual representation.

Here is an example:

  • Create the following or share the image with the students
  • Engage class in a discussion of "What do you see?" and "what does it mean"
  • Record student thinking
  • Discuss "Why is this important?"
  • In groups, have students create a similar model based on an unhealthy eating practice (depending on age group, you may have to brainstorm some examples).  
  • After, have each group engage class in discussion based on their particular visual model. 
It is very powerful to see what the students come up with :)

Also, read the following blog post by @dougpete about our health lesson.