June 27, 2016

Google Apps for Education GAFE: Forms

Google apps are awesome and one of my FAVES is Google Forms!  I love the ease and versatility of forms.  You can create a form for students, parents or even yourself to complete and you will end up with a spreadsheet of information and data.  You can even use the add-on Flubaroo and make the form self-grading!  Below is a list of a few ideas for using forms:

  • Back to school/Getting to know you activity
  • Student assessments
  • Rubrics
  • Exit tickets
  • Collecting parent info at Back to School Night
  • Give a survey and graph the results
  • Student reflections/evaluations, such as after a field trip
  • Parent feedback
  • Student reading records
  • Create a form/checklist for you to complete while assessing a small group or student
  • Documenting PD
  • and SO much more!
Today I will show you the basics of how to get started with the new Google Forms.  Be prepared to be amazed at how easy it is!  There are 2 ways to start creating a new form... Go to forms.google.com and click on the + to start a blank form.  You can also begin by opening your Google Drive and choosing New, then More, then Google Forms.

Next, type a title for your form in the upper left corner.  After you do so, it will automatically name your form in your Drive and will change the Untitled form text in both places on your form.

Now it's time to start adding questions or items to your form.  It's so easy... just click and type where it says Untitled Question.  Type your answer where it says Option 1.  Choose Add option to add more answer choices.  Automatically it begins with a multiple choice type question, but you can change this if you want.  Just choose the drop down menu arrow next to Multiple choice for more options. 

When you finish with the first question, click the + to add a new question.  You can also add a title and description, an image, a YouTube video or a section.

Now comes the fun part!  Let's customize the look of the form.  In the top right area of the page, choose the paint palette to change the color or theme of your form. If you click on the picture icon, there are tons of themes to choose from.  You can even upload your own photo to use at the top of the form.  Choose the "eye" to preview your form or choose the settings wheel to see more options. 

Next you'll need to set up where you want the responses to go when someone fills out your form.  Choose Responses at the top and click on the little green symbol.  I generally choose to create a new spreadsheet and leave the default name, which will be your title and the word (Responses), but you can change the name if you'd like.

You have just created your first form and you are ready to send it out!  Click on the Send button.  You have 3 choices here.  You can email it right from the form itself.  You can copy the link to your form to add to a website, email, or even a QR code.  This link can be shortened right there, too!  Or you can grab the embed code for a webpage.
I hope this tutorial helps you get started with Google Forms.  I know once you do, you will love it and wonder how you ever managed without it.  I would love to hear how you are using forms in your classroom.  Be sure to leave comments with your ideas.  Click {HERE} to download a pdf of the tutorial images above.

Thanks for stopping by!
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May 1, 2016

Comparing Class Quiz Games

Hi!  I am so excited to have joined the team at Virginia is for Teachers!  Be sure to check out and follow the blog and Facebook page for some great teaching tips and ideas. 

Today I want to share some awesome technology tools with you...

Class Quiz Games are a fun and engaging way to review for a test! This post compares 4 different games/assessment tools to help you choose the right one.

One of my favorite tools to share with teachers is class quiz games.  These are great for formative assessments and a good way to help students review before a test… like those SOLs that are coming soon!  There are several great ones out there in cyber land, each with different options and capabilities so I don’t really have a favorite.  It truly depends on your content and purpose in deciding which one is best.  I also like to change them up just to give students a variety.  Below is a quick overview of four quiz games and then a chart comparing them. 

Socrative:  This one has been around for a few years, so it’s an oldie but a goodie.  I like that it allows for several question types (multiple choice, true/false or short answer) and that quizzes can be projected and teacher paced or assigned for student paced.  When student paced, they can even skip a question and come back to it before submitting.  The team game mode with Space Race is a fun way for kids to review.  All students play on their own device and it randomly assigns them to teams.  One pro of Socrative is that it’s a great system when needing longer questions. 

Kahoot!:  Students love Kahoot!  This is more fast-paced as students only have a maximum of 30 seconds to answer and more points are awarded for correct quick responses.  Questions and answers do not show on the student device.  The questions are projected and students answer on their device by choosing the correct color block that corresponds to the answer.  It’s a competitive game since students see their rank among their peers as they play and the top 5 point leaders are shown after each question.  This game is only for multiple choice questions and works well with facts or quick computation, such as addition or multiplication facts. Team play is new and has just been added. I also love that you can search the public Kahoots and edit ones you find for your own needs. 

Quizizz:  Quizizz is a little newer on the scene and is very similar to Kahoot!  One main difference to Kahoot! is it can be teacher or student paced and you can set longer than 30 seconds for each question.  Another key difference is students see the questions and answers on their device so this game doesn’t have to be projected.  Questions can also be randomized.  Quizzes have the “homework” option which will keep games open for up to 2 weeks.  There are several options with this system including turning off the timer and leaderboard which encourages students to take time and not to race through a question. 

Plickers:  Plickers is a great alternative if you don’t have student devices available.  Each student gets a printed card with a QR type code displayed.  A question is projected and students hold up the card and rotate it in the correct direction for their multiple choice answer.  The teacher then uses a mobile device (phone or tablet) to scan the cards around the room and collect responses.  After scanning responses, the teacher shares a graph of the results for discussion. 

All of these quiz games are a fun and engaging way to review.  Below is a chart that compares them.  Click HERE to download the pdf version of the chart.

Class Quiz Games are a fun and engaging way to review for a test! This post compares 4 different games/assessment tools to help you choose the right one.

Have fun playing!
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March 19, 2015

Technology Thursday Linky: Pic Collage... Simple App with Endless Possibilities!

I've had the Pic Collage app on my iPad and iPhone for quite some time now, but it wasn't until I went to the Ed Tech Conference last week that I realized just how it could be used in the classroom.  I went to a session on this app and as I started to play around with it, my thoughts started to explode! 

Pic Collage is a simple app that lets you add photos, text, stickers, web images, YouTube videos, and backgrounds and arrange them in any way you want.  They also have built in layouts for your photos.  So, I started brainstorming and searching for pictures.  Below are examples of ideas for using the app in the classroom. I hope you see something that sparks your creativity!

I've taken a few screen shots to help you use the app...
Click the help icon top center to show you how to use the app.

Click the bottom center button to add text, images, stickers and backgrounds or touch anywhere on the page and the same menu will appear.

When adding text, you can choose the font, color and other options.  After adding text, pinch in or out to increase or decrease the font size.  You can also pull the text on each side to stretch the text box width.

Add photos from several locations.  After adding them, double tap the photos to apply effects, borders, crop them, duplicate them or set one as the background. 

Choose the sticker button from the bottom center button.  There are several sticker sets that are free.  You can double tap a sticker to duplicate it.  This is how I made the Patterns collage shown in the examples

Choose a background by clicking the bottom center button.  You can choose one from the menu or click the search button on the left to find backgrounds on the web.  The possibilities are endless!

Touch the layout button on the bottom left corner if you'd rather choose a layout other than free style.

When finished, choose the bottom right button to save your collage.  It will automatically save to your picture library or you can save it in other locations.

I hope this post has inspired you to make some creative collages with your students or even just for yourself!  I'm linking up with Juliet at Teaching Trio for Tech Thursday!  Check out her posts as well.

Happy Creating!

March 8, 2015

Do you Kahoot!?

Kahoot is one of my favs and I absolutely LOVE it!  So what is Kahoot?  It is a fun and engaging classroom response system set up as a game between students.
This game created on the Kahoot platform consists of multiple choice questions on any topic.  Use computers or mobile devices to create and play.  Create your own questions or search the public Kahoots for one that is all ready to go.  You can even copy a public Kahoot and edit the questions to your liking. 

So, how do you begin?  Start by visiting the site https://getkahoot.com/ and create a free account.

Click New Kahoot to create your own or Public Kahoots to search for one on your topic. Walk through the steps to add, edit, delete or reorder questions.  Once you've created a Kahoot you are ready to play.  Connect to a projector with your computer or mobile device and click play on your Kahoot.  

Students connect through a different website.  Have them use https://kahoot.it/.  On our iPads, I added this site to the Home Screen so it is easily accessible.  Students will see your Pin for the game on your screen and add it to their site to join the game.  They will add their name on the next screen.

Your screen...

Their screen...

 Once you begin the game, your projected screen will show the question....

Students will read the question on the screen and the answer choices.  They will choose the answer on their device.  It will look like this...

As the play continues, students earn points for correct answers and the top 5 students are shown after each question.  At the end of the game, you can download reports that show lots of desegregated data.  

I created a Kahoot on money for a 2nd grade class.  Feel free to take a look and use this Kahoot in your class!  
Click {HERE} to access this Kahoot. 

Have fun playing!

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March 6, 2015

Five for Friday Linky Party

I'm linking up today with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a Five for Friday linky where I post 5 random things for today or this week.  So here are my 5...

We've had quite a few snow days in the past 3 weeks, which is unusual for the southeast area of Virginia where I live.  Last night we didn't get much, but it was mostly sleet and ice and it's really cold this morning.  So strange since the temps were in the 60s on Wednesday.  Our sup called last night to let us know we'd have a 2 hour delay, but this morning they canceled school for the day.  Here's what it looked like outside my front door this morning.  I know it doesn't look like much for our northern friends, but our back country roads are all ice.  Better safe than sorry...

So today I get an unexpected day at home!  Yippee!  I actually have lots to catch up on.  First on my list is the yearbook.  I am WAY behind in getting the yearbook finished for one of my schools, so today is a blessing to work on it.  I decided on a detective/mystery theme this year.  Here are the front and back covers of my yearbook so far...

This week I worked with one of my besties who teaches 2nd grade.  She is currently teaching money and wanted to do something with the iPads.  So, I worked on some QR code task cards.  The students LOVED it!  We put some money on their desks and played the Scoot game.  It was so much fun. 

After we tried it out in her room, I made some additions and improvements and added this to my TpT and TN stores.  I am really pleased with the way it turned out.  Check it out...


I'm excited to have been really working on my new Facebook Fan page!  And I already have 64 likes - Woohoo! Be sure to check it out.  I plan to post some Freebies soon!

This week I have also been working with a 6th grade language arts teacher and her classes.  We have been doing a nonfiction project where students have read a nonfiction book, completed research on their topic and created presentations with Prezi.  It has been lots of fun and I'm so excited to see how creative and different all of the student projects are turning out.  We are still working on finishing them, so I'll post a few next week when they are complete.  If you haven't seen Prezi, you have to check it out!

Have an awesome weekend... and hope for warmer weather soon!
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