Monday, February 15, 2016

My Tech Tools [Google Forms]

Google Forms
• Capture
I like using Google Forms to quickly capture student estimates and their thinking behind it. Since my district is a Google district and each student has a Google account, I can set up the form to capture their student ID. More importantly, I can capture quick estimates at the intro of an Estimation 180 challenge or a 3-Act task with the goal to quickly sort and assess the student thinking after seeing the first act. Here's an example of a form I would typically send students. Click here to have your own copy.

• Sort
The input from students feeds into a Google Sheet and I can quickly sort the student thinking. For example, I can sort the numerical columns (specifically "Estimate") from least to greatest and vice versa. I can have students enter their name when filling out the form, but I can hide the "name" column when displaying the results to the class.
Bonus sorting: Install the add-on called "rowCall" and give the form to multiple class periods. The add-on rowCall will create a separate sheet for each class period at the bottom of your file. Learn more here.

• Assess
I've learned to use Google Forms to ask students the information they think might be useful to know in Act 2. I can use "Conditional Formatting" to fill a cell with a specific color when students enter trigger words. For example, when students do the File Cabinet task, I set the conditional formatting for words such as length, width, dimension, height, sticky, face, etc. I can see the informal (or formal) language) students provide and help connect the math to their terminology before we work at formalizing it together.

• Discuss
I love the wisdom of crowds during a 3-Act task and gathering as much information as possible. We can take the "Estimate" column and find the average number of stickies the class thinks it will take for me to cover the file cabinet. There have been numerous times when our class average is astoundingly close. Using conditional formatting and trigger words allows me to locate informal words such as "sides" and strengthen student vocabulary by referring to the cabinet's sides as a faces of a rectangular prism.

Google Forms Conclusion:
A Google Form is a quick way to capture, sort, and assess student thinking, estimates, and information we might need in a problem-solving task so we can discuss the mathematics ahead of us. Furthermore,  since we captured student estimates during Act 1, it makes it extremely easy to go back and do two things:
1) Check our answers for reasonableness
2) See who had the best estimate after watching Act 3.
Learn more about Google Forms here.

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