Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Future Class

During the past 2.5 years as a Digital Learning Coach in my district, I've had the great fortune to work with some amazing teachers doing great things. I've tried my best to share their ideas, activities, lessons, and experiences with each other and other teachers throughout our district. However, if/when I return to the classroom, I really need to help future Andrew by capturing and sharing with him all the awesome things he'll need for his future class. I mean my future class. Here's what I've started to do:

Create a Google Form:

Question 1: Multiple Choice 
List your classroom categories. Be sure to include "Other" for any categories you can't think of ahead of time.

Question 2: Paragraph
Tell your future self everything about the activity you saw, the classroom routines you witnessed, etc. Be as detailed as possible. Describe what you'd like your future self to do and use.

Question 3: Short Answer
Provide the teacher name(s) of this great idea. Chances are future Andrew will want to contact that teacher and ask questions about it. Chances are also good the teacher has made some refinements or found something better.

Question 4: Short Answer
Paste a URL to anything related to this idea, activity, etc. When editing the form, click on the three dots to tell the Google Form the text must be a URL.

Question 5: Add a File
*This feature exists for Google Education and not personal accounts, yet.
I will take pictures of the activity, handout, student work, whiteboard, etc. and upload it here. This way I can capture evidence of what I like and share it with the future Andrew. This is money!

All of these beautiful entries flow into a spreadsheet I can organize by category and/or create individual sheets for each category using the Add-On rowCall.

I forgot to mention I have a shortcut to this form on my phone so I can submit these ideas as soon as possible, not having to wait to sit down at a computer. There's no excuse for me missing an idea.

Connections to #ObserveMe
If you're doing #observeme at your site, use this Google Form to track ideas you get from other teachers when visiting their classrooms. Not familiar with #observeme, check out Robert's post.

Connections for current classroom teachers:
Capture amazing things you and your colleagues are doing this year. Capture things you'd like to refine for next year and add them to Your Future Class form.

Hope this inspires you to do something similar. I'm curious what ideas you might have or any suggestions you might have to improve my Google Form.



  1. This is a great idea! As a new math specialist I am in classrooms all of the time and this would be a great way to help me remember some of the fantastic ideas I've seen. I especially love being able to add a picture or file, didn't realize you could do that with an education account. I might add a question that allows me to tag the lesson if it correlates with a specific standard/concept (as opposed to a general strategy) to make that easier to sort out later.

    1. Thanks Nicole. I forgot to add that I have a shortcut to this form on my phone so I can submit these ideas as soon as possible.

      Thanks for the idea on tagging a specific concept/standard.

  2. Love this! I wonder if you might put in Q6: list of people I shared this with. I find being able to be the conduit of content and what's happening (sometimes even right next door). Future-you would be doing today-them a favor!

    1. Thanks Norma.
      I like your idea of keeping track of the people I've shared this idea with. Not sure a place on the Google Form would make sense since I might share it with other teachers after submitting the idea. However, adding a column to the spreadsheet is super simple for this idea and I can always go into the spreadsheet and update it with the name of a person I shared the idea with. Thanks again!

  3. I like this idea. It makes me think of the reality that humans aren't really good at processing and retaining information. I likely have heard more good ideas and forgotten them then I currently can think of right now. That's a scary idea. I do like though, how you've made saving these ideas one step easier.

    1. Right?
      I'm kicking myself I didn't think of this earlier. I'd have such a rich list of ideas I probably wouldn't know what to do with. Thanks.

  4. Thank you for sharing this idea! As a Math Curriculum Lead, I see so many ideas and had given up on keeping track of what I want to remember for when I return to the classroom. Just created my own!

    1. Right on!
      Glad to hear it is a useful idea, Rebecca. Please let me know if you think of anything additional to add. As I just updated the blog, I forgot to mention that I created a shortcut on my phone that takes me straight to the Google Form to submit the ideas.

  5. Love this idea (and the categories!). As a teacher, I used a combination of Evernote and a physical filing cabinet to collect ideas and resources. When I switched to my current job as a Curriculum Facilitator, I found out quickly that I needed a different (and completely digital) system. I use OneNote & the OneNote extension for Chrome to help me collect articles, blog posts, etc while I'm online throughout the day. I also use the app to create notes along the same lines while I'm out and about and see something I want to save in a classroom. I've been looking for a way to separate out a couple of notebooks that are getting too large - so I'm definitely going to steal a couple of the categories you listed that I hadn't thought to put in their own group! Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1. Thanks for suggesting OneNote and glad to hear some categories were inspiring.

  6. I love this! I'm reading Tracy Zager's book and this is exactly what I need. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea!