Web Tools to Help You Manage Your Classroom: Google Forms and Performance Reviews? (Part 1)

I cannot believe that is is almost the end of October already. Many of us have already gathered our bearings and have set ourselves up in a routine. We are starting to see that the "honeymoon" period is over and now our kids are really starting to show their real personalities. How can we use technology to keep ourselves and our students on track? Over the next few posts, I would like to explore a few web tools to help you out. 

Google Forms = Performance Reviews

Having students think about their performance is key to improving their behavior. At my school, we not only issue a quarterly grade, but a quarterly effort and conduct grade. It's a great idea, but I noticed that it wasn't helping the students in my classroom increase their performance. 

The major problem was me!  In the past, my students have received a grade on their report card, but we haven't had much of a discussion about why they received the grade. To counter this, I created a rubric. It was effective, but I found that it really didn't do much to change student behavior.

I decided to take this idea a step further by creating a "performance review" in a Google Form. With the emphasis that the Common Core places on preparing students for careers, I have decided that I need to do the same. I decided to change the way that I give "effort and conduct" grades and have performance reviews with my students each quarter. Why? I want to help my students grow academically and professionally. With quarter one down, here is what I have done:

1. Create a Google Form

I created a Google Form with three basic questions for students to answer:
  • What have I done well this quarter? 
  • What have I NOT done well this quarter? 
  • How will I improve? 
You could very easily have students fill this out at the beginning of class, for homework, or on their mobile device. I usually have students take the survey 2 weeks before the end of the quarter, so that I have enough time to meet with a few students a day. 

2. Compile the Data

I love how Google automatically provides a time stamped spreadsheet of answers. You can very easily filter out information by grade, by name, etc. It makes it much easier to filter through! 

3. The Meeting

I meet with my students for 1 - 2 minutes and discuss the information that they provided on the form. I allow them to justify what they did well, didn't do well, and what they need to improve. It has been very interesting to see their thought process and honesty. I give them my feedback and suggestions on how to improve. 

You may be asking, how do I do this? I meet with a few students a day, while they are completing assignments or in between classes. It is well worth the investment. 

Are you interested in learning more? 

I will be giving a SimpleK12 Webinar titled "Manage Your Classroom and Your Students with 21st Century Web Tools" on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 4 pm EST! Check out SimpleK12 for more information!

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