Showing posts from October, 2014

Google Forms: Oh, the Things You Can Do!

Google Forms is a surprisingly powerful tool that can be used in more ways than most users realize. Google Forms are basically surveys that you create and share, with responses organized in a spreadsheet for you. The responses in your spreadsheet can be used and analyzed to accomplish a range of learning and teaching goals.

You've probably used Google Forms before, since we've used Forms to get teacher feedback on PD sessions and other surveys. If you've responded to Forms created by others, now it's time to create one for your classroom.

To get started, here's a 3-minute overview of Google Forms from Google Help:

And here are a few ways you can use Google Forms in your classroom.
1. Conduct an exit ticket or other formative assessment, to get a snapshot of your class' understanding of key conceptsHOW TO:

Create a form with a few multiple-choice questions (see video above)Share the link with students (you can generate a shorten…

Differentiating reading levels

This week I'll share a few tools you can use to address one of the most pressing challenges we all face in our classroom: differentiating reading levels to meet every student's needs.

These tools should only be used strategically and intentionally; there are times when it is not appropriate to lower the reading level of a text or use a text-to-speech tool in class. For example, during a whole-class lesson on a grade-level text, all students should be exposed to the grade-level text and grapple with its features.

But when students are working in small groups based on reading levels, or when they are working independently, these tools can help them comprehend the content.

Text-to-speech tools may not be the best ways to model fluency, as the computer voice often lacks the prosody that a human reader has. But these tools can be used as accommodations for students with special needs and help all students access higher level readings.

Let Google read to you!