Saturday, March 1, 2014

Google Forms and Sheets in my Classroom


If your school has adopted Google Apps for Education, all students have a great spreadsheet application that Google now refers to as Sheets.  This Google spreadsheet program is a useful tool for the students as they gather data, observe and analyze this data, make predictions and decisions on this data as well as interpret the data and report results using Sheets.  This tool is a very important one as we move to educate our 21st Century learner and integrate the ISTE technology standards into our everyday teaching.


Many educators in the primary grades might be apprehensive in using Google Sheets because many focus on the mathematical data format used in spreadsheets that is used by other educators in the upper grades.  I felt this at first, but quickly altered my opinion as I’ve read about so many uses for Google forms and sheets in the primary grades.  One of the first times I used forms and sheets in my classroom was when we voted on the President of the United States.  This gathering of information was very valuable as they witness a small form of what everyone in the United States was voting on September 18, 2012.  


As we continue to work on gaining input from all students, Google forms and sheets help provide for everyone to have a voice.  As you gather information on a form or share a sheet for students to collaborate on, the teacher will know who has participated.  Many schools, districts and classroom are going 1:1 with devices, the collaboration on a sheet would get the information in one place faster and everyone would be able to see it as it is happening.  This working document can be helpful in many areas that teachers usually make charts for in front of class.  Brainstorming ideas, a KWL chart, a OWL chart, class discussions and creating a place for children to chart their progress are just a few ideas of things primary teachers can use Google forms and sheets for.  

For the past 25 years, I have had a lesson plan book to document and plan my instruction with my students.  Every year I’ve tried perfecting my lesson plan book.  The more I was integrating technology, the harder it became finding what I needed online as well as documenting what I needed in a traditional lesson plan book.  In the event and goal of going paperless, a spreadsheet and it’s tabs helped me achieve a working lesson plan book that helps me plan my instruction.  Many times during the day, we are watching a clip from YouTube, reading from our classroom blog, or doing a shared reading with Lyrics2Learn.  Instead of having many tabs open and trying to find what I need when I need it, I place the links in a cell on my lesson plan.  I created a lesson plan template that you are free to copy and make your own.  As I created copies, I titled them the month and used tabs to create additional weeks in the month.  



Using Google Forms and Sheets in the classroom are just a few ways that integrating technology can be beneficial to students and educators.  Please visit Sharing With One
for additional ideas and a lesson plan.  

Resources:

The Impact of Spreadsheets in Education education.com

Keeler, Alice (2014) Retrieved from: