Friday, July 27, 2012


After the huge success of #Made4Math Monday (which I neglected to do this week... I was in TMC12 recovery mode!) a suggestion was made by @MissCalcul8 that we continue the "My Favorite..." sessions from TMC12 on our blogs every Friday.

These were just short little 5-minute sessions in which people presented their favorite whatever. Website, practice, game, etc.

One thing that I like to do at the beginning of the school year is collect everyone's information:  Name, email address, parents' names, etc.  Dan Meyer put together a "Who I Am" sheet that I used for a few years (or something like it) but then I found that I didn't have kids' information when I needed it - they were all filed in a binder in my room never to be seen again.

And then I decided to use something that has changed my life forever.  Google Forms.

Instead of typing up a sheet for the kids to fill out (and then copying it a bazillion times), I created a google form to collect the information for me.  The best part of this is that I always have access to it, as all of their information is entered into a spreadsheet. I can alphabetize, sort into classes, copy email addresses and do a group email, and all sorts of fun stuff that wasn't possible unless I manually typed all of their information into my computer (yuck).

This is the gform that I did that first year. My plan for this year is to put together a multi-page one that will ask them different questions whether they are in Precalc or Algebra 1.  I typically embed the form into our class blog, but this year we're all working with a product called Schoology which is more of a moodle-type thing (that looks like facebook).

Oh, and one fun thing that I did with the results of the "Math is. . ." question on the form is make a wordle.  The results were interesting!

It would be fun to do one at the beginning of the year and then again at the end to see if the kids still thought the same thing!

(On that note, Tagxedo is a word-cloud generator, too, which gives you a little more freedom. But I digress.)

I had a couple of queries about how/when I make the kids enter their information. Last year in my Precalc classes I just told the kids to do it by a certain day (on their own time). I think I had all but 2 (out of 94 students) do it.  In my Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 classes I reserved our tablet cart and gave the kids some time in class to get it done.  I'll probably do the same thing again this year, but because we're starting a BYOD program the compliance should be higher in class.  Oh, and the kids can fill out the survey on their phones, too, which we all know they have (even if they're not supposed to).

And now I should go work on next week's #Made4Math. :)


Christy said...

I like the google doc form. I haven't trie google docs yet, so I am going to muddle thru. Thanks for sharing!!

Jennifer Smith Sloane said...

Love your form from last year. I am going to tweak the one I made last year and add in some of the things that you did so that I can make it more "real" for my classroom

Ms. Laster said...

Love the google form, and the wordle/tagxedo of their "math is..." responses is awesome! I will definitely borrow that one. Thanks for the ideas!

JamiDanielle said...

Can you talk more about your school's BYOD program in a blog (if you haven't already)? Shortcomings... Pitfalls...

Oh, and love your google form. I'd like to move to that this year.

Educator Jenn said...

Ilove your ideas!