I’m a big fan of the Paint Roller (Paint Format) tool in the gSuite platform. I’ve posted before about using it in Google Docs, as well as in Google Slides. I probably use it most often, though, in Google Sheets. I love a nice, organized Google Sheet and this tool helps a lot with that. My favorite part about it is that it even applies to number formatting (i.e., decimal places, date format, currency, etc.). Check it out in the animated GIF below!
Math & Chemistry teachers use Google Docs, too! And so do other content areas and teachers who integrate math and sophisticated science across content areas. And, for those peeps, there is the ability to add equations and other “mathy” symbols to Google Docs. Just click Insert > Equation.
A quick note, before we get to the GIF: Some educators will tell you that this tool could be better. And for people looking to use this functionality regularly, they’re probably right. In that case you may want to consider other tools (equatIO is a great one). But for people who just use it occasionally, I think the Equation Editor is a’okay.
Years ago, as a STEM teacher, I had my students build basswood bridges. We’d then test them by hanging weights from them. I’d submit the results to a Google Form, which would kick it to a Google Spreadsheet, where a formula was all set up to calculate the “Engineering Efficiency” (a measure that leveled the playing field between heavy, strong bridges and light, strong bridges). Unfortunately, formulas don’t automatically apply to the new rows created by new Form Submissions. I had to have a student manually drag the formula down each time a new result was submitted.
Enter the CopyDown Add-On
I later discovered this wonderful little add-on. It automatically pulls that formula down to a each new form submission. No manual dragging necessary. This is super, super useful when your Form & Sheet are part of a bigger system that triggers other actions in other add-ons (i.e., autoCrat, formMule) that require those formulas.
Here’s a GIF of how it works, followed by a step-by-step guide to using it:
- Set up your Google Form.
- Open up the connected Spreadsheet.
- Start with an initial form submission. You’ll need this in the next step.
- Create your formulas in Row 2 (the row with your first submission).
- Click Add-Ons and follow the steps to add CopyDown.
- Click Add-Ons > CopyDown > CopyDown Settings.
- Flip the switch to “On.”
- Generally, I select to paste the results “as values” (otherwise it puts the formula itself into each cell which, if it’s a lengthy spreadsheet, will ultimately slow it down).
- Save Settings.
- Start gathering form submissions!
Google Forms are great for collecting information and delivering assessments, but did you know Forms had some differentiation swag?
Yup, it’s true. Use “Go to Section Based on Answer” with a Multiple Choice question to have right answers and wrong answers lead to different sections. A general mockup of what this could look like, and steps for creating it, are below the GIF.
- Add a question with a correct answer and (at least one) wrong answer.
- Add a section after that question.
- Put your remedial content in that section. YouTube videos work well. You could even make your own video to put in there. You could also include a follow-up question to give your students a chance to re-assess.
- Add a section after the remedial content.
- Put your next content here. This is the section where students who got the correct answer will land. It will probably also be where you have students who completed the remedial step will land.
- Go back to your initial question.
- Select “Go to Section Based on Answer.”
- Have the incorrect choice(s) go to the remedial section.
- Have the correct choice(s) skip to the section after the remedial one.
- Sit back and enjoy the differentiated learning experience!
- Section 1: includes the question the differentiation is based on
- Section 2: the remedial section – whatever content you want the students who got the previous question incorrect to see (video, explanation, follow-up question)
- Section 3: the “next step” – the slide that the students with the correct answer jump to, also where the students with the incorrect answers land after completing the remedial section.
Note: you can add multiple levels of this in one Form, but it can get hard to manage. I once created a Form that went: Question 1, Remedial Video & Question 1a, Remedial Video & Question 1b, Question 2, Remedial Video & Question 2a, Remedial Video & Question 2b, etc. As you may guess, I had to create a complex flowchart to make sure I had everything jumping to the correct places.
Google Drawings is a great place for quick, simple, visual activities. Add shapes to a diagram, tell students to double-click in those shapes and – voila – they’re text boxes!
- before sending them out to your kiddos, click into those shapes and format the text size so it’ll fit in the boxes.
- Once you’ve made one box the way you like it, use command+d (ctrl+d on non-Mac) to duplicate it.
- If this isn’t being used in Google Classroom, make it anyone with the link can view, copy the link, change the “edit” to “copy” and send it out.
There are multiple options for creating animations (GoAnimate, Scratch, etc.) but my favorite way to do it is creating Stop Motion Slides. I like that I can make it exactly how I want it in this format. I think this has tons of potential in all subject areas (Please comment or share on Twitter with the hashtag #StopMotionSlides if you come up with any cool uses for it).
There are two main steps:
- Create a Google Slideshow where each slide is an incremental change from the previous one (like a flipbook).
- Open the slideshow up in Presenter view and use a screencasting tool (i.e., Camtasia, Screencastify, Screencast-o-matic) to record it as a video.
Here are a few of my tips for making it quick:
- Ctrl+D or ⌘+D to Duplicate Slides
- Use Arrows to Move Smoothly & Incrementally
- Move in groups when appropriate
- Rotate things incrementally
- Change Colors gradually
- Use Transparency
- Use Ordering
FlipGrid is a platform where (1) teacher poses a prompt or question, (2) students access that “grid” with a code, (3) students record their response, (4) students view each other’s responses and (5) students can comment on or like classmate’s response(s).
Amy’s example of the students showing, describing and explaining Chemistry lab experiments/demonstrations was phenomenal. On her first attempt out of the gate, she went above and beyond the “record a video response” format.
So, I’m getting in on the action. At this link, you’ll see a prompt from me. Hopefully, you’ll also see other professionals’ responses. And, even more hopefully (if that makes sense), you’ll record you response. I can’t want to hear what you share!!
In a training webinar for the PEAR (Partnerships in Education and Resilience) Institute’s DoS (Dimensions of Success) Observation Tool, the facilitators discussed how the 3rd of their 4 domains – STEM Knowledge and Practices – was based on the STEM Practices outlined by the NGSS‘ (Next Generation Science Standards) “A Science Framework for K-12 Science Education.” I think that these 8 practices are fantastic and that schools should place a focus on integrating into the curriculum maps for all content areas, not just science. Here they are: Continue reading STEM Practices