Friday, February 5, 2016

Snow Days & Stomach Bugs in the Paperless Classroom

You may have noticed that it has been a while since I last blogged... since November... which coincides with the start of swim season (look for a future post on what edtech stuff I'm doing with the swimteam).  Between practices, meets, and keeping up with the other day-to-day activities of teaching and family, I've neglected my blog, but today's surprise snow day offers up some "free" time to write.

Germs & Bugs
I've been wondering about the unintended effects of having a paperless classroom.  Up until this week, I've been fairly healthy this school year, but I was stricken with a stomach bug Tuesday morning, which just so happened to be the day after I collected a stack of department-mandated Quarterly exams from every one of my freshman English students on Monday.  Could this be a mere coincidence? Probably not, considering students have been absent for the same reason. So this begs the question, how germ-ridden are student papers? While grading papers may make some teachers metaphorically sick, I wonder if grading papers makes teachers literally sick due to germ and virus transmission.  I'm being serious!

I saw a post the other day on social media about the 23 things you'll understand when dating a teacher and thought back to the years when I started teaching and was sick with bronchitis, pneumonia, and strep or when my husband and I first started dating years, and he was constantly coming down with something. Granted our immunity has improved over the course of my career, but in the years since bringing Chromebooks into the classroom and flipping my assessment techniques, I've seen a decrease in the frequency with which I've contracted an illness.

Less-Paper Assessment
So what am I doing differently with assessment?  How am I going paperless?  I still give my students papers (ask them about Baker's infamous packets), but the key is I don't collect them to assess them.  Since flipping my classroom, I am freed from the spotlight of the stage at the front of the room.  Structuring the period with student-centered learning activities, I can walk from desk to desk, ask students to show me their paper to read, ask them to flip the page over so I can continue reading, and then make quick marks and provide verbal feedback with my pen, never laying my actual finger on the paper. Plus, by speaking directly to the student face to face, the student has the opportunity to ask questions immediately.  I was always so frustrated when students would give a cursory glance to the comments I spent hours making on their papers back in the days I collected, scored, and redistributed their work.

Using Edmodo and Google Classroom, students are turning in their work electronically.  From submitting links to Edmodo discussion posts to turning in typed outlines on Google Docs, my students are generating an informal online portfolio of the work that can be accessed at anytime with a mobile device or computer.  Assignments are never misplaced in the bottom of a bookbag or lost after a folder has exploded in a crowded hall.

It has taken me a bit of trial and error, as well as help from online colleagues to figure out the most efficient ways to score online assignments.  Pairing Google Classroom assignments with the Doctopus and Goobric Add-ons seems to be the most efficient system I've come across:  few clicks to make, links and scores organized on a spreadsheet, rubrics pasted in to the Google Doc, scores emailed to students. I had tried out Doctopus prior to Google Classroom and it just didn't work for me, but NOW... holy moly guacamole!

Doctopus & Goobric Set-Up

  1. Create your rubric for an assignment on a Google Sheet.  The first column will be the focus areas of your rubric, while the first row will be for numeric values.  Type in your qualities for each focus area and score.                                                                                                   
  2. On a new, blank Google Sheet, go to the Add-on menu and select Get Add-ons, then locate Doctopus.                                                                                                                       
  3. Open Doctopus and follow the directions in the side panel, selecting "Ingest Google Classroom Assignment,"  then selecting your Classroom Class and Assignment, and then attaching a Goobric (your rubric that you made in Google Sheets).  The add-on will fill in all the information on the Google Sheet, listing students' names, email addresses, links to the scoring screen, and the student documents, as well as scores as you enter them in on the scoring sheet. I've purposely hidden student names and email addresses on the screenshot below.  You will need to enter in the SUM or similar formula to calculate the total scores in the Grade column. For those of you who do proficiency based scoring, you can use conditional formatting to color-code the scores in the spreadsheet (which I didn't do in this screenshot below).
  4. To score student work, click on the hyperlink in the Goobric Link column and the scoring screen will appear in a new tab.  
  5. On the scoring screen, you can see the rubric for entering scores, a dashboard for submitting and advancing to the next student, and the student's document where you can enter in comments as needed.                                                                                       
  6. After scores are submitted, the spreadsheet automatically updates and you can set it so that students are sent an email with the scores and the rubric is pasted at the bottom of the Doc with the appropriate cells highlighted to signify the scores.                      

So why do I like this system?  Well, after set-up, scoring takes place on one screen, and I have minimal clicking to get through the class set and students are immediately sent their scores.

If you'd like more information on setting up Doctopus and Goobric, take a look at this public Google Doc and make sure you send a thank you tweet to Andrew Stillman, the mastermind of Doctopus and Goobric.

Snow Day Papers
So here I am at home on a snow day, happily blogging.  But, I've also found another reason for going paperless.  Remember those department-mandated Quarterly Exams I collected on Monday?  Guess where they are sitting right now.  Yup, that's right... on my desk at school.

After being out on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was busy catching up on all the things from being absent and left them on my desk, thinking I will get to them on Friday.  Well, it looks that groundhog was wrong and the weather-folks underestimated this "brush" of a snow storm because here I am sitting home on a snow day without my stack of papers to grade.  Guess I'll have some catching up to do again....

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Crowdsourcing Book Recommendations #CEL15 #NCTE15

I am continuing to decompress from attending the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and Conference on English Leadership (CEL) events in Minneapolis, Minnesota where sessions, keynotes, and roundtables were brimming with resources and book recommendations.  Throughout Penny Kittle's book-loving CEL closing keynote, I live-tweeted many of her recommendations, but I know I was not able to tweet out them all.

Penny Kittle (as well as Jeff Wilhelm, Carol Jago, and all of the keynote speakers) are so inspiring (what an understatement!), and after 6 days of the NCTE and CEL conferences, I am struggling to retain all of what I learned. While I know I can go to Goodreads or Amazon to find books to read, I get overwhelmed with all of the choices and reviews.  In an effort to simplify the process and capitalize on crowdsourcing, I created a Google Form for Book Recommendations.

If you think a book is worth reading, complete the form.  Quick and simple.  Notice this form does not provide a place for 5-star ratings or reviews. As Penny Kittle pointed out when we recommend a specific book, we are imposing our own thoughts on the person to whom we are making the recommendation.

Transferring this same notion to general book recommendations (not just for students to read books in class), the books recommended via this Google Form will serve as our digital stack. The spreadsheet results can be filtered by fiction or nonfiction, alphabetized by author or title, and we can then venture to Amazon or Goodreads to find more information on the text. The form and spreadsheet are intended to serve as a starting point, a quick list of recommendations.

Even if you did not attend NCTE15 or CEL15, fill out the form!  Thank you!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Flipping ELA-- More than Students Reading Books at Home

I had the wonderful privilege to present at the 2015 NJEA Convention in the Flipped Learning Theater with the pioneering Jon Bergmann and the ever-enthusiastic Marc Seigel. I presented two sessions:  Flipping the English Language Arts Classroom and Technology Tools for Flipped Reading.

My slide decks are below. I'm really proud of my visual design for these slides! Slide Carnival has some excellent templates that can be customized. Be sure to click on the hyperlinks within the slides for access to resources. Lots of goodies!

Speaking with Jon Bergmann at the convention for his BAM radio show, "The Flip Side," the question was broached, "Well, isn't English already flipped?  Read at home and come to class ready to apply?"  My answer is a resounding NO! For some students, reading is the difficult task, and I want to be present with my students for the difficult tasks. I can Flip 101 (aka replace live, direct instruction with video or tech tool) many things in the classroom, including reading, but I need to make sure that students are adept at the skills when we are face to face before I send them home with flipped tasks to complete.  The "face-to-face before do at home" time will vary depending on the content.  For some material, I need 5 minutes to make sure students are adept, but for other skills or content, my students may need multiple class periods to demonstrate that they are proficient independent learners.

I am a big fan of the "in-class" flip:  allow students to practice self-pacing and independent learning in class rather than at home.  Remember, the primary premise of Flipped Learning is to make the best use of face-to-face time with your students. So if this means they need guided, independent learning (I know, such an oxymoron) prior to unsupervised, independent learning (I know, redundant), then that is what I will do.  The flip at home will not be successful, and we will lose precious face-to-face time if I don't scaffold the process and gradually release control to the students.

The Flipping ELA Slide Deck features some activities and resources for how to Flip 101 and Mastery Flip an English Class. I've learned so much from my Flipped ELA peeps that I can not take credit for all the things in the slides. While I use what I share on the slides with my students, the original ideas may have come from one of the phenomenal flipping ELA teachers listed towards the end of the slide deck.

The Tech Tools for Flipping Reading will provide some examples of Flip 101 screencasts for modeling close reading, as well as edtech tools such as Booktrack Classroom and Curriculet for flipped reading instruction.  And make sure you listen to the interview with Jon Bergmann because I share how my students practice close reading using Google Docs as we Explore-Flip-Apply author's purpose and literary devices in texts.

Be sure to reply in the Comments to this post with your strategies for flipping your class or any questions you may have about how to flip!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

#WhyITeach #WhyILearn Reflective Thinking for Teachers, Students and Parents

At NJPAECET2 a photobooth area was set up where participants filled out speech bubbles to thank a teacher and answer the question, "Why do I teach?"  Pictures were taken, tweeted out with the hashtag #WhyITeach or #ThankATeacher, and all the speech bubbles were taped to the windows.

 This is a powerful visual and an easy method for triggering reflection.  Why do we teach?  What teachers am I grateful for?  In the age of assessment, it is easy to lose sight of the purpose of education and the people who matter when we are bogged down with mandates and methods of documenting accountability.  Notice, not anywhere on these speech bubbles does it say, "So, my students can get As on tests" or "Thank you to the teacher who helped me ace that exam."

Why do we teach?  Who are we grateful for?

I teach because I love learning and experiencing the world through a text.  I teach because I want to share my love of learning and cultivate the curiosity of my students. So much of what I do for students can be seen in small gestures -- creating an engaging classroom climate, awakening students' critical thinking skills, guiding the students' towards connected yet independent learning and self-sustainability. All of the small things add up over time to create a solid foundation for students as they journey towards graduation. To use another metaphor, in freshmen year I'm leading them to the path and giving them tools and resources to use, but the students are walking the path when they venture beyond my room. Through professional development opportunities, I'm sharing my strategies, engaging and collaborating with educators --which expands my reach: when I help another teacher, I am helping that teacher's students. Ultimately, I teach so I can help make the world a better place.

I'm grateful for my parents who are educators, my former teachers, and my colleagues near and far who have inspired me and shaped my teaching practices. I cannot be the teacher I am today without their influence.

With the start of the 2015-16 school year under way and having the largest cohort of freshmen Honors classes ever, the above questions also got me thinking about what would my students say if I asked them, "Why do you learn?"

Thanks to @Teacher2Teacher, who sent me a kit to replicate the #WhyITeach activity in my district, I adapted the directions to fit my students and we used the hashtag, #WhyILearn.  Students filled out their speech bubbles, and I hung them up around the classroom so that they could have a daily reminder of their responses as we get deeper in the course content.

Take a look at some of their responses...

Did you see if any of the responses had to do with testing or grades?  Me neither.

So many of the responses focus on the future and wanting to be successful.  But what is their definition of success? What does success really mean to my students?  How do we quantify success? These are important questions to answer.  The answers are also important to keep in mind as when the stress of school gets too overwhelming:  focus on the big picture; think about how this moment will lead to a better future.

Also at the beginning of the school year is Back to School Night, and the activity with my students got me thinking about what the students' parents would say if I asked them the question, "Why do you want your child to learn?"

Flipping Back to School Night, I recorded a screencast of my class expectations and procedures two weeks prior to the big night.  Students were given the assignment to watch the video WITH their parent and answer the corresponding questions using EDpuzzle before attending Back to School.

Since my parents already knew the procedures and expectations of my class, I didn't need to spend time on Back to School Night repeating the information and could do an activity in the 12 minute class period that would let them get a feel for my teaching style and how their student might feel being a member of the class.

After a quick introduction and recap of most important information, I posed questions to my parents, "Why do you want your child to learn? What is the point? What do you think is the purpose of learning?" They were tasked with writing their answers on yellow blocks of paper before running out the door to their next class.

Thinking of the parents' responses as building blocks, I taped them to the wall of my classroom.  Take a look...


Do you see any responses that include getting good grades or doing well on standardized assessments?  Me neither.

Besides being part of the decorations in the room, I wonder how else I can bring parents into the classroom so that we all keep our sights focused on the purpose of learning and how we can best meet the needs of the students. When it comes to education, everyone matters, parents, students, and teachers.

So as we venture further into the journey of this school year, continue reflecting on WHY we do what we do and how it fits into the greater scheme of our students' lives, remember the purpose of teaching and learning.

This is a panoramic shot of the walls of my classroom. In the comments here, please share why you teach and learn and how you remind parents, students, and other teachers about the purpose of education.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

#NJPAECET2 I took a GIANT step forward...Barry this is for you.

I have always been a leader, a starter, and a team player.  The oldest of 5 children, drum major, swim team captain, founder of a swim team and high school therapy dog program, #flipclass advocate, edtech edge cutter... I've always been  on the head of the metaphoric spear, but never the only point person, but something shifted the weekend of NJPAECET2 x 2.

I took a giant step forward in terms of leadership on September 19th and 20th, 2015 at the 2nd convening of the NJ-PA Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers.  Being part of a 20+ person steering committee crowdsourced by the legendary Barry Saide, it can be a bit of dance to know who is doing what and when and to understand all the moving cogs and wheels of the organizational machinery.  At the conclusion of the 1st convening of NJPAECET2 last year, we started planning for the second iteration: soliciting for sponsors, creating forms for proposal submissions, generating a list of invitees, and more. Not working a full-time job this summer afforded me time to be available to take on greater responsibility behind the scenes-- working with Barry, Liz, Steve, Scott, Gio, and Josh, I had a hand in session acceptances and scheduling, the itinerary of the convening, setting up the Edmodo group, countless pages of color-coded spreadsheets of participants, presenters, sponsors... I learned so much about spreadsheet design and management this summer... when something needed to be done, I was on it.

I'm the type of person who needs to know what my role is and where I fit in the scheme of things--tell me what to do, and I will do it. When I know my role, I will act accordingly. I'm also the type of person who if I see something that needs to be done, will speak up, but I will speak up with the expectation that whoever is "in charge" will make decisions and delegate. Seeing Barry as our "leader,"  I assumed that he make the final call on all things: Things not running on schedule, Barry will decide what to do. Something is missing, Barry will get it.  But at NJPAECET2 x 2 that was not the case. On September 19th and 20th, I cast aside those expectations and stepped into the role of decision-maker and delegator.

"Step up, then step back" was one of the mottos heard during Colleague Circles at NJPAECET2-- speak up, be a leader, but then step back and allow someone else to come forward and lead.  Barry, you stepped back so that I could step up.

When the first keynote ran over time and the schedule needed to be adjusted, I emailed Barry, sitting 2 tables away, about what to do.  Then I quickly realized, I didn't need Barry's permission to adjust the schedule.  As the timing of events continued to need adjustment, I did it. Popping into sessions to check on presenters, snapping pictures, making announcements, alerting participants it was time to move to the next session, constantly thinking about "how can we tweak this to make it better?"and calling a steering committee "brain dump" session at the conclusion of the weekend-- I was on hyper speed not just as a participant, but as an engineer who kept the train on its track and schedule.

None of this would have happened if I wasn't given the opportunity to grow and didn't have fantastic, amazing educators to work with. Thank you, Barry, for creating the opportunity to step up.  While I know it would never be an easy job, I now know that I have the skills and ability to be "The Leader." Where will I go from here?  I don't know quite yet (I have some ideas...), but I know I have taken a very important first step.

Thank you to all who attended, presented, sponsored, and organized NJPAECET2. You all have elevated me, and I continue to bask in the glow of the celebration of our profession. I can't wait to see what else we will accomplish together.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Creating Curriculets with Students

Cheryl Morris asked me if students can create their own curriculets, embedding questions and quizzes inside a text. Her plan: have students work in groups or as individuals to create their own curriculets and share them with other students to read and answer the questions/quizzes-- like a suped-up literature circle! What a great idea to promote higher level thinking!

Screenshot of the opening of A Tale of Two Cities in Curriculet
However, student accounts and teacher accounts function differently in Curriculet, so while students can embed their own annotations in a text, they cannot add a layer of their own questions and quizzes.  But Cheryl's question got me thinking, and I have a workaround solution: set-up a couple of fake-teacher accounts where students can take turns creating curriculets.

Initially, I thought setting up one account for all students to access would work, but the security features will not allow multiple, simultaneous logins on the same account. Each fake-teacher account will need to have its own email address (running out of addresses to use, check out GMail's plus feature). I do NOT recommend each student creating his/her own fake-teacher account for managerial reasons. It would be too difficult to monitor 30 or 130 individual teacher accounts. The teacher should set up the fake-teacher account(s) prior to giving access to the students so that students can focus on creating/editing the curriculets and not be delayed or confused by set-up procedures.

Why wouldn't I want to give my students access to my teacher account on Curriculet?  Wouldn't that be easier?  My teacher account includes performance data from current and previous years.  I do not want students accessing the teacher dashboard.  The fake-teacher accounts are created so that they can access the curriculet-editor feature. The fake-teacher account will not have any active classes tied to it. As I outline in the steps below, students will share with the teacher the created curriculets and the teacher will assign the reading of the created-curriculets through his/her real teacher account that has groups and classes already set-up.

The Steps for Students-Created Curriculets:

  1. The teacher creates the fake-teacher class accounts for students to use.
  2. In the fake-teacher accounts, go to Curriculet's STORE and select the titles for which you want students to create curriculets, or in the LIBRARY upload a Google Doc or Word Document students will use to create the curriculet. Name each curriculet appropriately.
  3. State the ground rules and objectives for usage and give students the username and password for the fake-teacher class accounts.
  4. Students log in to Curriculet on the fake-teacher accounts and select the text(s) from the LIBRARY. I envision students creating curriculets for short stories, poetry, or excerpts of lengthy texts.  Multiple curriculets can be created for the same text.
  5. Students embed their annotations, questions, and quizzes in the text.
  6. When finished, the students SHARE the created-curriculet with the teacher by emailing the link (or to keep a record of the created-curriculets in the teacher's files, have students copy/paste the link to a Google Form/ Spreadsheet or LMS assignment). 
  7. The teacher (in his/her real teacher account) adds the created-curriculets to his/her LIBRARY and assigns them to the class to read.
  8. The teacher (in his/her real teacher account) monitors the students' reading of the created curiculets, checking for accuracy and (if he/she so chooses) shares with the creators the readers' performance data.

Want to see this process in action?  Watch the screencast below...

Thinking this through from a lesson-planning and implementation point of view, the teacher could provide the students with the specific guidelines for how many questions, annotations, and quizzes to embed. Or the teacher could let the students run free and have a reflective discussion after the curriculets are created where students analyze and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their creations. I like giving minimal directions so that I do not stifle student creativity and have an opportunity for metacognitive analysis, but the teacher can make that call. Users can make many versions of a curriculet layer for one text, so students could be creating curriculets for the same text at the same time. I suggest following a specific naming convention so that each curriculet version can be differentiated: Year Pd Group Name.  Example: 2015 Pd2 GroupA.

Keep in mind that many texts in the Curriculet Store come with the layer of questions, quizzes, and annotations already created, and tech-savvy students will be able to find them. So, I would make sure to have a clear purpose and objective for the student-created curriculets that goes beyond the assessment of comprehension. 

Thinking about time constraints, I do not recommend having students create their own curriculet for a lengthy novel unless the teacher is dividing the class up with each group focused on a specific section of the novel.  Again, each student or group should make his/her/its own curriculet layer starting at the assigned section (the teacher creates the curriculets for each section ahead of time). Do not try having all students working in the same curriculet at the same time. It won't work.

In order for this process to work, I recommend that the teacher monitors all accounts and does the set-up work ahead of time.  If students are focused on the task of creating the curriculets, there should be little room for shenanigans.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

They NAILED it!

Making the rounds on the interwebs this week is Key & Peele's Comedy Central skit, Teaching Center, where they pose the question, "What if Teachers Were Treated Like Pro Athletes?"

Key & Peele totally NAILED it.

Yeah it is Comedy Central, so of course it will be funny, but what makes this video stand out is in the nuances and details.  I know very little about Key & Peele, other than they are a TV show, but I can tell they know teachers and the teaching profession.  While it would be nice to be treated like professional athletes who garner special attention and million dollar salaries, how Key & Peele chose to satirize Sports Center highlights the fact that teachers are not in the teaching profession for the notoriety or riches.

Rather than typing out my play-by-play of Key & Peele's Teaching Center, I recorded a quick video analysis.  I recorded this in one take using Camtasia's record feature.  Forgive my lack of fancy graphics and enhancements.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Social Media & Collaborative Relationships #EdTechBridge

This week #EdTechBridge via a #slowchat on Twitter is discussing...

What role does social media have in developing collaborative relationships?

My first answer is that social media provides the venue for people to get connected.  Twitter without a doubt is my number one tool for finding people to talk to about educational topics.  While the 140 characters is limiting, Twitter is where we start to talk and the conversations are later expanded via email or in Voxer groups.  I don't know how I collaborated before Twitter and Voxer. Being a connected educator to the ever-flowing stream keeps me energized and constantly thinking, "What if...?" because I know there is someone out there on Twitter and Voxer who will help me answer that question.  

Thinking about other social media tools, Facebook is primarily where I connect with family and local educators, but little collaboration takes place. But Facebook is a good place to share, share, share! Although, Kate Messner & company's Teachers Write online summer camp through a closed Facebook group is sparking creative writing for teachers. And while I haven't used Instagram much for educational purposes, it too is primarily for documenting and sharing. YouTube, like Instagram, is an area to showcase collaboration, but not necessarily kindle it.  And while Pinterest will keep me occupied for hours pinning things, I wonder how it could be better suited for collaboration instead of mere archiving.

Follow Kate B.'s board Teaching on Pinterest.

So to get the collaborative connections going and see how Pinterest can foster collaboration, I have a task for you! Pick something from my Teaching Board and in the comments to this post reply with an idea of how we can make the item better.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Another solution: Tracking Formative Standards-Based Student Performance

In discussions with Lindsay Stephenson, another ELA teacher who is implementing standards-based learning with her students, we've been trying to figure out methods for efficiently tracking student progress and alignment with the standards. Neither one of us is keen on the look of spreadsheets. Neither one of us wants to use another learning management system. Also, we don't have to create the standards-based tasks if we can use tools that generate and score tasks for us. We love Google Forms, so why not stick with what we know and love?

To track formative student learning and alignment with the standards, I created this Google Form:

My students will be completing practice (aka formative) standards-based learning tasks in Curriculet and Edmodo. Every Curriculet text has questions tagged with a Common Core ELA Standard and each Curriculet-USA Today news article is tagged with one specific standard.  With the Curriculet-USA Today subscription, my students can select the articles to read and enter in their scores on the above Google Form.  With Edmodo Snapshot, I can select specific standards and a number of questions for students to answers. Students can then enter in their scores on the Google Form shown above. While I can see the students' performance in the teacher dashboard for both Curriculet and Edmodo Snapshot, I want my students to take responsibility for their learning. So, by having the students enter in their scores and reflect on the assignment, they are learning accountability and practicing metacognitive thinking. The formative learning scores will not go into my district gradebook.  I want the students to realize that the process of learning is important whether or not a score is factored into their marking period grade. The summative data will be entered on a separate Google Form and I will figure out a way to translate that data for my district gradebook.

To recap, here is my workflow for tracking standards-based learning with my freshmen:
  1. Students complete formative learning tasks in Curriculet and Edmodo.
  2. Students enter in their scores on the formative tracking form.
  3. I analyze the data and assign retakes as needed.
  4. Students retake formative learning tasks.
  5. Students enter new scores on the formative tracking form.
  6. To document mastery of specific standards, students complete the summative tracking form and submit links to artifacts that demonstrate mastery of the standards. 
  7. I analyze the data and assign additional standards-based tasks throughout the rest of the course.
  8. I can use a mail merge add-on to generate reports of student performance for parents and administrators.
What do you think?  Think this will work? 

One Solution for Tracking Standards Based Learning

I wrote yesterday about my experience with standards-based learning/grading and solicited my readers to submit their templates and tools for tracking student progress.  My edubuddy Tom Driscoll, master of mastery learning, shared some resources with me via Twitter.

I took a look at Jumprope and Mastery Connect, but I'm concerned about making more work for myself by using other platforms (as well as the cost!).  I want to work smarter, not harder, and not be like Alice falling down the rabbit hole learning a new and managing a new-to-me assessment platform. I already use Edmodo, Google Classroom, Curriculet, and my district's gradebook program Genesis. I don't want another platform.  And I took a look at Tom's spreadsheets: WOW!  Prior to Google Classroom, Tom would have each of his students create a copy and share it back with him.  I could adapt Tom's spreadsheets and have Google Classroom create an editable copy for each student to fill out throughout the marking period.  More on this to come....

This got me thinking:  what if I devise a way that students self-evaluate themselves and provide evidence of meeting the standards? My students are trained to peer and self-evaluate using Google Forms, so why can't I adapt that process so that students will make a standards-based portfolio that documents how they have met the Common Core ELA Standards?

If students are doing the data entry, I can save myself time and ensure that they are part of the process.  Here is my thought:  What if I create a Google Form for students to select the standard and provide a link to the artifact that meets that standard?  My high school is a Google Apps for Education school, so my students are completing their tasks predominately in Google Drive.  As long as their learning outcomes live on the web, they can provide a link to the item.  The Google Form will be used for the entire school year and all entries will be located on one spreadsheet that I can sort.

So here is the form I created to track students' summative outcomes in meeting the Common Core ELA Standards:

On the spreadsheet of responses, I could use "Summary of Responses" to see the auto-generated pie charts and graphs of data or I can color the spreadsheet to analyze the data. Other subject area teachers could use this same method to track summative student performance.  What do you think?