Saturday, July 26, 2014

Managing Go Noodle in the Elementary Classroom

The Five "Rules" of Go Noodle 
in my Classroom

I found out about this wonderful and *free* resource for teachers to use in their classroom via Twitter and I have to say my students love it!

But I started to notice that some students were becoming a little too loud at times and that sometimes students had a negative attitude when an activity that they wanted wasn't chosen. 

With that said, the 5 rules of Go Noodle were born for my classroom!


1. Students who choose to happily participate in the Go Noodles chosen by others will get a chance to pick their own for the class.

- This puts the onus completely on the students and gets rid of the negative attitudes when "girl" or "boy" activities are chosen.

2. The teacher gets to choose the minute length of each break.

-Sometimes we just need a quick energizer and other times our schedule will allow for a longer break. After students have been picked to choose a Go Noodle, they know to ask me how long our break is...this also motivates students to choose quickly so that they can enjoy the break time.

3. The teacher gets to choose when Go Noodle breaks happen in the classroom.

- I try to schedule at least 2 longer (5 minute) Go Noodle breaks each day and then 1-3 smaller throughout the day. Sometimes we fit all these in, but sometimes we have to settle for a more static brain break from another source.

4. Students who would like to have a Go Noodle break will keep their voices at a level 3 or lower.

- I have a voice level chart in my classroom where Level 3 is just above a whisper. We call this whole group voice. Anyone who raises their voice above this can not participate in our Go Noodle activity. This keeps things calmer and more focused for our classroom while respecting the fact that the classroom next door might not be taking a break when we are.

5. Have fun learning and moving with Go Noodle!

- Go Noodle has so many new activities for students to learn! I encourage my students to try out new videos and to really listen to the instructions that are given! And have fun! There's nothing wrong with singing to the songs! 


How are you managing Go Noodle in your classroom?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Monitoring Classroom Traffic Flow with Google Forms

So I've been thinking...there is so much amazing technology to be used in the classroom that makes our time so much more efficient: attachments, bit-size urls, syncing calendars, and that oh so wonderful cloud...why not expand this time-saving and efficiency to the idea of entering and leaving the classroom!

 I used to keep track of this with an old fashioned clipboard and attached pencil and printed spreadsheet. I know many other teachers who have used this same system, but let's face it...some students are so in a rush that not all the data comes out accurately. 

With these ideas in mind, I went to my Google Drive and created a simple yet effective In/Out Form for my students to use.  

Follow the easy steps below and you can create your own Form!

Step One: Create a Google Form

As of 7.25.14 when you enter your Google Drive home page the red button on the left hand side will say "Create". Click on this. You will then have options to start a new Google Form. Click on Form.

Step Two: Title your form and choose a theme

Part one - Title your form

Click in the title box to name your new form. Make it something unique that you will remember later. For the creation of the first traffic flow form, I used the title "Week 1 In/Out for Room 11". 

Part two - Choose a theme

Google forms has lots of simple and colorful backgrounds for you to use to make your form a little more unique.  Click on one you like and then press "Ok" to save this template. I personally like the red and blue fish for my student's forms. (If you don't like it, you can always change it later!)

Step Three: Begin to create your questions and question types

             Now the really fun part begins!

Start typing in the questions you want to ask on the form.  
There is also a "hint" text box that you can add information to if you need it.

I always start by changing the "Question Type" from "multiple choice" to "Choose from a list" so that I can enter in the first names of my students. Just click on the drop-down arrow next to the words "multiple choice" to get a pop-up box of all your question type options.

I also make this a "required question" by clicking the checkbox next to the blue "Done" button so that students can't submit the form anonymously.

Here's what the final question type will look like when first viewing the form:

Having a list for student names saves even more time for elementary students because they don't have to find the letters on the keyboard to spell out their name!

Kid's Math Talk tip: Don't spend all your time typing in each name individually! Copy the names of your students from a document that already exists and then paste them into the "list" option of the question on your Form. Google will automatically create a box for each name and you're done! 

Step Four: Continue creating questions

I only have two questions on my In/Out Form, but the beauty of a Google Form is that you can add more questions, a variety of types, and you can go back an edit the form at a later date if you needs change (like if a student is added or deleted from your roster.)

My second question is a "Check Box" question type with the following question and options:

That red asterisk next to the question lets everyone know that this is a required question. The form can not be submitted until all required questions have been answered.

Step Five: Creating access to the Google Form

Whether you plan on embedding this Form into your class website or just saving this as a bookmark, you will need to change the access depending on your needs. 

The form will be set to private, so you will need to go into your form and change that by first going to File->Add Collaborators.

 You will then see that only you have access to this Form right now. Click the blue hotlink "Change..." to see your other options. 

I suggest making it so that "anyone with the link" will have access.

Save your option, and then Google will show you the following screen:

Now you are ready to have your students access and fill out this form when needed.

I have a class website, so I created a page and then embedded this form so my students can easily and independently access it when needed.

 Another option might be to simply bookmark the link on your classroom computers so that students have easy access.

So you might be thinking that you did all this work to create the form...where does the data go?  

Into a Google Sheet of course. 

Whenever you create a new Form, a matching Google Sheet is automatically created. 

Step Six: Accessing your responses

Simply go to your Google Drive and find your Week 1 In/Out Form (Responses) Sheet and open.  Once open, you will see that Google already set up headings for you from each question that you entered on your Form.

Each time a student submits your form, Google will timestamp the submission and enter all of the answers into this Response sheet.  With the features of A-Z sorting, this Response sheet makes it super easy to keep track of when, how often, and where students are throughout the day.

I like to keep track of my classroom in a Week by Week order, so when I finished creating my Week 1 In/Out Form, I created a copy and then renamed that "Week 2 In/Out Form". Again, Google will automatically create the matching Responses sheet for you!  All that would need to be done after that is changing the form link or embedding code on your website or computer browser.  

Of course, you don't have to create a new form since Google will timestamp everything for you!

Check out this Sample Form and adapt for your own use! Just make a copy to save to your own Google Drive.

So, how do you use Google Forms in the classroom?

Welcome to Kid's Math Talk, LLC!

Welcome to Kid's Math Talk, LLC!
My name is Desiree and I am super passionate about math education and best practices for students and their teachers. Thanks for stopping by my blog!


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