In order to minimize, while still not completely eliminating, paper in the classroom we used Google forms as answer documents instead of paper recording sheets. This meant that while I was still printing and laminating the task cards, which is a task I only do once, I could use them over and over again, year after year all with the same Google form which greatly minimized the copying I had to do. Sounds a little bit like a dream doesn't it? AND it is SO EASY!
To create a Google Form:
1. Go to www.google.com/forms
2. Click the big purple +
It will bring you to a page that looks like this. From here, you can make your form be exactly what you want, which is pretty amazing.
I title the form with the name of the set of task cards that we are using, it only makes sense. In the description I write the student directions for that set. While I am here I also take the opportunity to make the first question ask for the student's name. For this questions I change the type of question to short answer, but the form's default is multiple choice.
Next, add you question. If you really wanted to you could retype each task card, but who really has time for that? Plus, I will show you a trick that makes this system unbelievably easy to use over and over again. So instead I just put "Card 1" as the question. If I am using multiple choice task cards I use the multiple choice default and put the options for ABCD. As you type each one another will option will appear below, and you can have as many answer choices as you would like.
I have also used this strategy with open ended task cards, particularly math word problems, and just use the short answer option for all of the questions instead of multiple choice.
A tip for this step is to turn on the "Required" option with the purple toggle in the bottom right corner of the form. This makes sure that students answer all the questions before submitting their responses.
**Make sure that you also do this for the "Name" questions with the short answer response, if you think you have a hard time with no name papers, just try to figure out a no name form.
When you get the question looking how you want just click the icon that looks like two pieces of stacked paper next to the trash can. This will make a copy of your question. If you are using multiple choice task cards all you have to do is change the number of the card as the question and keep on copying until you have the set number of questions. Talk about easy peasy.
Next you are ready to to share the form with your students, and there is a variety of options for doing this as well. To share the form click on "Send Form" at the top of the page. The first option is gives you is to email the form. If you are in a Google classroom where students have their own email addresses this is a great way to get them the form.
I did not have this option, so I would click on the link icon next to the email icon (looks like two chain links.) This gives you a link, that I would then either create a bit.ly link or QR code that students could scan in order to get to the form.
Then students used their device to complete the task cards ad the form. Students can use just about any device to complete a Google form as long as it connects to the internet.
One of the reasons that I LOVE using Google forms is that students can complete the assignment over a period of time whether it be in stations, in small groups, independently, or just about any other way you can think of. Instead of trying to keep track of recording sheets over a week or longer, Google forms keeps the information nice and tidy in one location waiting for me.
Once you are ready to look at responses there are a few options for that too! From the top of your form (if you don't remember, you can find it by going to google.com/form you just click on that form instead of the + to add a new form) click on the tab for responses instead of questions. The default is to show you the summary of responses. This will list the student names that have completed the form since it was your first question, and then give you a pie graph (for multiple choice questions) of how student responses were chosen. I absolutely love this view, because it is so obvious what the whole class needs a reteach on, and what items need a more specific reteach with just a few students.
The next option is to view individual responses. This view basically shows you the form again, but with the student responses completed.
Now to my favorite! If you click on the option to create a spreadsheet it does just that. I love spreadsheets, and I am fairly certain you will like this one too!
Go ahead and click new spreadsheet, and voila! You get a spreadsheet like the one below.
All of this seems pretty great right? Well, I have to say, it gets even better because once you have created your first form all you have to do is copy it by clicking on the three dots in the upper right hand corner and selecting the first option which is, "Make a Copy." This will copy your form so that all you have to do is change the title, the description/student directions, and possibly the number of questions you have for that set of task cards. AAANNNNDDDD, say you created a form for each set of task cards this year, next year you can just make a copy, change nothing, and you are ready to go!
Are you ready to try it out?
Here are some great sets of task cards to get you going: