Thursday, December 29, 2016

What I did right in 2016.

What I did right in 2016

As 2016 comes to an end it’s only normal to reflect on the highs and the lows of the year.. Especially as you make plans for the upcoming year.  If I had to come up with a word to describe 2016, it would be CHANGE.  Everything about teaching seemed to changed for me and it left me feeling very unstable.  Testing, curriculum, textbook, benchmarks, RTI, my principal, and of course technology.  

One of the biggest struggles I was having was keeping up with grading (surprise right?) I also wasn’t able to truly assess my student’s level of understanding because our benchmark testing had changed and we lost our online assessment tool.  I felt like I was on a sinking ship without any direction.

With that being said, the first 5 months of the last school year were pretty rough with all the change going on around me.  So over Christmas Break I decided to try to create MY OWN change for 2016.  

My list started out like this:  

I had been to a PD over the summer about Google Classroom, but hadn't had a chance to implement any of it yet. (Anyone else been there too?) I created a few Google Forms to try out. If I could get Google Forms up and running in my classroom IT would be my answer to 1, 2, and 3 and I could accomplish ALL of my goals!

When school started back up in January, I was determined. I had a plan, and it was going to work! I was going to grade less, know the answers to all of my student's problems, and be prepared for online testing.

Ok, so maybe the first time I took the kids to the lab it looked like this....

But, I was going to stay the course! (No pain, No gain- right?) This was going to be the answer to all of my problems! No more papers, no more copies, no more grading... THIS HAD TO WORK.

and guess what...... IT DID!
(Well... it did the second time, the first time I forgot to make the first question "What is your name?" So I had a lot of data, but didn't know which student was submission 1 to submission 74! Learning curve..... So, if you are taking notes, learn from my mistake. The first question must be: What is your first and last name?)

With Google Forms, I was able to give a meaningful assessment to my students without
making copies. I was able to have an image for every question without shrinking the size to save paper! Instead of grading 74 papers

I was analyzing the results of 74 submissions based on percentages of correct and incorrect answers! (Even better- It was on a spreadsheet... but that's another story. They have also updated Google Forms so you can quickly see a snapshot right on the Google Form.)

After trying out Google Forms (and falling in love), I was ready to learn more about other ways I could use Google Classroom with my students. I quickly found this tool kit and I was creating online interactive practice pages that my student's couldn't get enough of! 

So, what did I do right in 2016?

I started small and I started with WHAT I needed most.

If you are looking for something to try in 2017, I highly suggest you try using Google Classroom with your students. It doesn't matter if you are not yet 1:1 (I'm not) or if you teach Kindergarten. Google Classroom will save you time, energy, PAPER, and your kids will love it! What will you try in 2017?


  1. You have truly inspired me to go Google! Your products are beautiful and helpful all in one!

    1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad you are incorporating Google into your classroom. I bet your kids love it just as much as you do.

  2. Going Google is helping me so much in the classroom. I can actually have reading groups in a quiet classroom now!!!!

    1. Yes! I'm not yet 1:1, so I can have students working quietly on the Chromebooks while I work with small groups. Even better is I can assess what the students accomplished while they are in centers because it's all turned in virtually. I love how you are starting your students with Google in Kindergarten.

  3. I am in my second year of using Google Classroom and I LOVE it! You've inspired me to learn how to use Google Forms. I haven't tackled that yet.

  4. I have had Chromebooks but only had Google Classroom this year. I haven't really used Forms yet. You inspired me to give it a try!

  5. Think going Google is the way to go in 2017! Only heard positives about it! Thanks for a wonderful blog post!

  6. It would be so helpful, I bet kids would like it. Using Google Classroom is absolutely on my wishlist!

  7. Google classroom is definitely something I am looking into. Thanks for sharing your insight!