Monday, July 25, 2016

Digital Back to School Student Interest Survey- Autosave & Use for the Whole Year

Each year I pass out a student interest survey during the first couple days of school.  I try to glance over each of them, only to be interrupted by-- 1- my own ADD brain- oops, I forgot I'm supposed to be at a meeting or was supposed to turn in these student forms (one of the thousands we were supposed to collect), so I don't get a planning period today or 2- one of my 'real' kids, the ones that I gave birth to (since I refer to my students as "my kids" too) need help with homework, or 3-  any number of random things--toilet is overflowing, somebody needs help w/ homework, my husband can't find his...who knows what, the fire alarm is going off b/c my son is trying to cook his own grilled cheese again (I'm a good mom and teacher, I swear), or any number of things.  This year, I've decided that these obstacles are NOT going to get into the way!  I'm going to have easy access to these surveys AND be able to refer to them quickly when needed, but not because I have to put in a bunch of extra time!!!

On a serious note, I've learned that it's extremely important to know what's going on with your students--not just their likes and dislikes, but the more personal things that they may not want to share otherwise. I learned this the hard way a while back... I had a student who was often absent, and when she was at school, she rarely did her work.  I knew that the child was more than capable based on assignments and assessments she had completed previously, so I was unsure of what was going on.  I wasn't able to reach the parents and school officials didn't offer any insight into what might be the issue.  Fortunately, after several months of this, I finally got word that the child had been living in, we'll just say, a nightmare (and that's putting it lightly).  Had I known this sooner, I would've been much more empathetic.  Not that I wasn't caring to begin with, but the student had been very disrespectful to me, so by April, I was at my whits end!   I certainly don't ask the very personal questions in the survey.  I make sure to word it something like, "Is there anything you would like me to know about you?  Keep in mind, other students will not be seeing the surveys.  It will be sent directly to me."  Notice I didn't say that I won't share this w/ anyone, because by law, if a child tells a teacher something that may harm them, we are considered mandated reporters and have to inform the necessary individuals.

So how am I going to make process this more effective this year?  I created a Digital Back to School Student Interest Survey on Google Forms.  When students answer the questions on Google Forms, it saves automatically.  Then their answers are also automatically put into a spreadsheet-- also saved on your Google Drive (see the steps below for exactly how to do this).  How awesome is that?!? 

Throughout the year, I can refer back to all of the info I have stored, and I can add to it if necessary.  This year I also plan to have my students complete the same survey during the middle of the year.  This will allow me to see if there have been any changes.  Another plus is that you can modify the form if you need to make changes to questions or if you need to add new ones.





In order for students to complete these surveys, I will simply upload them to Google Classroom and add as an assignment.  For directions on how to create and add assignments in Classroom, see my guest post on Erintegration where I explain this in detail.  If you don't have Google Classroom, don't worry.  You can easily upload to Edmodo or another program, you can post the link to the survey on your website, or you can email to your students...whatever works best for you!

How do you use the beginning of the year surveys?  Tell me all about it in the comments. 

12 comments:

  1. Great post. I, too, that I had not got to know well enough who ended up running away at some point. It was a hard year, and I make connecting with students top priority. I'll be interested to know how the google doc solution works for you. Keep us posted.

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    1. I'll definitely keep you posted! Thanks!

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  2. Thank you for this great post! I'm switching over to Google Classroom for this year, and I'm just learning everything. I'd bought your survey, but didn't know about the spreadsheet. So, this was very informative!

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    1. Janet,
      Thanks so much for stopping by! You will LOVE Google Classroom! I can't say enough positive things about it. I'm actually working on a post now about why every teacher should use Classroom w/ their students. Thanks again!

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  3. You just made a lightbulb go off! I have a student survey, and also one specific to Reading. I'm going to put them on Schoology for my students to respond to. Thanks for the brilliant tip!

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    1. That's great! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. I love school surveys/ student reflections and try to do them often throughout the year to get a feel for what is really going on behind the scenes. I really like the google apps approach and I'm excited to hear how it goes.

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  5. Oh my! This is a perfect idea. I love the idea of setting this survey as a first homework and then returning to it throughout the year. Thank you. Now following your blog.

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    1. Oooh! That's a great idea! I think I'll do it that way too! Thanks so much for stopping by! Love how we all can learn from each other!

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    2. Oooh! That's a great idea! I think I'll do it that way too! Thanks so much for stopping by! Love how we all can learn from each other!

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    3. Oooh! That's a great idea! I think I'll do it that way too! Thanks so much for stopping by! Love how we all can learn from each other!

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  6. Great idea! I'm going to use my student interest survey on Google this year too! Thanks for the tip!
    Darlene Anne
    ELA Buffet

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