Grading Google Forms with Flubaroo


Google forms are one of my favorite, underused apps in Google Apps for Education.  They are so easy to program, and look amazing. My students were always impressed when I told them I created the form just for them, whether they were taking a quiz, compiling their research, or just collecting silly data, like favorite scent in our Scentsy warmer.

What I DIDN'T realize is that I could have used Flubaroo to grade the forms!  I watched several YouTube videos to learn more about this add on feature, but this one was the most clear and concise.

Edmodo at Gold Coast Cue Fall Expo Today!

So anxious to meet with some teachers and "share the edmodo love", as they say.  Here are my materials!  More about the Expo later.

The link for HESD teacher to access the Google Slides:
This is just for my Hueneme friends! (thanks to GAFE limitations...)

And this link is the PDF of the slides.
PDF on my webpage, click here!

Google Forms and Note Taking

I'm not a huge fan of text book teaching.  "Open to Chapter 2, read Lesson 1, take notes, there will be a quiz on Thursday"  Ugh. But the truth is, there is valuable information in the text book, so I never want to talk it down to my students.  So today is our first text book lesson, with a twist.

I created a Google Form for their notes. I provided the central ideas, and they are finding the details from the text to support it. (Baby steps to Common Core Reading Informational Text 6.2) Here is our first notetaking form:

See the Premier Notetaking form here :)

After a few tries, I can add links and videos for them to integrate different media and formats into a coherent understanding. (RI6.7)

This is what I'm trying today, hope there is a way you can tweak it to work for you. Google Forms are really polished looking. Students don't realize how easy they are to set up and then use them to harvest information.

This is what I'm trying today, hope there is a way you can tweak it to work for you. Google Forms are really polished looking. Students don't realize how easy they are to set up and then use them to harvest information.

Happy teaching!

International Dot Day Part 2

Last week, we used the links in International Dot Day Part 1 to discuss creativity, strengths and weaknesses and even talked about self sabotaging thoughts like "I'll never be good at that".  We didn't get to the Prezi of the books in two periods, so we will go through that at the beginning of the period before beginning the lesson here.  My favorite thing about my plan is that it is so open to what ever direction discussion goes. I didn't know we would talk about self-talk last week, but it was perfect because that is such a common source of discouragement for jr. high kids.

So, part 2 will begin with Kid President's Pep Talk.
Then, we will discuss what we can do to make the world more awesome.  I am trying my first assignment through Classroom so we will see how that goes.  I went to the party store and bought colorful cake plates that will be our dots on our bulletin board. Each student will create their own "plate book" using the drawing doc I shared for the assignment. Here is is.  Not sure if you can access it if you aren't in the Hueneme family.  I tried "Publish to web" from the doc.  Again, first attempt in learning can sometimes mean FAIL. My students took their dot art home over the weekend and when they are all put together, we will have three murals around our room for inspiration. My plan is to put the plate books surrounding the murals. Finally, can't forget The Dot song by Emily Dale and Peter H. Reynolds.  Catchy!

Hope you have a wonderful International Dot Day!

International Dot Day 2014 Part 1


Welcome to International Dot Day!!

My first year participating and I am anxious to see if it sends an anchor message to my students that we can come back to all year long.  These are some resources I'm planning to use Monday (really, just linking them here so my class flow is efficient.  This is my Friday discussion stimulus.

Take a look at this artist!  Artistic ability is certainly a gift!  What emotions does this bring to your mind?

Now think about creativity.  Is creativity only about art?  What are some ways you are creative?

Peter H. Reynolds is an author who has some thoughts about creativity.  Read through his book The Dot.

Click here to see a Prezi of the book.
Or copy this link into the browser:

Do you think he has a message bigger that the surface? Is this book just about "Try to draw, even if you think you can't?"  What are some broader lessons about like?

Take the conversation to your edmodo small group and discuss what you learn from The Dot.

Setting my 2014-15 GPS

Based on "Teach Like a Pirate" challenge (a book I have not read... yet) and a video here:

The gist of the idea is that you have to know where you are and where you want to go for a GPS to be useful.  Right now, I am anticipating and hopeful.  I realized a few days ago that summers feel odd because I don't have students.  I am like a Mama Duck walking around without ducklings.  It is a good thing, but it is an odd feeling. I am preparing for people I don't know; I can't fully prepare. So, I am anxious to meet my new classes in a few weeks!

My words for this year. Where I want to arrive at next June.  What I want my students to say about me and their time in my classroom.

1. Approachable.  

This speaks to the relationships I will build and the time I will spend listening and reacting in kindness.

2. Smart.  

This speaks to the academic level that will be expected and presented in my class. I am not afraid to say "I'm not sure" or "Let's ask Mr. Google" but that isn't a measure of intelligence.  Perseverance and high level thinking are. I want them to see it in me and build it in themselves.


This speaks to the emotional climate in an academic way. Some would say "fun" or "not boring" but those aren't goals for me.  Interest and curiosity are what I want to develop.

4. Empowering. 

 This speaks to the power in the classroom.  Obviously, I am the party responsible for having control in the classroom, and I take that seriously, but I want my students to feel they are in the drivers seat in their lives and their learning. I can lead my kids to the dance floor, but I can't make them dance.

I am leaving my 5th spot open for right now... I know it will hit me when I least expect it.

Notice and Note: RIGOR!

I have about a dozen books in my Summer Read basket, but this one topped the list. I know I want to start the school year with these strategies to support our new Reading LIterature Common Core State Standards.

Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

I found out there was a slow chat on Twitter (#elachatNN) meaning we would read one of the three sections each week and discuss them over the week. Let’s just say I’m a little slower than the average slow chatter. But that’s okay. It’s summer.  In fact, I’m typing this while on a vacation with my daughter in Newport Beach.  An afternoon nap is a luxury for a teenager, and a window of opportunity for me!

The topic that impacted me most in the first section:
---> The Role of Rigor <---
This has been such a buzz word that it has become jargon. This chapter really made me stop and unpack the idea of rigor in a new way. A very specific way. A way that has come up in teacher conversations several times already... in the month of July!

“When the text is too tough, then the task is simply hard, not rigorous.” (page 21)

"The rigor has to be achieved by engaging the readers in a process that is sufficiently interesting and rewarding that they'll invest energy in the work." (page 22)

“The essence of rigor is engagement and commitment.” (page 23)

Simply put, and I needed to really read this, because I have heard otherwise so many times, rigor does not simply equal a lexile level or a book read.  Rigor is a characteristic of our behavior with the text.  It is what we DO with the text that makes the most difference to our learning, personally and with our students.  I am fully able to read some pretty high level text, but it would not be very meaningful to me. The same is true with our students. Does the text need to be appropriately challenging? Yes. But a challenging text without rigorous reading behaviors is not appropriate. Rigor is not a commentary on the texts I choose ("Oh, that is a RIGOROUS text!") as much as it is a commentary about the engagement and depth of thought of the students with the text we read.

It is important to add: this does not mean I expose my students exclusively to simple texts, either. Texts need to be challenging. But there is a definite place for using lower level texts as we hone our close reading skills, then moving to more complex. The idea that only high level texts should be used in my classroom is not seeing the big picture. High level thinking skills should be the expectation, scaffolded using appropriate texts of a variety of levels. Rigor is a human quality. Teachers generally have a keen eye for that "just right" text to use. Trust that instinct. But simulataneously have an awareness of text complexity. 

I have loved to use the book Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli with my classes. The social issues we are able to discuss as they enter jr. high have been meaningful. But, I am aware that it is a lower lexile level. I have a professional decision to make. Use the book and make sure the interaction with the text is rigorous, or look for a more challenging book. I have chosen to find different avenues to discuss peer issues in jr. high, because I had to admit that there isn't a lot of 6th grade level comprehension neat on the bones of Stargirl. Yes, some, but I can expose my student to high level comprehension using a more complex text. I don't want to overwhelm my students with too high of a text, but I don't want to limit them with a 4th grade text, either. What a surprise, instructional choices are strategic! Rigor does not simply refer to text level, it refers to the whole package of instruction. So, trust your instinct, or, as I say in the jr high classroom, "trust but verify".

The Premier Post!

I have thought for awhile about keeping a blog.  This past school year was my first year with 1:1 Chromebooks in my classroom.  I wish I had a narrative of the strategies I tried, the apps we loved, the ideas we had as a class that we attempted. The ideas we didn't have time for.  Too many to recall in my "big picture, not detailed" type mind. It turns out, I should have just done it! While I can't change the past, I can start now.

So, who reads a new blog, anyway?  Probably just me for awhile. So I will post my favorite lessons from the year and my plans for next year.  Mostly so I won't forget them.  But maybe you will be inspired, too. Or post a comment to add to my ideas. That is what teaching is all about.  The kinship of teachers... collaborating!  Especially now that it is so easy to be connected!

I am Liz.  Mrs. Hoppe (rhymes with happy).  I teach 6th grade in Ventura county, California (on the coast between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, if you are not familiar)  We used to be self-contained, but last year, 6th grade joined the 7th and 8th grade block schedule.  This coming year, I will be teaching Language Arts on "A Days" and Social Studies on "B Days"--to the same three periods of students.  That works out pretty well!  I love the block schedule, and I love teaching the same students both days. It makes integration of ela and hss very smooth---which will be especially awesome with common core standards.

Well, that's me!  I adore being a teacher, and I love almost all parts of teaching:  planning, teaching, working with individuals, relating to staff members, decorating my room, integrating technology.  The only part I'm not a huge fan of?  Grading papers.  And the last day of school.  Not a big fan of goodbyes.  But it is the best way to get to summer, isn't it?

Here's to a working summer (with some family time mixed in)! Welcome to The Hoppe Teacher Blog!