Shrewsbury EdTech

Tech resources for Shrewsbury Public School educators

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Quiz Retakes with Google Forms and Flubaroo

There are always a few graded quizzes in each of my science units. I tell my students that quizzes serve two purposes, to let them know how well they are understanding the material and to let me know how well they are understanding the material. It should come as no surprise that students who earn 3’s and 4’s on quizzes tend to get 3’s and 4’s on the test. Students who earn 1’s and 2’s on quizzes, unfortunately, tend to do about the same on the unit test. I have always allowed and even encouraged students to retake a quiz, but most do not. In fact, the few quiz retakes I used to have were students who earned a 3 but wanted to bring it up to a 4.

With my new unit, I decided to change things up a bit in two major ways:

1. All students who earn below a 3 are expected to retake that quiz. It’s not mandatory, just expected. However, I’ve added it to my list of test retake requirements. Students will not be eligible to retake a test unless all quizzes have a grade of a 3 or higher BEFORE the test is taken. I’m hopeful that as students retake quizzes as needed, it forces them to address their misunderstandings throughout the unit. This is much better than waiting until the test to figure it all out, which many of them tend to do.

2. Quiz retakes are now online. Even with iPads, my graded quizzes are always on paper. Retakes were either the same exact quiz or a modified version of that quiz. Students had to come in a lunch or stay after school to retake the quiz. I’ve now created the quiz retakes using Google Forms. There are many benefits to this approach:

  • Students can take the quiz at any time, at home or at school.
  • I can add pictures to the quiz.
  • Quiz questions can be displayed randomly, so even if two students are next two each other, they will be answering questions in a different order.
  • Flubaroo is an “add-on” for Google Sheets. Not only can it automatically grade the quizzes for you, but you can set it up so students receive an email within a minute or so that tells them their grade, the questions they got right, and the questions they got wrong. You can also have the email tell students the correct answers for the ones they got wrong. I don’t use this feature though. Students can retake the online quiz as many times as necessary until they earn a score of 80% or higher.

The best part about these online quizzes is that they require very little work on my part. Once the quiz is published and shared, I wait for a few students to take the quiz before grading the assignment with Flubaroo. In order to do this, you need to take the quiz yourself, because It uses your responses as an answer key. You can then enable the “autograde” feature after that, then sit back and relax. Below is a screenshot of the “grades” spreadsheet that gets generated from the form. I’ve obviously blurred out student info, but you can see the total points/percent grade as as well the number of submissions needed to achieve that grade. One student took the quiz 14 times in order to get 100%!!


Here are two screenshots from the generated email that students receive. The first shows their grade, and the second shows what correct/incorrect responses look like. 

mixtures gradecorrect


Learn more about Flubaroo

Mixtures and Pure Substances quiz retake*

States of Matter quiz retake*

*The best way for you to see what the email looks like is to take one of the quizzes yourself!

Disclaimer: There is a small glitch with Flubaroo at the moment where the autograde feature stops working. You need to disable autograde, then re-enable it. It happened to one of my quizzes, but not the other. Flubaroo is aware of the problem and working hard to fix it.


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Science Review Games

I know this is not a “Tech Tip” exactly, but we have been playing some fun review games in class to prepare for the energy test. It’s been a fun two days so I wanted to share!

Vocabulary Games

Science has a lot of vocabulary for students to learn. One strategy I have long used to help them review these words is to print out vocabulary cards on card stock. Each card has one vocabulary word. I print out one set of cards for the eight groups in my class. My homeroom students help by cutting the cards out and placing them into a Ziploc bag. 
The main idea is for a student to give clues to the others at their table so they can guess the word. There are many different ways for them to set this up. Usually, one student gives clues while the other three try to guess. Sometimes, they will form two teams that compete against each other. 
I let students decide how to give clues. The three main options have always been Pictionary, Taboo, and charades. 
Pictionary – Student draws clues on a large whiteboard. They cannot write down any words, and they are not allowed to talk or use gestures. 
Taboo – Student gives verbal clues. They are not allowed to mention any word or part of a word written on the card. They are also not allowed to use gestures. 
Charades – Student can only use gestures as clues. I also let them use props. However, no speaking and no drawing. 
As students played these games in class yesterday, one group suggested another variation called “Catch Phrase”. It’s similar to Taboo, but there are two teams. As soon as one team correctly identifies one term, they quickly hand the cards off to the other team. It goes back and forth, and the goal is to get through as many of the vocabulary cards as they can in one minute. I thought this was a great idea and decided to take it one step further in my last class of the day. The last 10 minutes of class was a class Catch Phrase competition. The goal of the competition was to be the table that correctly identified all vocabulary cards in the shortest amount of time.  

Sports Challenge

Each year, as the NHL and NBA playoffs are kicking off, I have a sports challenge review game for the test on energy transformations. In a traditional review game (such as Jeopardy), students earn points for their team by answering questions correctly. That is not the case here!
There are eight teams with each team having four students. Each team was assigned an NHL hockey team currently in the playoffs. Students had to rotate at each table and take turns answering questions. I made a Google Presentation with many energy-related questions and asked students to stand up as soon as they knew the answer. If they got it wrong, I moved on to the next student. If they answered correctly, they could then try to earn points by doing a sports challenge! If they were successful in the challenge, points were awarded to their team. If they were not successful, they received no points. It’s also worth noting that if no students could answer the questions, I gave the teams a clean slate and allowed them to collaborate at their tables.

Here are the challenges: 

Hockey challenge: My desk makes a perfect hockey goal. Students had the option shoot against me as goalie, or they could play goalie and try to stop my shot. If they were successful, they earned 3 points. For the ball, I used a ball of paper wrapped in masking tape. 
Soccer challenge (new this year): This is exactly like the hockey challenge except they used their feet with the tape ball instead of hockey sticks. 
Basketball challenge: The goal is to throw the tape ball into a trash bin. There were a few different lines to shoot from. As the line distance increased from the basket, the points increased from 1-3 points. There was also a 5 point opportunity if they made a shot from behind my desk in the back of the room. The one rule here is their foot could not be past the tape. If so, I threw the flag (my yellow Terrible Towel) and the basket did not count. 
Juggling challenge: Students tried to juggle three balls as long as possible. If they juggled for 5 seconds, they earned 3 points. If they juggled for 10 seconds, it was worth 6 points. 
Here are some of today’s highlights: 
  • Until this year, I have only ever had two students make the 5 point basketball shot from behind my desk. Today, three students made it, and they were all in the same class!
  • One student made the most amazing 3 point basketball shot of all time. The ball bounced off the ceiling, bounced off the floor, and then landed right in the basket. I wish someone videotaped it. 
  • When I had two students stand up at the same time (and they both knew the correct answer), we had a “head to head” challenge in hockey, soccer, or juggling. 
  • The greatest moment came when two teams were tied for second place at the end of the game. I had each group choose one student to represent their team in a final timed challenge. They had to first score a hockey goal on me as goalie. They were allowed to shoot again and again until they scored. Once they did this, they had to quickly grab the ball and make a “2 point” basketball shot. If they missed, they had to retrieve the ball and keep shooting until they made it in. The first student completed it in 57 seconds. The second student took just over a minute. It was intense! 
Needless to say, this was a very fun and engaging review session. Students were motivated, competitive, and very spirited. Feel free to use any of these review ideas in your classroom. For what it’s worth, the four winning teams today: Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and LA Kings. Could these be the final four teams in the NHL semi-finals? We’ll see!