Shrewsbury EdTech

Tech resources for Shrewsbury Public School educators

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Emoji Exit Slips

There are many different ways to elicit feedback from students to assess their current understanding of a topic or concept. We have Schoology and Socrative quizzes, Google forms, and more. Sometimes though, a quick check in is all that you need. Rather than worrying about a grade, you just a general sense of how students feel about your lesson.

We shared this post on Plickers, which let you quickly poll your students using cards with QR codes on them. Now, thanks to the wonders of Pinterest, Elin Dolen and her 7 Green teammates have a new idea to share with you…emojis 🤔 😳 😀 😬

This may not be very high tech, but middle school kids LOVE their emojis, so I’m sure they would love this idea! Below is a screen shot of the exit ticket Elin used to get a quick sense of how students felt after learning about natural selection. She had them choose an emoji and give an explanation for why they chose that particular emoji.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 2.00.13 PM

Below is a variation I created using a Google form. Even though you cannot technically add photos to the multiple choice options, I highlighted the emojis and copied them into the boxes…and it worked! I just chose four random emojis, but you could offer more options.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 2.09.51 PM

What do you think? Would you use this idea in your classroom? If so, we’d love to hear how it goes!



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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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Looking for an easy way to collect digital work?

Many teachers have been flirting with some form of digital work in their classrooms.  This opens up creative possibilities – instead of a traditional report, some kids may create a Glogster poster, others a Museum Box, perhaps a screen cast… the possibilities are virtually endless (pun intended)!

As great as this is, it also can open up a book keeping nightmare — no more simple dropping of an assignment in a box — they can be anywhere on the web.  One kid tells you it’s posted on his wiki, another has hers in a dropbox… pretty soon you have no idea where half the items are, let alone a logical way to sit down and grade them while maintaining your sanity.

Enter the Assessment Collector.  (Thanks to Kern Kelly over at The Tech Curve – see his explanation for this handy creation here: 

This is a handy little Google Form.  When a student goes to this link, here’s what they see:

A simple form, where they enter their name, choose their period, and select the particular item they are turning in.

Once they do this, they copy and paste the link to whatever they have created.  Anything published on the web – or shared in a Google Drive – anything with a web address, can be turned in this way.

You adapt it as needed – add and remove new assignments when you need to (I allow students to submit work “for review” or “for a grade” depending on where we are in the process), so you can close a window when a deadline passes, and open a new one when needed.

How does it look on the teacher’s end?  Well, it has a few simple features.  It operates through a Google Form, as I noted, so it’s a tabbed spreadsheet when you look at it from the teacher’s end.

When you open it, here’s the first tab:

As you can see, it has basic directions right here.

Once on this page, you simply click Form -> edit form to change the items.

The form is brief and to the point.

Edit assignment options to change that pull down menu, and the period options to match your sections.

The next tab is the really helpful one – this is the Filter.

The two yellow boxes up top are pull-down menus – as students fill out the form, you can use this page to select a particular class group, and a particular assignment, so that you only see the group you wish to grade.

You then just click the link, open it in a new window, and score the assessment.

The ‘entry’ tab is where all the student responses go — this is what the filter is looking at.  As each student submits information, it appears here.  I sort this sheet by period or last name before I start grading, so that I can record my student scores alphabetically once I view them through the filter.

I also added a tab for ‘finished’ – once I grade some papers, I go to the “Entry” tab, and cut the ones I’ve graded, then paste them into the finished tab.  I then delete the empty rows from the Entry sheet.  Why? This accomplishes two things:
1.  When I go back to the filter, I only see the items I have left to grade.
2.  I have one tab with a record of everything each kid has submitted.  I can sort it by name, and see which students submit work for review, which ones get everything in on time, etc.

Interested in trying this out?  Go here to visit the form and then make a copy into your own Google Drive:

If you have any questions, or want to see a demo, let us know!

Per usual, you can revisit all of our tips at

Have an interesting tech idea you’d like us to promote?  Send us an email!

Until next time,


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Simplify your conference feedback with online forms

So, conference day is coming quickly – it’s now a week away… and many of us are doing student-led conferences. 

If you’re like my team, you want to know how it goes – what’s the parent perspective on the day, and what can you do better next time?  Also, you know there will be parents who will want to meet with just the teachers sometime in the near future.  The question is how to get information from the parents quickly and easily…

We used to have two stacks of papers – a survey and a conference request form.  Parents would fill them out as needed, turn them in to the appropriate box, and then we’d take a day to sort through the information during our preps.  Once we started using Google Docs, however, it seemed natural to eliminate the paper and switch to a digital format.  We began experimenting with the ‘create forms’ option in Google Docs, and found that it works quite well for our needs:

You can see our parent conference request form here:

And our student-led conference survey form is here:

So, on conference day, we take out a laptop cart and set up a bank of 5 or 6 laptops.  We launch the web browser on them, and load the conference survey page.  At each conference table, we have a basic set of instructions, which ends with a request to take a moment to fill out the survey.  At the bottom of the survey page is the link for the conference request form.

What are the benefits to using this system?
  1. No paper – we don’t need to rifle through a stack of forms, or keep track of where we put them.
  2. Results are instant – with Google Survey, we can check on results in real time – it gives handy pie charts and graphs that show the responses in real time.
  3. Shared access: Each teacher – and anyone else that needs the information – can have instant access to it.

So, how do you do it?

In Google Docs, just click Create–>Forms.  It’s a simple drag and drop process…  then you just save the form, click “go to live form” and you’re off to the races.  
But we can make it even easier:

If your team is interested, drop us a note and we can give you a copy of ours, and help you set it up.  Our preps are from 11:30 to 1 pm, and we can be available to help you at bus dismissal as well.  So let us know, and we can get you up and running in no time.

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Starting off the school year with Google Docs

The first week of school is always exciting as I attempt to learn the names of my 100+ middle school students while attempting to teach them our team’s expectations for the year. We make an effort to get to know every student and spend some time on team-building activities. In years past, each teacher also had students fill out a questionnaire in class. They were all similar so the students ended up writing the same responses four times. We would read them once then throw them in our desk where they stayed for the rest of the year. We rarely shared responses with each other.

This year, we combined our questionnaires into a single form using Google Docs. There were personal questions, academic questions, and even questions about their use of technology and social media. As soon as student were finished, we spent time together during our prep time reviewing their responses. Depending on the type of question, we could see graphic representations of the summary of their responses. For example, you can see above that Science is their overall favorite subject in school! You can view our student survey here and see the types of questions we asked. We received excellent data overall that will definitely shape our teaching this year! If you would like a copy of this form to modify and use in your classroom, email me and I’ll share the document with you.

I am also relying on Google Docs more this year to communicate and collaborate with my students. I created a “plan book” document where I will be writing summaries of my lessons. It also includes the benchmark for the day and the homework.

I have also created a shared folder in Google Docs I called “Science Docs”. This folder is “public on the web” so anyone can find it and view it. I provided the students the URL for this shared folder on my team’s website. Within this folder, I am creating subfolders for all of my different science units such as “Properties of Matter”. It is my goal to either create all documents within Google Docs itself or at least upload the files to share in these folders. This way, students will be able to view, download, and print all of my class handouts from this one location if they are out sick or lose the original copy.