Using Google Forms as a Reading Log Alternative

So, this school year happened, hasn't it?

Switching grade levels has really put a hold on any blogging I've done, but I have this awesome idea to share with you all that I'm making time to blog!

A couple of factors have changed since moving up to fourth grade... obviously my students have a completely different set of needs than my second graders did.  Learning to readjust my thinking and make things more relevant and engaging for my students has become a focus for me.

My school is now incorporating the Pizza Hut Book-It Program this year.  This program allows classroom teachers to set goals for students in reading and provides a coupon for a free personal pizza upon completion of their goal.  I sat around thinking about my students, how I would want to hold them accountable for their reading... and I thought about reading logs, and how boring and tedious they could be...

Then I thought... How could I have this where students could respond online?  Technology is becoming such a vital aspect in our classrooms... (yes, I'm doing a think aloud!)

A Google Form... I've never, ever made one.  But I did...and it's super easy.  One of our awesome Virginia Teacher Bloggers did a post on how to create one here!

Once I had my form created, I followed the steps outlined in the pictures below to create my form.  You have options to change colors, and add photos and videos to your form as well.  Play around with it!  You'll be surprised at what you can do!
alternative reading logs, google forms
When the form opens, change the multiple choice option to a short answer or paragraph response, depending on your preferences.  Click on "Untitled Form" to give your form a name.
alternative reading logs, google forms
Add as many options and required responses as you like!  Click on the + to add more questions.  I chose to add several short response so students could respond with the title of the book, the number of pages they read, and a short summary.  I plan to change the options as the year goes on.  To have a response "required", just toggle the switch to purple next to the required button at the bottom.
alternative reading logs, google forms
Your form automatically saves in your Google Drive.  To view the students' responses, you open your form and click on the tab that says "Responses."  You are able to download to Excel and other options.  Once I've recorded them on my checklist, I delete them so that I'm not scrolling through 500 responses to see what's new.
alternative reading logs, google forms
Once I had my form, I copied the link and when to the Google URL Shortener and shorted the URL so that my students didn't have as much to type.  I also added the link to my class's website for easy access.

My students have really enjoyed having this option to record their reading.  Students are also given the option to do this at home, in the morning as part of morning work, or to complete paper pencil.  It's interesting seeing how this has come together.  I hope you'll be able to incorporate this into your classroom!

Need more information on what you can do with Google Forms?  Check out this post about Google Forms and Quizzes from earlier in the year!

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