Three Quick Ways to Use Google Forms in Language Arts Class

Google forms for high school English

Looking for quick ways to use Google Forms in language arts classes? I use this tool frequently in my room.

Google Forms in English classes

Google Forms help me to gather data and to share information with students. Since they connect easily to my students’ emails, I can easily create a Form, send it to students, and see results.

Plus, I can reuse a form from year to year, so once I make one, I have a tool for using many times.

Many teachers have their own ways to use Google Forms in language arts classes, and often times, they use Forms for assessments like quizzes and exit tickets. Forms work well for pretests, classroom library sharing, and student choice.

One: Pretests

Honestly, I hate reteaching material to bored students. If students understand a concept, I would rather cover new material. On the other hand, if students have a small misconception, I would rather tweak that misconception and move on.

But, if students are honestly confused about a concept, I should know. I also want students to understand the domain-specific vocabulary I use too.

Here are common pretests I use to gain an understanding of where to start the school year or start a new concept:

Literary Devices and Genres. I want students to understand our conversations concerning literature, and I also know that students use varying terms, especially if they are new to my school district. For instance, some teachers stress that “theme” can never be one word while other teachers don’t teach “theme” that way.

After seeing where students are in their understanding of terms, I can share domain-specific vocabulary for our classroom with them.

Grammar. Language standards are tough. Students also don’t always love grammar, so I approach these lessons with an encouraging spirit. I start with basic terms (like the parts of speech), and I move to more complex pieces.

Plus, since students might have a negative view of grammar, lessons are better when they see growth. The pretest is a helpful piece to remind students of their growth.

Writing. When students stumble to communicate in their writing, grammar errors are often to blame. The tricky part is that

So when I look at ways to use Google Forms in language arts, sure I use them for assessment purposes. I also use them to gain understanding of where I should focus for

Two: Classroom Library

One of my goals is to get my classroom library books into the hands of students. I think my shelves look beautiful, but the books serve no real purpose if students don’t handle them, explore them.

When I organize my classroom library, I make a Google Form for each genre with titles underneath. After I share the Google Form, students can choose a book or several books to try out. If I don’t hand them the books the day they complete the form, I pull them for students.

Finally, I leave an “open-ended” option for students to explain what they might like—they like mysteries or dramas shows, but they are not sure what type of book to get. They explain what shows or movies they watch, and I take it from there with suggestions.

Three: Student Choice

When I can, I provide student choice. For instance, I might provide choice concerning due dates which allows me flexibility concerning other classes.  I don’t always know when other tests and papers are due for other classes, and I’m happy to scoot a due date by one or two days to help out students.

I also consider student feedback as I plan short stories. After I plan what standards I’ll be working on with students, I add short stories and a brief synopsis to a Google Form. Students give feedback on what interests them. When I introduce a short story, I am sure to emphasize that their choices are reflective in their learning.

Google Form Tips

I have made plenty of mistakes concerning Google Forms in my ELA classroom. So! Do not make the same mistakes that I did.

For one, decide in advance if you would like to collect the students’ email addresses or not. If I am asking for feedback, like “do you understand ___ concept,” I tell students it is anonymous. I might just be trying to get an overview of the class and their understanding. For such a case, I don’t need to know individual responses.

Second, be sure to clear out old responses and emails before reusing a form. You might end up with skewed data from previous classes.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with the background and images. The art palette in the right corner of a Google Form will allow you to change colors or add images.

Google Forms are easy to use, and after you experiment with them, you’ll find many ways to implement in your ELA class.

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