Don’t be intimidated by Google Sheets. Use these simple sheets to organize your classroom. You’ll be ready for back to school in no time.
Even if you aren’t great at being organized with paper, you can get be organized digitally. Instead of searching through piles, just open up your Drive. Sometimes you may want to print a Google Sheet out, and input it later. That works too.
Take a look at these ideas for getting your classroom forms organized with Google. This will make back to school much easier!
Master List of Names
Have a simple form with just names. This will be easy to click on when you want to copy/paste names onto a new form.
Why spend time looking around for info you need? With Google Sheets you know where the basic info is. I used to write it in my plan book and then still look it up on the computer. I don’t know why. Now, I can copy / paste (when I’m lucky) the info into a sheet and it is always there for me. You can decided what you need early on and add columns as you think of more info you refer back to later.
Whether it is homework, or the beginning of the year paperwork, I find myself using a ot of checklists. Sometimes, I just print one and toss it when everything is taken care of. Sometimes, I need to remember the info for the year. For example, I like to remember who turned in permission to have their photo taken for the school’s social media or newspaper stories. Another time I want to use the checklists is when I have a skill, like multiplication, where I need to check off who has passed. This is helpful when I just need to keep track of mastery.
I’m a bit obsessive about making sure my field trip info is organized and triple checked, so this helps with that.
With checklists, you can just click and it will check it off. You can also have it put a total at the bottom to help you keep track.
Keeping track of when you communicate with families can be helpful. You may need to pull up the information during parent teacher conferences. You might also want to print a copy to attach to bring to an IEP or a 504 meeting. I like using a drop down menu for this. If the contact is an email, you can even copy paste the content into the form. This can save you the time of looking for the email. Even better, if your principal receives a concern, you can share this document.
In a simple world, our students would use the same login and password for all the sites we use. Somehow, that doesn’t always work out. I like to have a sheet that will keep track of all the websites we are using and what we use for passwords. Usually, I can keep track of it overall for the class because it is some sort of pattern. Maybe it is their student idea number or their name plus xyz. If I can write down the pattern, I do. If it is more complicated, I keep track of each student’s information on a tab on the spreadsheet.
Sometimes, the logins and passwords are generated by someone other than you and they are something that all kids could figure out for each other. In some situations, the passwords were generated in a time when they were little. I know that these situations make it difficult to teach students about online safety. How do we teach kids to keep passwords safe and private, when they’ve been shouted across the room in the past? Just do the best we can. Help them understand that teachers and parents are the kinds of people you trust with our passwords, but we don’t share it with others. Even adults who tell their best friends everything, don’t share our passwords.
Student Solutions and Interventions
More and more, we are being asked to keep track of interventions. Document. Document. Document. Keeping a simple sheet about what you are concerned about and what you are doing to help, can be very useful. The beauty of Google Sheets is that you can share it with your administrators and the SpEd team so that everyone knows what is happening. Consider using initials for privacy.
My team meets weekly to discuss ‘Student Solutions’. Here are some pieces of information we track.
Grade Sheets and Data Tracking
I think the perfect digital grading system is a unicorn. Districts have systems that rarely connect to the report card. Sometimes what you have has too much or too little info.
The beauty of using Google Sheets is that you can make it say what you want it to say and look how you want it to look. You can also copy information back and forth between your form and other places. I love that so many websites will let you export info in a sheet.
I used to keep every bit of info in a grading book and then decide later which data would be important when I came to report cards. I like to do the same thing now, just digitally. Here are some simple examples.
Do you like to make your own pacing guide for the year? I like to keep adjusting it as I go and add columns for other bits of information.
I also like to plan out some things generally by the month.
I always make a digital version of my schedule to hang up somewhere. Does your school have a different schedule for short days? I have alarms for recess and such go off on my phone, but I also like to have a printed copy to look at.
Want someone else to make these sheets for you?
I made these and a few more for you. The screenshots in this blog post are from this resource. I call them Simple Sheets. I like to have them visually appealing and useful. I call them simple because they do simple things like change color based on a number or calculate an average. The sheets aren’t going to interact with each other and create a fancy report card for you.
If you saw sheets in this blog post you wish someone would make for you, well, then you are in luck.
Want to read about how to make your own Google Sheets?
Check out this blog post with tips and tricks.