I wanted to share something that we are piloting at grade 4 in our school: online math logs.
Four nights per week, students are expected to complete a two minute timed math fact practice sheet. These sheets must be returned to school. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and the school district is looking to keep students (and parents) accountable for learning basic facts.
However, this is a lot of paper, and how will teachers manage these accumulating piles? How will they collect the data from these sheets? And who has the time to analyze all of this?
The proposed solution: using Forms in Google Docs. Here is a sample of an online math log. Feel free to take it!
Below is a partial screen shot of what results would like from this log. It is housed in an online spreadsheet.
- Students seem to be a lot more interested in doing the math sheet online versus the traditional paper method. There is something also very powerful and real world about a submit button!
- Parents like that students are using computer skills, and there is no paper being sent back and forth to school.
- Each student submission is time stamped in a spreadsheet for the classroom teacher documenting accountability.
- A simple sort in the spreadsheet allows a teacher to see the number of submissions and answers for any student over the course of the week. A teacher easily can see the progress a student is making with the number of facts completed.
- Also, the data at a glance can identify with which facts a student needs correction, and the teacher can on Day Two of the log week quickly meet with the student to give him/her a post-it of facts that the student should focus on in study.
- More math logs are created simply by making a copy of the Google Docs and then plugging in new math facts.
- The teacher takes the quiz first, typing in “” for the student’s first name and “Key” for the Last Initial fields. This Answer Key makes it easy for comparison to student results as they are filtered.
- A tool called Flubaroo may be used right in the Google Doc to grade the results to give the teacher more information about how the whole class and individuals are doing.
- Data is secure since only collaborators (teachers) have permission to view the results.
- Data can be downloaded to a teacher’s computer as an Excel spreadsheet for archiving purposes.
- Old data can be cleared from the online Google Doc, so it may be reused year to year.
- Google Docs is free.
- There is no built-in timer. The student has to use the same timing method that s/he would have used for the paper sheet.
- Students need to remember not to use the Enter/Return key to go from problem to problem.
- All students may not have computer/Internet access at home, and a paper copy may need to go home instead.
More grade 4 classrooms will be using the online method this month. Every week a new online math log will be available for students from a teacher’s web page and/or a central math curriculum web page.
Your feedback is welcome!