My Crush on Google Forms

No matter who you are, who you teach, what you teach, and what type of school demographic you teach, teachers always have to account for student behavior and classroom management. Likewise, you might be the most engaging teacher, have the most awesome lessons, and/or have a lot of students who adore your every sneeze, but we can all benefit from keeping track of student progress. Enter my crush on Google forms/docs/drive this semester for two reasons.

After-School Help
Nothing complicated. When students show up after school for math support (voluntarily or involuntarily), I have a quick way to keep track of who showed up and how long they stayed. The "miscellaneous notes" section is helpful for tracking students' skills or questions they might have, etc.
This can also be helpful when working with parents if you have an action plan for their child to receive additional support outside of class time. The last thing I want to do is create more work with these forms. When students show up, I have them write their name on the board and the time they depart so I can quickly enter their work time. This is a short and sweet form. Let's move on. 

Behavior Log
The purpose of the form is to log any interaction I have with a student as a result of being off-task, misbehaving, or anything else that disrupts the learning process. The purpose of this Google form is not to curb bad behavior. However, I will say it can be effective to fill out the form together with the student. Tread lightly: don't make a show of it in front of their classmates or project it up on the screen for all to see.

This is not an exhaustive list of classroom (mis)behaviors. However, think how easy and efficient it is to check common behaviors. When filling this out with the student, it helps to have them identify what behavior disrupted the learning process. The "other" option takes care of anything you can't foresee your students doing. Always nice to have.
Action Taken:
My school expects teachers to handle as much classroom management issues as possible by having us layout a progressive discipline procedure with our students. As you can see, my list under "Action(s) Taken" seems pretty progressive, or at least I think so. For me, the most meaningful and effective action is the "Student-teacher conference." Whatever your fancy is, create a list of actions you usually find yourself doing and make them checkboxes. Don't forget the "other" section.

If this happens again...
I have a really porous memory so this section is a lifesaver. You're telling the future you what to do if a student repeats their behavior. I can't tell you how many times I just open the Google responses for my log, press Command-F (for find), type the student's name, and BAM! I have what they previously did and what we agreed on as the next step in progressive discipline.

Additional Notes
I sometimes use this to make a note about the student responding well to a warning, the details of a student-teacher conference, or the actual incident itself. It's there for what you need it for.

Final thought:
Create a shortcut in your browser for these Google forms. If you're out in the wild with an iPad, create a shortcut there too.

Don't get me wrong people, I'm not bragging about student discipline with this post. I believe that most student misbehavior can be prevented by providing students meaningful/engaging learning experiences, classroom boundaries, and routines. Mix this with a lot of preventative-maintenance teacher moves and students typically stay on task and out of trouble.  But we can do more than that.

Our school has also required every teacher to include a Positive Behavior Incentive System (PBIS) in their classroom. Students earn some type of token for positive contributions to the learning environment and can cash them in for prizes that range from candy, to sitting in the computer chair, to a bag of chips, to an Expo marker, to picking something from the mystery box.

Students used to earn stickers in my class for positive behavior, where they could cash in the stickers for prizes. It was a hassle for all of us. Recently, a colleague went to a conference and shared a PBIS idea I've found to be pretty effective. I hand out small "Thank You" notes printed on scratch paper. Students save them and can cash them in. So far, so good.

My goal of this post was to encourage you to look into Google forms for efficiently keeping track of student interactions. If you have others, please share.