From Out There Somewhere

A list of posts that had me thinking…

3 Step Conversation Starter For Dynamic Teams

Lessons In Leadership To Last A Lifetime

Movement and Breathing Breaks Help Students Stay Focused On Learning – within article is link to the Edutopia Video Series – How Learning Happens

How To Run Successful Lunch and Learn Events – how could I use this in a school setting with staff (pdf version of article)

12 Leadership Fundamentals

Ten Picture Book Biographies You Can’t Experience In A Textbook

4 Ideas To Help Improve Teacher Well-Being

10 Talent Tips From Google HR

The Fundamental’s of Tomorrow’s Leadership, The Basics With A Twist

Don’t Hesitate To Do These 8 Hard Things For Your Mental Health

Flipped Classroom 101: Challenges, Benefits and Design Tips

The Hyperdocs Toolbox: 14 Engaging Example Activities

Top 10 Books Middle Schoolers Love (as decided by Middle Schoolers)

From Out There Somewhere

A few different articles I wanted to make note of from the past week:

In High School, The Kids Are Not Alright – 5 strategies to support students mental well-being – can be used at other grade levels

Using The Single-Point Rubric For Better Assessment Conversations – example of single point rubric included

Social Design For Modern Leaders – from the post “Social design is the design of relationships; the creation of new social conditions intended to increase agency, creativity, equity, social justice, resilience, and connection to nature.”

7 Boring Things Successful Leaders To That Failing Leaders Neglect

The following 3 articles I noted in a GETCA conference session I recently attended called “Motivation Leads To Innovation – The Audacity to Get Up” by Michael Bonner (@michaelbonner_) – lots of great info, frameworks to think about and energy in this one; these were just a couple of the articles:

  1. Why Teachers Must Fight Their Own Implicit Biases
  2. When Teachers Punish Black Kids More Severly Than White Kids
  3. How To Check Your Unconscious Biases

Digital Minimalism For Parents – some of my favourite books are from this author – check out Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success In a Distracted World and So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion In The Quest for Work You Love

3 Simple Rituals That Will Make You A Fantastic Parent – also good for educators to think about these – based on the work by Ross Greene who wrote The Explosive Child

From Out There Somewhere

A few more links I wanted to keep note of this week.

Understanding A Teacher’s Long-Term Impact

University of Alberta – Indigenous Canada MOOC

School Culture Is More Than Fragmented Strategies – It’s Four Cohesive Elements – like the framework graphic

Using Tangible Products To Reinforce (PLC) Processes – links to some templates/examples included – student intervention groupings was a good framework I may need to explore more

Planning For Inclusion – a grade 4/5 example of a cross-curricular unit – the brief unit overview shows the cross-curricular content and there is another graphic called the All, Most, Few triangle to help plan for inclusion of all students

From Out There Somewhere

A few posts that I enjoyed and wanted to keep note of for future reference.

What Project-Based Learning Looks Like In An Elementary Classroom – 6 different examples

How To Help Teenage Girls Reframe Anxiety and Strengthen Resilience

4 Things High Performers Do That Others Neglect

Helping Primary Students To Track Their Own Progress To Mastery – includes a template example

Tidy Home, Happy Life: 6 Life-Changing Tips from Marie Kondo – some good tips to transfer to my office organization as well

Ask Yourself, Why Am I Grading This? – includes a simple flow chart graphic to help think about the purpose of student work

One Story, Many Endings: A Fun, Creative Google Slides Activity – good for language arts but could be used in other subject areas; template and design strategy included

Creating Google Docs from Information Collected On a Google Form

I like using Google Forms to collect data; however, there are times when I want to create an end product of this data into a google doc. I have used google forms for things such as:

  • School Based Team Referrals
  • Classroom Walk Through Notes
  • Teacher Intent Forms

I was asked by a few colleagues in my First Year Principals Group how I did this so I thought I would share the steps here. I will do my best to show the steps I followed.

Step 1: Create A Google Form

Here is an shortened version of a teacher intent form as an example: Teacher Intent Form.

Step 2: In the responses section of the form click on Google Sheets Icon to create a spreadsheet for responses.

Step 3: Create a google doc template. To indicate the the fields you want to link to the google sheets of responses you have to write a descriptor for the column title in the format <<descriptor>> (ie. <<Name>>) . In a later step you will link this descriptor to the specific column. I choose to use one or two words to represent the question I asked on the form and the column header on the google sheet.

Here is an example template. This can be formatted however you like, you could insert a table and have data from the google form fill in the table. The <<descriptor>> fields can be on the same line, same box in a table, etc. At the end of the process and before the form is sent out I do a test and see how the fields look with test data from the form and make any edit/spacing adjustments.

Step 4: Create a folder in your google drive where you would like the Teacher Intent forms to be located after they are created.

Step 5: Open the google sheet that is linked to your google form. Under the add-ons menu select autocrat. If you do not have autocrat, go to get add-ons, search autocrat and add it.

Autocrat will take you through some steps to setup the “merge” job to take the data from your google sheet and create a google doc using your template. Once you open autocrat click New Job and give the job a title.

Next, for the template, choose select from drive and choose your template you created.

Next you will be asked to link your descriptors in your template to the columns from your google sheet. When you select the “maps to column” menu on the right and choose the appropriate column you want mapped to the descriptor you have used in your template. The top right of the screen will tell you how many unmapped <<descriptors>> or tags you have left to assign.

You will then be asked to name your file. If you name the file and then add the <<Name>> tag when the google doc is created it will automatically create the file name and it will include the name of the person who completed the form.

I use the Multiple Output Mode and it will create an individual google doc for each form submitted.

Using the choose folder button, select the google drive folder you would like the docs that you are creating to be stored. If there is more than one folder listed, delete all the folders except for the one you want to use for the destination.

I just click next for the next three steps.

For the next step, I select on Yes for the Run on Form Trigger option. This will have a document created every time someone completes the form and I don’t have to worry about running the autocrat once it is setup . When you click yes (it is defaulted to no), it will ask you to confirm, just click yes.

Finally, click save and you will get to this screen showing the completed autocrat job.

After this is complete, I go back to my google form and click the preview button and complete a test of the form. This will give me some data and let the autocrat job run and you can see what google doc that is created looks like and if it saves in the correct folder with the naming format you have chosen. If you want to make edits you can go back to the autocrat menu (or if the screen above is still open in the google sheets tab you can click on the pencil icon to edit) and go through the steps again and make the necessary changes, save and try again. When I first started using autocrat, my main challenges were getting the google doc to save in the correct folder and formatting on the google doc that was created.

After doing a test, the spreadsheet had the following data:

And the google drive folder I created now had one Intent Form

The Jordan Zenn “test” intent form look like this: Teacher Intent – Jordan Zenn

Once you are happy with how it looks you are ready to share the link to the google form with the people you would like to complete it.

Before sharing the form I would clear out the rows of data on the google sheet that I have my test data and I also clear the test responses on my google form by going to the responses form, clicking on the 3 button menu icon and select delete all responses. I also delete the test teacher intent forms created in my google drive folder.

The form, template creating and autocrat setup can take a bit of time to setup but once done it has been a time saver in the long term. Once all this is done I then share the link to the form I would like submitted.

From Out There Somewhere

A few articles and a couple of videos that had me thinking this week….

4 Tips for Becoming More Observant in a World Full of Noise

The World’s Watersheds, Mapped In Gorgeous Details

What Are ACEs? And How Do They Relate To Toxic Stress – great info graphic included

Kent Peterson: “Where Principals Spend Their Time Is One of the Largest Single Investments In Any School”

6 Ways To (Mentally) Leave Work At Work

This Is The Most Powerful Way To Make Your Life Fantastic – authour Cal Newport conversation

From Out There Somewhere

A bit of a mix of articles in this list…

Reclaiming Your Time As a School Leader – some good suggestions to help set priorities and organize my calendar

Podcasting Can Work in Any Subject – has 20 different podcast ideas

The Best Sites for Learning about the World’s Different Cultures

4 Thoughts To Help You Move Past Harsh Self-Criticism

5 Tips To Increase Your Productivity At Work

8 Ways to Play Kind Games, Not Mind Games

Book Recommendations: Young Adult Books That Deal With Grief

How To Configure Your iPhone To Work For You; Not Against You – have read this article previously but have come back to it again

Benefits of Daily Diary and Topic Journals

From Out There Somewhere

A few more links that I found interesting wanted to note for myself.

Using Unit Overview Sheets to Help Every Student See Progress

Pay Attention to the Fundamentals of Professional Learning

Active Learning Plus Collection of Instructional Strategies (links to all in post)

4 Things You Need To Know If You Want to Be Successful

Love For Imperfect Things

Implicit Bias Is Real (And Sneaky). Here’s Proof

11 Provocations You Can Use As Class Starters (I like the sound off videos and hexagonal thinking strategies suggestions)

From Out There Somewhere

A few blog posts I found interesting in the last little while:

It’s Not About Me

Culturally Responsive Teaching in Today’s Classroom

Retrieval Practice: The Most Powerful Learning Strategy You’re Not Using

6 Ed Tech Tools To Try in 2019

It’s Never “It Is What It Is” When It Comes To Kids

The Grief of Accepting New Ideas

The Multigenerational Workplace: Your Definitive Guide

How to Stand Out At Your First Job, The Introvert Way

This Is How To Have A Long Awesome Life: 7 Secrets from Research

How To Do Great Things

If you could have mastery in one area, it would be…?

A revised teaching quality standard  (TQS) will be in place in Alberta in September 2019. The 6 areas in the standard, with a brief description, are:

  1. Fostering Effective Relationships
    1. builds positive and productive relationships
  2. Engaging in Career Long Learning
    1. professional learning and critical reflection
  3. Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge
    1. planning, instructional strategies, assessment
  4. Establish Inclusive Learning Environments
    1. promotes and sustains inclusivity
  5. Applying Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Metis, and Inuit
    1. develops and applies foundational knowledge
  6. Adhering to Legal Frameworks and Policies
    1. understands and follows frameworks and policies

At my last school visit with my Assistant Superintendent we were discussing our school plan and instructional leadership and then he posed the following question:

If you were given the gift of mastery of one thing from TQS for all teachers that would make the biggest impact for students, what would this be?

In the grey, “it depends” world of education this can be a tough question. I went to the TQS and read through the areas and descriptors for each and then narrowed it down to two from the Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge section:

  • Instructional Strategies
    • engaging ALL learners
    • differentiation
  • Assessment
    • formative and summative
    • timely feedback

This is where I get stuck on which one I would choose. At the moment I lean towards Assessment as I am thinking about common grade learning outcomes and RTI strategies and frameworks. Yesterday, it was instructional strategies as I was thinking about differentiation for literacy and numeracy. Tomorrow, not sure which one it will be.

If you were posed the same question, how would you respond?