Writing Report Comments using Google Forms

Welcome to a brief blog post about how I am trialling using Google Forms to write report comments throughout the year.

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As we all know report writing is a laborious task, and yes it gets easier as you get to know your students and the way in which your school works. However it is still time consuming and particularly as a PE teacher can involved a vast number of different students and different activities.

So this year, I have decided to try using a Google Form in a similar way to a report bank to quickly and easily add comments about my students throughout the term.

While this process takes time invested to set up, the process of writing reports has become so much more enjoyable … and without the painful writer’s block that often comes when you sit down to write a class set of reports.

If you are interested in what I have done using Google Forms take a look at this short screencast. It will explain it in a step by step fashion.

And as always if you are a step ahead and are already doing this or something even better to make report writing more efficient please get in touch via Twitter @MBowePE or sign up for Voxer and collaborate with lots of passionate PE teachers to share ideas.

Sign up for Twitter here

Sign up for Voxer here 

Have a great weekend.

Flipped Learning 2.0 – Creating the right environment for learning

So by now flipping your classroom is not a new thing. While a few years ago you might have thought this ‘buzzword’ was a type of feng shui to spruce up your classroom, it is now a popular teaching strategy to make the most of the contact time a teacher has with their students.

Last year I adopted this idea with my GCSE PE class. With the help of many I have interacted with on Twitter, I developed learning mats inspired by Tom Brush at http://tombrush1982.blogspot.co.uk and used the excellent videos and podcasts from James Simms at http://www.mypeexam.org and Kingsway School.

Without drifting too much off topic I am a HUGE fan of independent learning, and tend to favour being a facilitator in lessons rather than simple delivering information to students to write down or absorb. Basically I love discovery learning and teach this way whenever possible (and safe!)

While some may pass my lessons and see me doing precious little in the way of conventional teaching (an observer may easily judge me as a lazy teacher from the outside) I put in a lot of time BEFORE the lesson to create the right environment for everyone to make progress.
I find this approach makes me a better teacher, and so far my students more successful learners.

Some examples of my current preparation and planning …

  • I create work cards/resources with instructions/questions to prompt independent learning for improved performance and coaching analysis.

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  • I have routines and structure; starting with a warm up to music and ending with a discussion using ‘What, Why and How?’ prompts (thanks to Joey Feith for this idea).
    I truly believe they help me as much as my students.

Click here for an example of my Lesson Routine PE

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  • I research, plan and deliver different pedagogical ideas (even if they FAIL miserably!).
    It excites me when preparing and hopefully has the same effect on those who I teach it to.

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  • My lessons aims are clear and visible. I set a start point or pose a question to give learners a sense of direction or a target to work towards so that we can all measure our success.

LESSON AIMS AT THE START: PROMPT

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LESSON AIMS AT THE END: REVIEW

 

 

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How do you teach?

And what would your top tips for me and other young teachers looking to improve and develop their teaching be?

As always get in touch and share your thoughts here or on Twitter @MBowePE

Using Google Drive to maximise my creativity

After a restful and relaxing summer holidays I have returned to school with a new target.

Use Google Drive 

How? To plan, create and use for the preparation and delivery of my lessons.

I have been a fan of Google Chrome for a long time now, however the more Google products I use, the more they compliment the way in which I like to work.

Creating and editing resources (documents, slideshows, spreadsheets) seems so hassle free.

I can make changes which are automatically saved and log on to any computer in the school, at home or via my iPad or iPhone to access my resources.

So without spending too much time gushing about the ways in which Google is beginning to enable me to make my ideas come to life (easily!),

I thought I would summarise it in a very simple (scratching the surface) list.

  • Its allows me to have less stuff that clutters my desk and my mind.
  • I store the resources online and print them out, or access them via a screen needed.
  • I can access my documents/resources from any computer in the school or at home.
  • I can also access them on my iPhone or iPad.
  • Google drive is easy to search. You can look for a document you made or one a friend made.
  • Google sheets are like excel but less infuriating. Check out how I use them here 
  • Google forms allow you to make quizzes and surveys easily to collect information or feedback

 

To summarise, I think that Google is allowing me to work smarter. I can be creative, collaborate and learn from others while at the same time enjoy a sense of work/life balance that I haven’t felt in a while. Yes I realise it is the beginning of term. But seriously try Google Drive, or Google Apps or Google Classroom … just try Google products – it might be worth your while.

How to use Google Forms to create scoresheets (this example is for a swimming gala)

 

 

P.S.
I would like to add that having a Google Mail account and using Google Calendar has also aided my enjoyment of using Google Drive. Everything works/syncs and it just works.

P.P.S.
I also love that Google owns YouTube so I can save playlists of videos for different lessons.

 

If you liked this post check out @mrrobbo recent podcast on Google Apps Episode 38 here