I love teaching middle school, especially 7th grade. The kids are goofy, energetic, and super squirrels (…squirrel!). They’re also pre-teens, and trying to fit into the limbo world where they’re not quite kids, but not quite teenagers. Many of my kids have faced challenging family situations that preoccupy their thoughts while in school.
Knowing things are sometimes distracting outside of class, whether it is friends, family, or both, I start my class with a warm-up. This is usually a silent individual activity that activates prior knowledge, or asks students to review what they learned last class.
In April 2015, I changed the way I did my warm-ups. And I had major positive results. Immediately.
I implemented the Daily Check-in Form. I still called it a warm-up, but the purpose expanded to ask students about their day.
Before we continue, please fill it out here.
Your warm-up questions are:
Who do you teach?
What made you interested in this blog post topic?
How do you currently start your class periods, meetings, or workshops?
Ok, now that you filled it out, let’s continue. (If you didn’t fill it out, go back and do so. It’s good for you to actually go through the experience, not just open up the link!)
When students arrive for class, they line up in 2 silent, straight, and smiling lines outside. I invite them in, and they walk in silently (we don’t do it right, it’s back outside to do it over), and begin their warm-up on their iPad. I have a set of Slides for each lesson, and the first Slide is always the warm-up questions.
I reuse the same Form everyday and for all classes. At the end of the week, I hide the previous week’s rows on Sheets.
|Three check-in questions with running averages.|
I know some of you are asking, why are you SO strict on coming in silently? Two reasons: First, it helps my students settle in and make the transition to class time. Second, it helps me setting in and make the transition to teaching. I use that time to take attendance, quickly check in with individual students, and skim their warm-up answers.
From this daily warm-up, I have learned many essential things about my students, from death of family members or arguments with friends, to excitement over weekend plans or their deep love of tacos. These are things my students may have been too shy to tell me, or I likely would not have taken the time to listen to their needs.
|Screenshot of the Sheet. I use conditional formatting
to make it easier to skim how students are feeling.
If there’s a concern, I’ll pull the student aside during class and chat privately about what they shared. If they rank their day as a 1, then I’ll make sure I make it over to their desk more frequently, offer a friendly smile, and start a conversation. (I don’t take them aside, unless they show additional signs of being upset or stressed in class.)
The day I first implemented this warm-up, I learned that my student’s uncle died the week prior. Over the next three weeks, she lost three more people close to her. Because she willingly shared this with me, I was able to support her emotionally in class, and refer her to our counselors for additional support. I am 100% positive this prevented serious behaviors in my class, because she had struggled all year with attitude and off-task behavior.
When I present at conferences and workshops, I often start my session with an identical Form–I ask about participants’ prior knowledge on the topic and goals for the session. I feel like this helps me connect to my participants in the limited time we have.
I’m grateful for this simple tool that has helped me build community in my classroom!
Love this idea? Here’s the Form template.
Have fun with the Form, make it work for you, and please share!
35 thoughts on “Daily Check-in With Google Forms”
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! What a positive way to get to know your students, to building positive relationships with them, and to make them feel safe and heard and seen every day. Thank you for all you do for students!
HI Mari, I love your ideas for integrating tech in the classroom. Please consider writing a blog post for my site it is for new teachers and ways to integrate technology. Check it out http://www.teacherpreptech.com/
I use Google forms for daily attendance, daily exit, to replace simple q&a type worksheets, and for quizzes. I also use it for a daily writing exercise. Prompts are kept on seperate sheet and typed into the form. Ive also used forms for a reading log/report. Anything that needs to be done regularly where the setup will not change often.
I use Google Forms and Sheets a lot in my classroom and knew that I could hide columns. Somehow it never occured to me that I could hide rows! We do a quick reading log when we read and it takes forever for me to scroll through previous entries to get to current responses. Problem fixed and mind blown. Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to check in with my students.
How do you use the running average? Is it an average for all of time (when using the form before you reset the data)? Do you find that you get lost in the data over the course of a week? My school has 9 periods throughout the day, of which I will co-teach 2 in another class and have 5 of my own. At the end of the day, that’s quite a bit of student data.
I love this idea and am going to try to implement something similar in place of my check-in/check-out!
Yes, it’s an average of all-time. I like making sure that our averages stay in at least the 3s. If not, I know I have a larger SEL issue to address.
While my kids are doing their warm-up, I’m taking attendance and watching the responses come it. Then I can address any immediate needs during class.
This is great! I’m planning on modifying the check-in so that I can do a daily feelings check-in with an individual student. However, I do not know how the student can access the form without me emailing it to them. How did your students access the form?
Thank you in advance 🙂
I use bitly to create a shortened link that they type in each day!
Could you also create a QR code? We are fortunate to be 1-1 with iPad minis.
Yes, you definitely could create a QR code
Hi can you send me something so i can do a daily check in i want to put and show it to my teacher please email me please.
Hi, I am not sure I understand your request. Feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org