Classroom Strategies, GSuite

School Closure Check-in with Google Forms

School closure is stressful! This first week at home, I switch between worrying about my students and all of the what-if’s, and relaxing and enjoying time at home. My brain can’t figure out if I’m working or on break. I’ve been doing a little bit of both.

One thing I miss is feeling connected to my students. I’m following district guidelines and not assigning work; however, I have created some optional science home exploring resources for my students, if they want something fun and academic to work on. But, it’s just not the same!

By far my most popular blog post is Daily Check-in With Google Forms (October 2017). This post is consistently reshared; multiple people have told me how using this check-in routine has been a big classroom boost. When I was running a workshop in New York (I’m in California) in March 2018, a participant was customizing my daily check-in Form template at the beginning of my session. When I asked them where they got it, they said they learned about it in their last session. How cool is that? A presenter across the country found my blog and shared this resource! I tell you this because I strongly believe in the free sharing of educational resources that make our classrooms better.

There are so many different ways that teachers are checking-in with their students. Some are using district messaging platforms, Google Classroom, Flipgrid, or live Zoom video chats. There’s no right or wrong way to connect with your students (please first check with your district’s guidelines)–it’s important that they know we care through all this uncertainty.

School Closure Check-in

I created a school closure check-in (make a copy), loosely based off my daily check-in Form. I posted it on Google Classroom for my students to fill out. Even if students choose not to fill it out, they will still get the Google Classroom notification on their iPad, and they will know I’m thinking about them. I chose Forms because it is a familiar platform and routine for my students.

Additionally, my friend Ashley Prevo created her own quarantine check- in Form (make a copy). She regularly uses the daily check-in Form in her class, too. Ashley says, “I am currently teaching three sections of PE as well as ASB at the middle school level. I wish there were a better way to say this, but we are living in unprecedented times and, maybe now more than ever, our students need to be reminded that we care.” I love the questions Ashley asks her students, especially “name one thing you have done for yourself this week” and “name one thing you have done for someone else this week.”

Family Check-in

I know this time is stressful for families too! I created a family check-in Form (make a copy) to check in with my students’ families too. I sent out this Form through our gradebook’s messaging tool. In my message to families, I also included information about free student meals during the closure and over spring break. A couple parents thanked me for checking in and asked for regular updates with regards to district decisions.

There are so many great ideas out there. Remember, you know what your students need the most!

How are you checking in with your students? If you have a resource or idea, please share it in the comments!


9 thoughts on “School Closure Check-in with Google Forms”

  1. I love this idea! I’ve been using your daily check-in form for months.

    You mentioned in that post that you usually take time during class to check-in with students who gave something a 1. Are you still doing that now, albeit virtually? How is it going? Do you respond to every student who fills out the form? That would be a huge burden for me to do, especially daily; how has that been going for you?

    Finally, you said that some families have asked you to keep them updated about district news. Are you able to do that? Are you passing along information through established channels (the online gradebook) or some other way?

    This is our new normal, so we have to think about the burden we’re putting on ourselves, too! There’s no one to see us looking tired or leave free donuts in the teacher’s lounge. 🙂


    1. Thanks! Right now, my plan today is to message all students who filled out the Form via our online gradebook. If/when we go to distance learning, I am not sure how I will scale the Form. Once we get there, I’ll blog about my updated process.

      I posted my family check-in yesterday and I do not have any district updates yet. I heard we should have news by the afternoon. At that point, I will message families and include links to the district announcements and guidance. Lately, I have been sharing when/where school means are provided via gradebook and classroom Instagram.

      My check-in reminds me to check in with myself too! On the bright side, the donut temptation is gone 🙂 my school closure resolution to myself is to shower and make my bed every day. Seems silly, but it’s something simple I can do to keep life moving.


  2. I’m wondering how to share the form on shared drive in google classroom and if the spreadsheet automatically populates daily or if there is a way to make a weekly spreadsheet for all students. I am a therapist new to google classroom and having quite bit of difficulty, any support would be appreciated


    1. Hi there! The Sheet automatically records all Forms submissions. And, you can post the Form as an assignment on Google Classroom.

      I just blogged about Google Forms and created a few screencasts that answer your questions: There are videos that show how to build and edit forms, how to look at the data on Sheets, and how to post on Google Classroom.


  3. I think these are great check in forms, would love to get a chance to use them with some the students that I work with. Appreciate the work that you and your friend have put into it.
    Thanks for sharing this on the internet for others to be able to access.


  4. Hola Mari. I just happened to come across your blog, and the checking form. It is awesome! I might use them when I go back to the classroom. Gracias por compartir!


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