Monday, October 26, 2015

Skyward: Elementary Report Cards - Double Checking Your Grades

This (2015-16) school year, PPS has made a few adjustments to our elementary gradebook.

  1. We are using year long trending.  This means that the final Q4 grade will take into account all events from the first day of school until the end of the academic year.  Don't be surprised when you see suggested grades showing up in Q2, Q3, and Q4 as soon as the Q1 suggestion appears.
  2. Skyward will not begin to suggest a trend grade until three or more event scores are entered for a particular skill.  
These changes will help improve the overall suggested grade because it will take into account growth from the entire school year and it will provide more data points in order to make the suggestion.  That being said, it is still the professional responsibility of the teacher to double check the scores each quarter to make sure what the gradebook is suggesting aligns with how the child is performing on that particular skill.  

Skyward makes this a fairly painless process.  
First, click on the Standard Code in the Skill header (the striped heading box).

Second, double check the grades by looking at the Mean and Median scores, as well as the overall progression of the grades.  If you see something, like in the example below, that does not "look right", you can usually figure out why from the event scores.

Third, if you decide the grade needs to be adjusted, you can do so by typing the correct grade in the white box.  Once you are finished adjusting any scores, make sure you click Save.

NOTE: Even if you do not have three event scores, you can always manually enter in a score for that skill by following the manual entry directions.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015



It's time again for the Doodle4Google competition.  Break out the art supplies, technology, and get the creative juices going!

According to Doodle4Google Website:

For this year’s contest, students can create a doodle that tells the world “What makes me…me.” Kids have all kinds of things that make them unique, so they can use all kinds of materials to create their doodles, from crayons, to clay, to graphic design, even food and video games. 
Students in grades K-12 are invited to take part in the 2015 Doodle 4 Google contest. Like all Google Doodles, each doodle must incorporate the letters G-o-o-g-l-e. One national winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The contest is open for entries from October 19, 2015 to December 7, 2015.

Head on over to to learn more about the contest and check out the  classroom activities.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Google Classroom: Attach Google Forms

It is no surprise that I love Google Classroom and Google Forms.  These are two of my favorite tools thanks to all they wonderful educational uses.

Google forms are a great way to collect information from students.  Whether I need them to respond to a survey, take a quiz, or collect data, this is usually my go-to tool.  Traditionally if I needed my students to use a form I would share it with them via an email to their school account, or I would give them a shortened URL to type into their address bar.  Last year, when I began to use Google Classroom, it became even easier to have my students use google forms for quick formative assessments or to collect responses about their learning.  I could insert the link to the form right in an assignment in Google Classroom.  Once they took the survey/quiz, I would then have them go back into classroom and mark it as "done."  This was a bit cumbersome,  but it helped me to quickly see who was done and who was still working.

This whole process just got even easier!!!  Now when you attach a Google Form to a Google Classroom assignment using the Google Drive link, it will automatically mark the assignment as "done" when the student clicks the submit button on the form.  It is a beautiful thing!  Check it out...

Step 1: Create your assignment
Step 2: Attach the form you wish your students to complete
Step 3: Click Assign (or Save as draft if you want to assign it at a later time)

Step 4: Have students fill in the form by clicking on the link in the assignment in Google Classroom.
Step 5: As soon as students hit the "Submit" button on the form, it marks the assignment for that student as "done".
Step 6: Click the "View responses in Sheets" link on your Google Classroom assignment to see the students responses.

LOVE IT!  This was so easy, my third graders had no problem at all completing their forms and turning in their assignments.

Skyward: Creating a Seating Chart

Sometimes it is really helpful to have a seating chart with your students' names and seat locations.  Perhaps you have a sub or classroom volunteer who needs to know where the students sit, or who simply needs to be able to learn the students' names and faces.

You can create these lists/charts in Skyward.

Step 1: Go to the class in your gradebook for which you wish to create a seating chart.
Step 2: Hover your mouse over the Attendance menu and select "Assign Seats for Seating Chart"

Step 3: Now you have the seating chart window open.  If all you want to do is print this screen, then simply right click and select Print.  If you want to rearrange the order of the students you will have to do a few more steps.

Step 4: Select the number of rows and seats per row at the top.  Click Refresh.

Step 5: Click Select under the name of the student you wish to move.  Click Swap or Fill Seat to move the child to the new seat. Repeat until you have everyone where you want them.  Then print if desired (see step 3).  If you want to save the seating chart, make sure you click Save.