Thursday, November 6, 2014

Organize Parent Conference Notes With Google Forms

This is the second post in a series about using Google Forms in the classroom.  The first post can be found here.  If you aren't familiar with Google Forms, you may also want to read my Google Forms 101.

Communication between parents and teachers is integral to a student's success, especially in elementary school.  I'm halfway through a two-day parent conference marathon and I tried something new to help me organize my conference notes that I'd like to share with you.

Days or even weeks after a conference, I always find myself remembering that someone asked me about something specific, but I can't remember which parent it was.  Maybe a parent requested their child not sit next to a particular student, so when I change seats again, I know I made a note about it, but I can't find it.  So I go searching through all my student files, digging for the one paper that has the note I know I wrote about whatever it was.  Yesterday, I was thinking there had to be a way to keep all my notes about each child in a central document, but still maintain the privacy needed so parents aren't seeing what I've written about other students while I'm typing notes.  There is!  Google Forms!  

I've created a Google Form that asks for student name, date, people who attended the conference, and comments about behavior and grades.  I also left a place for additional comments and necessary follow up steps.  I open up the form for each conference, type in it as we meet, finish it up once the parent leaves, and then hit "Submit".

When I made the form, I chose the option to give a link to submit another response.  This way, when I hit "Submit", I get a link to click on that opens up a fresh form for my next conference.  Quick and easy!  

My information goes into a spreadsheet that I can access easily anytime, anywhere, from almost any device.  I can use the search function in my browser to search for any key terms when I want to find something specific.  (If you want to know more about the search function in the Google Chrome browser, check out my post about it.)

Another great function is that I will use the same form all year long.  At any point in the year, if I need to check back and look at all the conferences I've had with a particular family, I can sort my answer spreadsheet by the column containing student names.  This will put all the conferences for that child in a row for easy viewing.

This worked really well for me today and I'm excited to use it again tomorrow.  I was so excited about it last night, that I made one for all of my colleagues in grades K-5 and most of them used it today and loved it.  Such a quick and simple change can make a big difference in organization.

To get a copy of this form and make it your own, click here.

A few of my other Google Forms posts can be found by clicking the links below.

Parent Surveys with Google Forms
Anecdotal Student Notes with Google Forms
Review and Discussion Activities with Google Forms
Digital Assignment Tracking with Google Forms
File Upload: Collect Files with Google Forms

Thank you for stopping by the TeachingTechNix blog.  I hope you found this little tip helpful. 

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