Google Spreadsheet and the Wiki for Assigning Homework

I used to keep a plan book.  It was ok.  But, I never actually wrote my plans in it bc those squares were too small.  I just wrote down the lesson title and the homework assignment.   As I got busy, I would often forget to write things down it in.  Especially when I made changes in assignments.  The plan book was one more thing to keep up with and drag back and forth to school every day.  The idea was to use the plan book for the next year as a guide.  But I did not refer to it as often as I should have (only about once a unit) because then I would have to take TWO plan books (one for last year and this year) home every night.

Now, I’m all electronic when I plan.  I made a Google Spreadsheet that lists the date, lesson, homework, and any important links the students will need.  I love this way of giving homework, because then students can easily find the links I want them to access.

I then embedded it into my class wiki.  I only embed one week at a time so my students won’t get confused when looking at the whole document.  (It is blank right now because I still haven’t planned week 1 for this year yet – ACK!)

At the bottom, I provide a “6th Math Archives Page” link so absent students can refer back to the previous week(s).

To make things easier for me when updating and going to a new week, I have two separate tabs in the GDoc spreadsheet.   One is the current week and the other is the archive page.

I put the current week’s assignments into the 6th and 7th tabs.  These are the tabs that I had embedded into the class wiki.  6th 2011 is the entire year and it is what I use for the archives.  I start a new tab for each year (you can see the 6th 2010 and the 7th 2010 from two years ago).  This way I have a record of multiple years of plans and homework all in one place.

Read about other teacher’s Favorite Fridays here!

Let’s Get W.I.L.D. – Wiki Independent Learning Day

Yes, apparently I am obsessed with acronyms this summer.  But, when you can make them fun (WILD) and mean something great I just cannot help myself!

I teach 6th and 7th graders.  Middle school is their transition time.  It is when they begin to grow up and become independent learners.  Becoming an independent learner is a corner stone of our school philosophy.  I know that this takes time and can even be difficult at first, especially for students coming fresh out of elementary school.  My goal is for all of my students to move from being dependent upon me for all of their learning, to becoming independent learners.

To help my students achieve independence in their learning, I am going to have designated WILD days this year.  On these days I will have students start on our student created wiki help pages to access websites to work on different concepts.  They can start with concepts in which they are not proficient.  Students that are proficient in most concepts can work ahead so that they will not be bored reviewing concepts they have already mastered.  They will keep an online WILD Log that they create using a Google Doc spreadsheet.  This GDoc will be shared with me so that I can monitor their progress.

I expect that helping students target what they need to work on and finding the best resources will be high maintenance at first.  Eventually however, I would like the students to learn to tailor their own learning.  I want WILD to be interesting and challenging for students of varying ability levels.

Here is what I have for the GDocs WILD Log, but I would love more ideas on how to make the Log (or anything else) better.