I use Google Sheets to do several things that are really important in the self-paced classroom. The primary thing I use it for is to track student progress. The “Grid Method” helps develop student ownership and accountability in their work. One of the ways this is accomplished is by giving students the responsibility of tracking their progress through the work. I use Google Sheets to do this in a slightly unique way which I will outline below.
I also use Google Sheets to compile my students’ grades. My school’s gradebook system is not setup to work with Standards Based Grading. While I grade my students this way, I use Sheets to calculate my students’ scores to traditional point values.
I created a Google Sheet titled "Daily Progress Sheet" and assigned it to each student with their own copy through Google Classroom. This is the first thing students have access to on our Google Class page. Below you can see the link and what the sheet looks like.
Screen Captures of my Daily Progress Sheet
Students open this sheet daily to communicate their progress (What Unit, Level, and Step they are on), Goals (What are they trying to get done during the period), and Understanding (How well do they understand what they are learning that period). Below you can see the menu choices for student Goals, Understanding, and Help.
The reason I assigned this sheet to each student is so that they couldn't accidentally (or intentionally) change the progress of another student, and so that it would be easier for them to read the sheet and keep track of what they were updating. The problem this caused is that I needed all of the students responses in a single place. To solve this I created a "Master Progress Monitor" to track all students progression through the work. You can see in the picture below, that I set this sheet up to automatically read each students individual sheet and display their values with all of the other students. Doing this made it so that when a student updates their sheet, it automatically updates their row on my sheet.
I use this master sheet to track all student progress. I can sort and filter by all columns which lets make a variety of instructional decisions. I can better organize seating, grouping, pullout help, and other interventions as necessary. I also added some conditional formatting to better draw my attention to students who need help or ask questions.
I use the "Do you need my help today" column as a virtual hand raise in my class. I keep a condensed view of the Master Progress Sheet displayed on my projector. When a student needs help, they turn the selection from "No, I do not", to "Yes, I need your help today". This gives students a way to let me know they need me, without shouting out or waiting with their hand in the air. It also lets me implement student to student help by instructing a student to help them first.
The second thing I use Google Sheets for is to calculate my students overall grades. I grade students on a 1, 2, 3, 4 standards based scale. However, I have to report out in a traditional format. I use the sheet to let me enter the students standards based grade, and then it converts it to the traditional percentage score, and then averages them out based on learning standard. Below is what a Unit would look like in my sheet, and then what the final averages look like in the same sheet.
Screen Capture of Google Sheets converting SBG to traditional.