formative assessment, Google Sheets, pixel art, Wakelet

Turkey Pixel Art Activity

You know I love to make pixel art review activities. This week, another teacher in my building came to me and wanted to create one for Thanksgiving, so we sat together and created this. With her permission, I’m sharing the template with you.

  • Type your questions and insert any images on Sheet 1
  • Type your answers on Sheet 2
  • Change the font color to white on Sheet 2 so the answers become invisible
  • Hide sheet 2
  • Set the activity to make a copy for each student
  • ENJOY!

If you would like to create a pixel art activity of your own, you can follow the instructions in my original post.

I have created a Wakelet containing all my templates for Google Sheets activities. Click the link below to check it out.

Enjoy and Happy Turkey Day. I hope you enjoy time with family and friends.

Digital Escape Rooms, formative assessment, Geometry, Google Sheets, Self-Checking

Self-Checking Magic Squares Sheet

This tutorial is combining two ideas together that I have previously shared. This first is a Magic Squares sheet by Jason Pullano, and the other was a recent post about self-checking sheet. This activity is great for a self-checking activity or as a clue in a digital escape room.

Many of the steps are the same, so I am just reposting them below so you don’t have to flip screens.

Create your Questions

I find it’s easier to have my questions and images (if needed) ready to go before I begin building the spreadsheet.

I’m using this for a Geometry review so I’ve created my images in advance in a Google Slide and I changed the page size to the standard 4:3. I can download each card as a PNG or JPG image to use in my self-checking activity.

Create the image

This activity loads an image into squares one at a time as a correct answer is entered. You will need to decide how many squares you want. I went with a 4×4 grid.

I used Google Drawing. In page set-up I set the size to 10 x 10.

Once your image is designed, place a table on top of it and drag it to fill the screen. I learned this trick from Jason Pullano. The table creates a perfect grid and you don’t have to worry about placement of the lines.

Now you crop your image. There is more than one way to do this but I chose to use my snipping tool and just snip each section. I found it helpful to zoom in to get a good snip.

Open Sheets

Now we will put this all together.

I start with my blocks of information. I merged cells to create the sections for instructions, question images, and also to create my grid. By selecting columns G-J and right clicking, I can resize my columns to 99. Do the same for rows 2-3 and resize to 33. This should give us squares.

I just typed in my header this time, but you could always create a colorful header like we did the last time. If you create the header image, insert instructions are below.

Place images and answer in a new tab.

Click the plus button in the bottom left corner of your spreadsheet. This will create a new tab in Sheets. This will be the location for out images and answers.

Place the images (insert image) for the questions and for the square reveal. They can be VERY TINY. It’s ok. It will scale to fit the size we allow it.

We also want to place the answers to our questions here. We are going to hide the tab later so students don’t see it.

Dropdown menu

Start with the dropdown menu where you have the word instructions. Place the same words, Choose a Question, Question 1, etc. in your list. You can view a tutorial here.

Now right below that, you will enter a vlookup code.


This is telling sheets to see what word is selected in A4 (Choose a question, Question 1, etc., then go to sheet 2 and select the image that matches my words that are in column A starting at A1 and my images are in column B ending at B13.


Now let’s set the conditional formatting for our answers. There is a tutorial for conditional formatting in the link above as well.

I’m going to have three rules for each cell. If the cell is empty, I want it to be transparent. If the cell has an entry it will be gold for correct or red for incorrect.

It’s a little tricky to get conditional formatting from another sheet.

Here is what you would type in:

We will do the same thing to get a wrong answer but select text does not contain and type in the same formula and change the color to red.

Repeat for the remaining answers.

*This seems like a lot of work, but this process allows you to use this template again simply by changing the images and answers in Sheet 2.

Load Image

Now we need to load an image square. When an answer is correct, we want a square to load in an image space.

Below the fun stuff in Sheet 1, I have the sheet respond with 1 if an answer is correct and 0 if it’s incorrect using the following formula:

Once you return, there will be a little blue box in bottom right corner. You can drag that box down 10 spaces and it will auto fill the formula for you.

Choose a square you want to load. For this example, if the answer is correct it will go to sheet 2 and load the image in D1. You just need to make sure you load them in random order and that you include each one.

I have 16 boxes and only 12 questions so a few of my questions load to squares.

Clean it up and Assign

I like to hide the parts of the sheet we don’t need.

I’m going to highlight columns K-Z and right click and hide those cells

You can also hide the rows that have your adding trick on them by doing the same thing.

I’m also going to hide the sheet with my answers on it. Now a spreadsheet savvy student will now how to unhide this so you can always password protect the sheet so they can’t access it.

Don’t forget to set it to make a copy for every student in your LMS.

Here is the final result with all of the answers filled in:

These are so much fun. You can even get more advanced and have one image load and it changes to another image as you get the answer correct.

You can always just use the created spreadsheet below as a template if you don’t want to make your own. Just switch out the images and answers on Sheet 2.

If you make one, please let me know. I love to make these and my students love to complete these.

Digital Escape Rooms, Distance Learning, formative assessment, Geometry, Google Sheets

Fun with Google Sheets – Part 3

It’s been a minute since we had a fun with Google Sheets so I decided to bring you another installment as school is starting or getting ready start for most of us.

Separate Names

I like to copy the names of my students from my gradebook screen or download an Excel file of students from our grade management system (we use PowerSchool). This copies first and last names but sometimes I just need first names. I DON’T want to go through a delete all of the names, especially since I usually have around 150 students.

Never fear, Google Sheets are here! You can EASILY separate the names into two columns.

Begin by typing the names into two columns, just as you want them to appear. It may take a few names, but once Google Sheets understands what you are doing, Smart Fill will pop up a suggestion. Click the checkmark and Sheets will do the rest.

You will do the same for the last name column. Then you have the entire sheet broken into first and last names. YAY! Such a time saver.

The process also works in reverse. So if you have first and last names in two columns, you can type both in the third column and smart fill will recognize the pattern and fill for you.

Google Translate

You can translate a list of words in Google Sheets. Type the list of words in one column. In the next column, type =googletranslate and and prompt will appear.

Next you want to click on the cell for the word you want to translate. Don’t worry, we don’t have to do this for every word, it will fill all of them in the end. It will place this cell into the formula, then put a comma and “auto” then a comma.

Now you need to find your two letter language code. These are called ISO codes and you can do a google search for them. Here is a link to the site I use. I’m translating to Dutch which is the code nl. So I will add the code in quotations and then close the parentheses.

One word is translated.

Now grab the blue box in the bottom right corner of that cell and drag down. You have translated all of the words.

Hiding Answers

I love to create interactive Google Slides for review games and escape room tasks. Most of the time the game works as it should. But every now and then a student figures out that you can click on the input box to see the answer. And, OF COURSE, they tell the rest of the class and now they are just entering the answer and not working out the problems.

Here is an example of a pixel art activity where this could be used. Many of mine have not been updated to this cell reference method but I will be updating them as I use them this year.

In this example, the student can see that typing 18.1 into D3 will give them the correct answer.

You can make this process more difficult for them. Using sheet 2 (click the + sign next to sheet 1 in the bottom row), you can type the answers into cells and then reference these cells on sheet 1.

I started in T33 to type my answers so it wasn’t on the screen if students click Sheet 2. You can also hide this sheet or password protect it so students can’t see it. If you do that, then just begin in A1 with your answers.

Replace 18.1 with Sheet2! followed by the cell where the answer is located, T33 for this example.

Now when a student clicks on the answers, they would have to unhide (if it’s not password protected) Sheet 2 then find T33 for the answer. I don’t usually password protect and it still deters most students.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of Fun with Google Sheets and I hope you have a great start to your year!

Digital Escape Rooms, formative assessment, Game Based Learning, Google Drawing, Google Slides, Stop Motion

Magic Squares Puzzle

I stumbled upon this post on Twitter this past week about an Escape Room puzzle idea. You know how much I LOVE making escape rooms so I thought I give it a try. WOW! What a cool idea.

His name is Jason Pullano and you should give him a follow on (my favorite social media) Twitter. I didn’t alter this in any way other than to change colors to match my theme. His template is FIRE (to quote my daughter) and his video is very helpful if you are not sure what to do.

This is the link to the template he shared on Twitter.

Here is the link to MY puzzle.

click to open

Yep, I hope you caught that message! 12 Days of Techmas is coming soon!!!!

If you use this, please tag us both. Let Jason know how you used it! It makes people happy to see that what they share is beneficial!

Chromebook, formative assessment, Google Slides, quadratics, Uncategorized

Quadratic Scavenger Hunt & Foldable

Through #MTBoS I found a video from (insert name here when I find it again) talking about using Google in the classroom.  I’m always looking for ideas I haven’t thought of before.  Most of the video was reinforcement for what I already do but he did have a foldable (please comment if this is yours so I can credit you) created in Google Slides.  I loved it.

I combined this foldable with a QR scavenger hunt to reinforce question prompts in quadratic word problems.  This was a thinking activity for the students.  They don’t usually like thinking activities. They did enjoy the QR part and I could tell by the discussions at the tables that thinking was happening.  In the end, they had a resource to use while working their practice problems.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below are the links to my files.  They are set to read only so you’ll have to make a copy to use them.  You will also want to make your own QR codes so students are pulling these images from your Drive.  I used the extension in my Chrome browser.


Image 1      Image 2     Image 3      Image 4

If you use this idea please leave a comment or send me a tweet.  I love to get ideas from others too!

formative assessment


SocrativeI use Socrative as one of my formative assessment tools.  It’s very easy to use and you can have a quiz ready to go in minutes.  When other teachers come to me and want to get started with online formative assessment, this is the tool I start with.

Pros: You can easily share quizzes with other teachers, you can use graphics in the question portion (but not the answer portion), you can randomize the order of the questions and the answer choices, and you can choose to give students instant feedback. It provides quick reports to help evaluate the data from your assessment.  Socrative can be accessed on smart phones, tablets and computers by going to the website. You can print a quiz from Socrative for students who don’t have a device.  It also has a game component called Space Race that the student think is fun.

Cons: The students enter their names each time, so you can’t have accumulated data for a single student.  Students will sometimes enter a name that is not theirs.  If you are providing instant feedback ,they will take it once under a false name to get the answers, then log back in with their own name to take the quiz.  It also doesn’t handle graphics as well as I want, sometimes enlarging them to the point that it’s hard to see them.  I did contact Socrative about this issue and they are working to improve the graphics component.  Since my content is math, I need to use equations or at least have the option to capture equations as images and post them as answer choices.  Socrative isn’t there yet.

Socrative is good for a quick exit ticket and instant feedback.  When I use it at the beginning of class, I can see where I need to clear up misconceptions from the class period before.  When used at the end of class, I can see where students missed instruction and begin with that next time.

Give Socrative a try and let me know what you think.

formative assessment, technology


Our building focus this year is to incorporate exit slips into our daily routine.  There are so many really awesome programs and apps available that will grade and compile data for you.  Over the next few day, I plan to share some of the programs I have tried and found helpful (or fun)!

PlickersPlickers blew up on Twitter not long ago, so I had to see what the fuss was about.  This program definitely falls into the fun category.  I don’t use it every day, but it is a fun way to quickly assess vocabulary or a skill. I have tried this when students need to calculate and it doesn’t work as well.

Plickers uses the website and an app for Apple or Android devices.  Students have a unique QR code and hold it up with the letter (ABC or D) facing up and the teacher scans the codes using a phone or tablet.  It instantly reads the answers and displays the results on the screen.  You can assign a card to a student and review the results later.  It doesn’t have the best reporting system and it doesn’t compile data for you.  It is fun and the students love seeing their name pop up on the screen when I scan their card.

Plickers 2This is a screen shot from a one question assessment I used to introduce my PD session in January.

Give Plickers a try.  I have quite a few teachers in my school who have tried this and they are also hooked!