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.

=vlookup(A4,Sheet2!A1:B13,2,0)

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.

Answers

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.

differentiation, Geometry, Google Sheets

Self-Checking Google Sheets

This is not the first self-checking Google Sheet tutorial I’ve shared. This is just ANOTHER example of what you can do with Google Sheets. You can see the Pixel Art tutorial here. I’ve learned a few new tricks since then and have improved the process making it harder for students to find the answers in the code. It’s still possible, just more difficult.

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 Angle Addition Postulate 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.

Progress Bar

For this type of self-checking activity you can have a progress bar or progress circle to tell students how many they have correct. Or you can just have the number of correct answers in the corner. For this tutorial, I’m going to use the progress bar

I drew my own, just for fun, but you could create these in Google Drawing or Google Slides. You will need one image for each increase in the bar or circle.

Open Sheets

Now we will put this all together.

I start with my blocks of information.

I created my header in Google Drawing. I will insert the image in the cell.

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 progress bar. 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.

=vlookup(A3,Sheet2!D1:E12,2,0)

This is telling sheets to see what word is selected in A2 (Choose a question, Question 1, etc., then go to sheet 2 and select the image that matches my words that are in column D starting at D1 and my images are in column E ending at E12.

Answers

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 green for correct or yellow 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 yellow.

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.

Progress Bar

Now we need to add the progress bar. When an answer turns green, we want the progress bar to advance. Basically, you are adding the amount of correct answers together and telling the progress bar to load an image based on the number of correct answers.

I have the number of correct answers add somewhere hidden on sheet 1 (below or to the right of the current content) 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.

Now we will add the columns. We will use this sum to load the correct images. I will hide these rows (or columns) later so students don’t see it.

Usually the =sum feature will work but for some reason it didn’t, so I just added each cell.

In the cell where the progress bar goes, we are going to use that same vlookup that we used earlier to load the correct image:


Clean it up and Assign

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

I’m going to highlight D=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.

Whew! That was a lot of work! Here is your final product. You also now have a template to use if you want to create future projects. You can change out the progress bar, the questions, and the answers in Sheet 2. Yay!

I hope you find use for this tutorial. I know you can buy other templates like this on TPT, so if that’s how you roll, head on over to TPT. I personally like to create my own. It did take quite a bit of time, but now that the template is created, I can change it up with minimal effort.

And, because I’m nice, here is my completed activity if you want to use it as a template.

Spreadsheet

Slides with questions

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!

BreakoutEDU, Digital Escape Rooms, Geometry

Get A Clue Digital Escape Room

** This is a repost from Make Math Not Suck**

We are not giving finals this year. An idea I think I support (it has been hard keeping motivation without a final). I wanted a way to review everything we have learned this year but in a fun way.

I originally planned to do a murder-mystery activity like I saw on Twitter shared by @MrsHiltnerReads.

After altering the idea so we weren’t murdering people, it turned more into a Who Dun It? which morphed into a Clue like escape room.

This idea could be used with any content for any review I would think. I just posted the links to the Slide, Sheet, and Form in Canvas but by embedding it in a Site, it would make might make it easier for students. about:blank

I also made a version using Alice Keeler dice roll page and markers where students could share the page with 3 other students and find the clues independently as they moved through the Get A Clue board. I would want to make one questions clues, however, to make the game go faster. Maybe I will try it the next time.

I hope you can use this or the idea of it to make the end of the year review more fun. Enjoy.

Geometry, Google Sheets, Make Math Not Suck, Self-Checking

Self-Checking Pixel Art Tutorial

*Updated 9/2021*

Self-Checking activities are very common in my classroom. I have used them for remediation days, for review days, and as a check your understanding right after a lesson. I shared the Mystery Picture idea from Jason Pullano that can also be used as a self-check activity. Now, I want to take the Pixel Art idea shared by Alice Keeler and turn it into a self-checking activity.

You will want to have your questions and answers prepared and have an idea of an image to use. You can go as in depth with your image as you wish. I prefer to keep it simple and build upon a background image. For this tutorial, I’m going to use a simple snowman on a light blue background. You can do a full image like these examples if you are ambitious.

Prepare your Google Sheet by making your cells into squares. We will merge cells together to write our questions so no worries. Make the squares as small as you need them for your image. The left side is where my questions will go. The right side is where the image will appear.

Now put your questions into the Sheet. You will merge cells to allow room for the question and NOT distort the grid for your image. I put my answers in also. You can delete them once the activity is complete.

merge button

Now we will start our design. I am NOT a Google Sheets expert. There may be an easier way to do this but this is how I do it. I use 0 and 1. 0 when the answer is blank or incorrect and 1 when it is correct. You can change the color of the numbers so you don’t see them. I will start with my first question and my first black block.

*Update*

You can also add a sheet 2 in the bottom left corner & type your answers into Sheet 2 to prevent students from seeing the answers. So let’s say this answer is in cell B2 in Sheet 2. I would type

=if(D3=Sheet2!B2, “1”, “0”)

*end update*

D3 is the cell with my answer and 125.5 is the correct answer. “1” will return a 1 if correct and “0” if incorrect.

Now copy and paste this formula in every other box that should be black. I will set the color in the next step.

Now let’s change the color of these 1s. Click on ALL the 1s you have on the screen (hold down the command key on a Mac -IDK for Windows – sorry). Go to Format – Conditional Formatting.

Change the Format cells if… dropdown to “text is exactly” and then type 1. Pick your color and also change your font to that color.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have all colors on your screen.

Now it’s time to delete your answers in the boxes. When you do this, your 0s should appear. Once you see all of you zeros, change the text color to white (or blue in my case since my background its blue.)

Your activity is ready to be sent to your students! Don’t forget to set it to “make a copy for each student”.

Here is the link to my completed activity if you want to use it or investigate.

Enjoy! If you make one of these, let me know how it goes!!!

Geometry, Scale Factor

Far Side Expansion

repost from Make Math Not Suck

I have been doing this activity LONG before computers were a staple in the classroom. (We won’t talk about how many years that’s been!) I love this project now as much as I did when I started.

I used to have a Far Side by Gary Larson desk calendar and each year I would keep the images and use it for this project. I don’t buy the desk calendar anymore, but you can find Larson’s comic’s online.

I take the comics and cut them equally into 3-4 congruent parts (depending on my groups). Students must work in groups of 3-4 to decide on a grid size for their original and a scaled paper size and grid size. Once they’ve worked together to draw this in, they start sketching their drawing box-by-box. We spend about 4 -50 minute class periods on this project.

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The students have a lot of fun with this and are proud of their product when finished. It also reinforces teamwork. When one person doesn’t complete their part, a picture is hung up for viewing incomplete. So sad.

Here is the planning guide I use for this project. If you use it, post about about it on Twitter, and tag me @MandiTolenEDU.

App, Area, Geometry, Google Slides, Uncategorized

Apps with Google Slides

I stumbled across this post by @micahshippee on Kasey Bell’s website ShakeUpLearning.com. Micah is part of my Google Innovator Cohort and he is amazing.

Micah created an activity where students use Google Slides to create an “app” that you can load on your phone or tablet. I decided to use this wonderful idea to review area formulas. My students created an app where you could click a button and find the formula and an example for each shape. I love when you create a project that students are excited about! This project fits that description.

Bonuses: Students were VERY ENGAGED. They were still working when the bell rang and didn’t really want to stop. They were helping each other, critiquing without being prompted, and giving great advice. I was MORE THAN excited when students came into class the day the assignment was due with the app already loaded on their phone. They were soooo proud!  I think, as an extension of this activity, we will share our apps with lower grade levels, who are learning about area for the first time, and have them give us feedback through Flipgrid.

Here is the activity I gave the students. My instructions are taken directly from Micah’s post because they are so thorough. He is cited in the activity.

Create an App for AREA (1)

I’ve also included some of the apps created by my students. OMGee, they make my heart happy. You should be able to click on the phone below and it will open a Google Drawing file where the links are active. If you use this activity, please share on Twitter and tag me @MandiTolenEDU and @micahshippee.

Imagine what else you could do with this activity!!!

 

Geometry, Google Slides, Trig

Student Created Trig Word Problem

repost from Make Math Not Suck

For the last 9 years, I’ve had students do a Trig project where they use handmade clinometers to measure the height of an object taller than they are. I love this project because it shows the application of Trig and guides students through a thought process to solve this type of problem.

This year I wanted to shake things up a bit. I wanted them to do the same project, but this time I wanted them to write an angle of elevation word problem. Students struggle with the word problems, and writing them helps them understand the process and required information.

As always, I was blown away by the creativity of some of my students. Their word problems were hilarious! They were problems I would WANT to solve. I took a few and used them on our assessment.

Since we had a recent ice storm, pictures had to be taken inside. It was Homecoming week, so we had some interesting backdrops. Students used the HOCO decorations and wrote their stories around them. Aren’t kids great?

Angle of depression is still giving us issues so maybe next year I’ll have them measure something below them. Maybe from the bleachers or the top of the steps. Hmm… food for thought!

Bitmoji, Geometry, Google Slides, Stop Motion, Triangle Congruence

Stop Motion Videos

Stop Motion videos in Google Slides is such an easy project for teachers and students. I first learned about Stop Motion from @ericcurts on his blog Control Alt Achieve. @jmattmiller also has some fun stop motion information on his blog too.

I created a super short little stop motion that I turned into an animated gif using Tall Tweets then embedded into a Google slide presentation, even cropping it because it acts as an image.

download (12)

Screen Shot 2018-09-29 at 9.03.02 PM.png

Stop motion videos are super easy to make in Google Slides. For the one above, I created background then I drug in my Bitmoji and placed it at the top.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-29 at 9.04.15 PM

Next you duplicate the slide and using the arrow keys or sliding with your mouse, move your image a little bit.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-29 at 9.16.20 PM.png Continue the process until you have moved your object to the end.  This short little movie had 11 slides total.

Now the fun begins. Using the website Tall Tweets, load your Google Slide, this sometimes takes a bit depending on the size. Next, select the duration. Play with this a little until the movie looks like you want. You can check by clicking the create gif button. When you are happy with your movie, you can save it or tweet it.

Screen Shot 2018-09-29 at 9.08.47 PM

Below are some stop motion videos I created for a Triangle Congruence lesson. So yes, you can use stop motion for academic purposes too. Image how much fun it would be for students to create their own!

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If you make stop motion videos, please share and tag me on Twitter @TTmomTT. I would LOVE to see them!

Choose Your Own Adventure, Geometry, Google Forms, Solving Equations

Choose Your Own Adventure *Updated*

A lesson is only as good as the updates you make. This activity, which I first blogged about here and here, came from Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller. I love this idea and now use it as an alternative assessment activity. Please go back and read how this started for me.

One reason I love this activity so much is because it gives students choice and freedom of topic, they become the teacher so they learn the content more deeply, they peer edit which is a very crucial skill, and this year I added a Flipgrid component in collaboration with another school.

I have updated my planning documents a little. They are posted on the posts, but this will be the most up-to-date document I have. I have also created a Google Slide presentation so very little teacher direction is needed. Another update I made this year was to increase the level of peer editing. Students do not intuitively know how to do this, so I updated the document so they have a little more guidance. Lastly, and probably the most exciting part for me, was creating these CYOA stories for a sister class in another district. We sent them our completed stories and then each student left feedback via Flipgrid. We’ve sent our stories to this district before but having video Feedback through Flipgrid was amazing and meant a lot more for my students.

I’ve included some fun examples from this year. I encouraged my Geometry students to create circular images as part of the story.  You can check the links above for examples from previous years including some Algebra 1 examples.

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 7.26.53 PM           Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 7.29.53 PMScreen Shot 2018-06-22 at 7.32.39 PM

Including the Flipgrid responses from our sister school was an amazing addition. My students loved seeing the faces and hearing their reviewers. It also made the audience “authentic” to them. We did get permission from their parents for my students to view them but we did not include releasing it publically so I can’t share the link to the grid. I’ve included a screenshot of the grid below.

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 8.10.36 PMScreen Shot 2018-06-22 at 8.10.08 PM

You can find a link to my resources below.

Planning Guide – 2018 CYOA Scoring Guide-Algebra

2018 Choose Your Own Adventure Planning Guide-Geometry

Slide Presentation – CYOA Planning Guide.png

Student Peer Review Document – 2018 CYOA Scoring Guide-Algebra

2018 CYOA Scoring Guide-Geometry

Here is an example of a peer review. In my experience, you need to model this for your students. I have, in the past, peer-edited my own story with the class so they see what to look for.

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 8.20.25 PM

Please give credit to Matt Miller and me if you use this idea. It has been a fabulous learning experience in my classroom and I look forward to the next update!