Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Make Growth Mindset Achievement Pages for Students Using Google Apps

Here's a quick way to help students develop a growth mindset as you recognize their progress. You can create achievement pages for each of them using Google Apps such as Drawings and Docs.

At the end of a semester or year, students will have a record of milestones they passed in their learning journey. You can personalize them as much as you want for your class and the students. Be sure to encourage a growth mindset by praising effort and the process of learning.

Here's the procedure:

First, make a blank achievement page as a Google document. Put the student's name at the top and any other information you want to include. I also suggest adding a table to the document to keep the achievements organized. Once you get the basic arrangement you like, you'll copy the document and change the name for each student in your class.

Next, search Pixabay to easily find quality public domain clip art of awards and trophies.

Copy and paste a few of those clip art images into a blank Google Drawing.

Add some Word Art, shapes or text boxes to decorate each award. Make them personal! Name them after your favorite phrases, teaching techniques or projects. Of course, encourage a growth mindset too. If you need ideas, here's a great list of resources from Vicki Davis' blog.

Ideally you'll make a few generic awards. You can also make custom awards this way at any time, even at the last minute for some achievements. The more personalized and relevant to the project at hand, the better.

When it's time to recognize a student's achievement, "snip" a copy of an award. You'll use different tools for this depending on the type of computer you're using. On a Windows computer, use the Snipping Tool. Here are keystrokes for a Chromebook or a Mac. Note that it is easiest to copy the image you capture rather than  just saving it to your computer.

Paste that snipped image into a table cell on student's achievement page. Add a note that is specific to what they earned the award. Include a date too.

After you add the first award, share it with the student. If they have Google Apps for Education accounts, this is easy. Just Share as you would any document, but be sure to make it View only. You don't want them to be able to edit these achievement pages. 

If the students don't have Google accounts, use link sharing and send the link to the student (possibly at a parent's email address) or using a link shortener like Goo.gl.

Add awards at anytime after you've shared it and students can see their updated achievement sheet at anytime. They can drag the URL to their bookmarks bar in Chrome, so it's always only a click away.

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