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How to Differentiate Instruction with Google Forms

data tracking, differentiation, Google Forms, Step By Step, Teaching
Hey y’all!
I hope everyone is having a great summer so far!
When I first started this blog, I was just looking for a way to put my teaching ideas into one place and if I helped someone else, or inspired another teacher along the way, then great! Now that I’ve been trying to post and share consistently, I’ve been seeing what most people seem to be interested in: applying technology in the classroom.

One of my 1st posts, How to Streamline Behavior Documentation Using Google Forms, has been bouncing around quite a bit (exciting!). Because of that, I have become even more curious with how I can use Google Forms in my classroom to make life easier, increase efficiency, and increase student outcomes. Through clicking around and tinkering with Google Forms I found a way I thought could be used to differentiate, and upon more tinkering, I was right! In this post, I want to share with you what I found out.

Before I get into it, I don’t want this title to freak anyone out. Sometimes, I feel like when people see the term “Google Forms” or Google anything they think they have to be a 1:1 classroom, or have major access to technology to be able to utilize this idea. Not true! I only have 3 desktops in my room on a normal day. I sometimes allow my students to bring smartphones to work on if they have them and when I do that, between my 3 desktops and partnering up, I can try to get every kid on a device. If I can utilize this, you can too!

Okay, now the magic…

When you create a Google Form (see here for instructions), like multiple choice questions for an assessment or something, there is a handy little option I found when clicking around called “Go to Section Based On Answer”.  This allows you to dictate which questions or content a student will see based off their answer choices (hello, differentiation!).

How to Set It Up:
First, write your question and fill in the answer choices. Then, in the bottom right corner of the form, you will click the 3 dots to see a pop-up. On that pop-up, select the “Go to Section Based On Answer” option. See below.

Once you have that selected, you can decide what you want to happen after a student selects a specific answer.  You can either choose to have them:

Submit Form: If student answers that answer choice, the form will be submitted or “finished”.
Continue to Next Section: If student answers that answer choice, they will be directed automatically to continue to the next section of questions.
Continue to Section X: If student answers that answer choice, they will be directed to the section you choose

For example, if a student gets a difficult question correct, and you want them to go  answer extension questions then you would lead them to that section you created.  If a student gets an answer wrong, maybe you want them to review specific material, watch a video, or back up and answer more foundational questions so you can figure out their misunderstanding, then you would lead them to that section.

You will have to click the 3 dots and select the “Go to Section Based On Answer” for each question and then select where you’d like students to be directed to.

When you’re making your sections, you will click the = button on the side bar. Creating a new “section” is different than just adding a new question.

By dictating where you want students to go based off a specific answer choice, you can differentiate better and lead each student to review material, extension activities, other leveled questions, or ask them to elaborate. The beauty of this is that each form can be as extensive or simple as you like!

Now, let’s look at an example question. 

Let’s say we’ve asked our students to take a quick review quiz of figurative language terms/examples. See question 1.

Question: Which of the following an an example of a simile? We know that the answer should be the first option. Option 2 is an onomatopoeia, option 3 is hyperbole and option 4 is a metaphor.
I’ve set up my form so that if a student selects option 1, the correct answer, they can continue on to the next questions or the “next section”. If a student selects the incorrect answer, they have to go to what I labeled “Section 2, Review Video”.
If a student gets the incorrect answer, they would be directed to something like below. The student would review the video on similes and metaphors and then answer the question again.

If the student got the correct answer, they could go to the next section of questions. If they got the incorrect answer again, maybe they would have to submit the form and come discuss it with you, or even work on something else. The possibilities are endless!

I’m still playing with this and working with different options myself, so put your questions in the comments! We can work it out together. 

p.s. Upon researching, I also found that Kasey at Shake Up Learning made a post about this over TWO years ago (how behind am I?!). However, the look of Google Forms has seemed to change a bit, so I went ahead and finished my post to share. But, check her out…she has some great Google resources!

How to Create a Google Form to Help Streamline Behavior Documentation (a Step-By-Step Guide)

Behavior Management, Documentation, Google Forms, Middle School, QR Codes, Step By Step, Teaching
Step by Step process for how to create a Google Form and connect it with a QR code for behavior documentation streamlining!
Hello! I’m so excited to share that my previous post “How to Streamline Behavior Documentation” has been bouncing around a lot on Pinterest! Through this post, I have been able to connect with a lot of teachers I otherwise would not have been able to and for that I am excited!

Since that post has been bouncing around, I’ve gotten a lot of emails and comments on the post asking more specific questions about Google Forms. In this post, I’m going to give step-by-step instructions on how I set up the Google Forms that connect with my QR codes. If you haven’t read my previous post on this topic, check it out here.

Part 1: Create the Google Form

1. Go to and log-in.
2. In the top right corner, click the little square of 9 boxes and see a drop-down menu.
3. Click Google Drive.

4. In the left hand column, click “New”.
5. There will be a drop down menu. Click “More” for the option to see Google Forms.
6. Click Google Form and an Untitled Form will open.

7. Where it says “Untitled Form”, put the name of whatever you want the form to be. For example, if you want this form to only track one specific behavior like “Tardy to Class”, then name it that. If you think you’d like to create a form to track many types of behaviors for one student, name it the student’s name. I will show you how to set up both types of forms.
8. After you’ve named your form, write a brief description of what the form is for all who are shared to use it.
If you want to track one type of behavior for many students with your form (Example: a tardy log of all students):
9. Where it says “Untitled Question”, write Name.
10. On the right, you can either:
  •  make it a multiple choice question and list the names of the students in your class so you just have to select the student
    • If you choose this, select “multiple choice” on the right, then begin writing the names of the students where it says “add option”. You can do that as many times as you need to.


  • or make it a short answer question and you can type the name of the student in. This is the path I chose to keep the form simple.


11. Now, continue to add on to the form to include all information you’d like to track (class period, reason tardy, pass, any other notes, etc.) To add another section, click the + sign on the right. Then, follow the same steps you previously completed (select the question type, write what you want that section to be titled, etc.)
**Next year, I think I am going to make one Google Form per student and make a drop down menu of all of the behaviors I’d like to track. That way, “Molly’s” behavior can be tracked across classes all in one place. If you’re interested in doing this, just name the form the student’s name, and you can check “Dropdown” as the question type. At that point you can create all of the drop down choices of student behavior you’d like to be able to track.

12. Once you have added all of the sections to your Google Form, click “SEND” in the top right corner.

14. Now, click the link that is at the top of that window to get a link that corresponds with this code. COPY THAT LINK!


Your form is FINISHED! Now, on to Part 2. 

Part 2: Create the QR Code

2. Select URL and paste the URL you saved from the Google Form. Then, if you want, click “Shorten URL”.
3. Your QR Code should now be live!  Do NOT exit this screen yet!

Part 3: Test It 

1. If you haven’t already, download a QR code reader on your phone or tablet. There are many free apps. I have the QR Reader for iPhone which was just the first option that came up when I searched for one.
2. Open the Reader and allow it to access your camera. Now, point the QR reader at the QR code that is on the computer screen to test it (this saves you time from printing and then figuring out you made a mistake somewhere!).
3. If your code works, it should immediately scan the QR code and direct you to your Google Form. You may be prompted to log in to Google first before you see the form. Don’t worry, you won’t have to do that each time you scan.
4. Input test information on your form and click submit…just like you would do during class when you’re tracking information.

Part 4: Checking the Results

1. You can check the results on the original Google Form interface first, then you can create a spreadsheet. Go back to the Google Form (if it isn’t open anymore, go back to your Google Drive and select it.)
2. Once you’re back to the form, click responses. You will see your test responses, and data. Then, click the little green box to create a spreadsheet that will collect responses.
3. The screen that comes up should look like the picture below. Click create. It will take you to the spreadsheet that will track the responses for your QR code. The columns should be populated with the information you put in as a test.
**If your spreadsheet collected the test information, then everything is good to go! Now, as another note: anytime you log in to your Google Drive you should be able to see the original form and the form response spreadsheet. It will stay in there and continually populate as you and your team scan in information! 

Part 5: Save and Print

1. Now that you’ve checked to make sure everything is good to go, go back to your QR code on the QR Code generator screen. You need to save the code image (on a PC, right click the QR code and Save As; on a Mac take a screenshot by holding Shift+Command+4).
2. Go to a word document and insert the image of the code.
3. Label the QR code so you know what it is and save and print!  I laminated mine and put them on a key ring so I didn’t have to re-print throughout the year if I lost one or got it dirty.

You’re Finished!

I promise that after going through the process once, you will know what to do again and it will go much faster the next time you make one. 
Tell me what you think! Was this helpful? Do you think you’ll try this in your classroom, or have you done this already? Let me know in the comments or by emailing me! 

Check out: How to Differentiate Using Google Forms

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p.s. Want to start a teacher blog just like this one? My friend, Suzi, wrote an ebook that can help you get started and grow your blog!

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