Preparing students for the ELA standardized tests is always a stressful time - not just for students but teachers alike.

Preparation is the key and there's one way to prepare students for the English Language Arts standardized tests also synonymous with Naplan Language Conventions (ACARA). Students are assessed on their competency in spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation skills at the specific grade/year level.

So, what is that one thing that can easily be capitalized on and will instantly get a majority of students motivated to access the preparation key to being stress free - it's technology and it has taken the world by storm presently.

By technology, I'm referring to the various digital devices that are being used by students all over the world and within the realm of Google Classroom and similar safe online learning platforms.

Combine this use of technology with some facts on a fun celebration and you've got interdisciplinary learning strands of the curriculum culminating - namely social studies/history/humanities and Language Arts.

Let's take for example, the fun celebration of April Fools' Day - a perfect celebration to not just have students laughing at all the ridiculous facts, but also subtly preparing them for testing.

So, how does that work?

Well, for one thing students will first read a fun fact on April Fools' Day by accessing their Google Drive in Google Forms (that's the technology part).

april fools day google forms google classroom

Next, they will read and analyze the fact card not just for the fun fact but also for the language used to express that fact (that's the testing part).

april fools day google forms google classroom

Interestingly, the question subtly employs the language used in the fun fact to target skills related to


april fools day google forms google classroom


 april fools day google forms google classroom


april fools day google forms google classroom

and punctuation.

april fools day google forms google classroom

Everything is not so straight forward too - as fact cards feature deliberate errors that students have to spot.

april fools day google forms google classroom

This kind of preparation has a dual benefit. Other than benefitting the student, it benefits the teacher as well.

How so?

By alleviating the need for - marking!

Once students submit the fun-facts celebration quiz targeting essential ELA skills, they get instant feedback in terms of an instant score and breakdown of errors.

april fools day google forms google classroom

The teacher too gets a summary report of all student responses, individual questions and an individual student's response.

How innovative is that?

Data at the tip of your fingertips to dictate further teaching and learning.

april fools day google forms google classroom

State testing for the year 2020 is cancelled or maybe cancelled at your school due to yet another adverse repercussion of the pandemic - but you know what - all bad things (and good for that matter) come to an end and it won't be long when life is back to normal and testing is back. But our students don't have to worry for we have subtly prepared them to be resilient in the most light-hearted of ways.


april fools day google forms google classroom

More subtle learning activities with celebrations to come - so do keep in touch here.

Stay safe!
Until next time...


The words, 'Digital', 'Paperless Classroom', 'Google Classroom' and the likes have taken on new significance as most schools around the world transition to Distance Learning.

It was always at the back of my mind that the education system would sooner or later go all digital - that the use of digital devices to facilitate learning would take precedence and the old-fashioned pen and paper medium would be done away for good. What I didn't envision was that this theory would come to fruition much sooner than expected and that too within a remote learning framework.

So when COVID-19 struck our world and the WHO and the United Nations declared it a pandemic, the need for digital learning in a Distance Learning setup became an urgent need. As our school is still in the transitioning stage of going paperless, there was much stress initially in terms of preparing for remote learning. The situation is more in control now as we are better informed and given time to prepare resources to accommodate remote teaching and learning.

Apart from other subjects, Reading needs to be at the core of an online course module. To practice the application of essential reading strategies, this resource on Reading Strategy Responses (tried by my students) would - I'm positive - be useful to any remote learning elementary/primary school classroom.

Read on further to see how you can use this resource in your classroom or simply scroll down to the end to access this freebie.

distance remote learning

Students will reflect on a book they are reading or have read by typing their responses in a Google Form. This is an effective way to authenticate students' reading logs.

digital reading response strategies

A visual definition of the reading strategy in question aids in student responses.

Distance Remote Learning

A guiding question also facilitates response.

distance remote learning

Students simply type in their answer in the text box and all responses are automatically saved for analysis.

distance remote learning

The questions require an open-ended response and it would be interesting to read what each student has written.

distance remote learning

Best of all, student responses can be remotely accessed by accessing the 'Responses' tab on the Google Form.

The 'Summary' tab gives an overview of all student responses for all questions.

distance remote learning

The 'Question' tab shows student responses for each question.

distance google classroom remote

And the 'Individual' tab reveals responses of each student.

google classroom distance learning

Analyzing this data is indeed very useful to dictate further teaching and learning.

And if you want to export this data into an excel spreadsheet, all you have to do is access the green cross tab on the right.

distance remote learning

Sharing this form with all student responses with the class is easy too - simply access the 'Share' tab.

distance remote learning

To make a question mandatory for students to respond, access the 'Required' tab below on the right.

distance remote learning

So, if you would like to assign this digital resource featuring 10 reading response questions to your students, then click on the image link below. All you have to do is upload the link to a safe online learning platform like Google Classroom and assign the task to students. Further instructions to setup are in the free download.

Like the resource above and looking to assign more reading resonse questions?

Then this set of 20 questions will do ample justice to gauge your students' reading comprehension skills. Click on the image below to access.


And if you're looking for more digital resources to use in your classroom, you can find a lot more here.

Stay safe!
Until next time...