Using Google Sheets for Physical Literacy Assessment

One of my main goals for this school year is to improve my methods of authentically assessing student progress in #PhysEd. In doing this it will enable me to better understand my students, their abilities and needs and to plan & deliver more meaningful learning engagements at differentiated levels.

I have also noticed in the last few years, as I am sure have many of you, the increasing lack of basic hand eye coordination & fundamental movement skills in our students. Be this because of video games or lack of outside space in cities or many other factors, it is an alarming trend.  While fundamental movement skills programs & assessments have always existed there seems to be a real push at the moment to revive this concept under the banner of Physical Literacy. You can learn more about Physical Literacy in the video below produced by OPHEA. While this may be a rebranding of existing programs or concepts, I love the idea of physical movement skills as the building blocks to be able to participate in more sports & activities.

My school already tests Grade 1 students in Gross & Fine Motor skills using the University of Queensland’s Early Literacy Foundations programme, as a way of identifying students who experience difficulties in the areas of listening, reading or spelling as they also tend to struggle with motor, sensory and perceptual skills. In support of this program run by our literacy department I have begun to assess students in Kindergarten & also Grade 1 using two different Physical Literacy assessments.

In Kindergarten, in collaboration with the classroom teachers I used the Ages & Stages Questionnaire & in Grade 1 I used the PLAYbasic Assessment by from physicalliteracy.ca to support the ELF programme.
In my effort to go paperless in #PhysEd and harness the power of Google Apps for #PhysEd I decided to uses Google Sheets on my iPad to help me do these assessments. You can see both of them below.

You might be asking “but how did you make them all so color coded an easy to read?” The answer is quite simple and another fantastic feature of Google Sheets – Conditional Formatting.
Conditional Formatting allows you to set rules for your sheet. As you can see below I set up the following sheet with conditional formatting to automatically change cell colors to corresponding responses.  The levels for this assessment were Initial, Emerging, Confident & Proficient.
When the “Text is Exactly – I” then the Background will be Red, when the “Text is Exactly – E” then the color will be orange and so on.  As soon as I entered this data into the sheet using the Google Drive App on my iPad the cell automatically changed color and gave me a quick visual way of looking at my assessment data and picking out trends etc.
Unfortunately at this stage you cannot enter conditional formatting on the Google Drive iOS App so you will need to set this up on your computer. However once set up it is super simple to use on your iPad, or phone through the Google Drive app. It really cuts out one step of the process when recording the data in this way, instead of the old clipboard with paper and then sitting down to enter it into the computer.

Now that I have this assessment data I am able to easily differentiate for students based on their physical ability. For example in Kindergarten Michael has difficulty with catching a large ball, by knowing this it allows me to plan activities that assist Michael in improving his catching skills.  I plan to reassess the students throughout the year to track improvement and have shared this data with classroom teachers to help them get a fuller picture and better understanding of their students as a whole child.

I look forward to using conditional formatting further for other #PhysEd related tasks in the future and know that some #pegeeks already use it to automatically grade responses to Google Forms etc. I would love to hear about how you are using Google Apps for Assessment in your program. The possibilities with Google Apps and the ever improving Google Drive app for #PhysEd are endless.

1 thought on “Using Google Sheets for Physical Literacy Assessment”

  1. I have not ever used this in my program but i definitely see the benefit of it. Educating teachers on the whole child concept can be nothing but helpful for them and for us. It is also a great tool for monitoring progress. When you have over 900 students it can be very challenging to keep up with all of them. This allows me as the educator to go back and assess each student and what their specific needs are!

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