Creating Responsive Quizzes With Google Forms

A responsive quiz is one that responds based on a student’s answer. If you’ve ever used Google Forms to create “choose your own adventure” stories, this has a very similar setup. The idea is that when a student answers a question correctly, they get another question of equal or greater difficulty, and when a question is answered incorrectly, their next question is easier. This is a great way to determine a student’s upper limits on a particular skill when pretesting. This can really help when planning small groups, seeing which skills need to be reviewed from previous years in order for students to grasp the current skills, and knowing which skills students are already nearly proficient in to help pace your unit.

The first step (once you have determined the skill you’ll be pretesting) is to vertically align standards. I would recommend starting off with standards for the grade level below yours, or with standards from your grade level that students will need to have already mastered in order to be successful with this skill. My sample quiz is intended for 3rd graders to determine their prior knowledge for rounding. I found this math vertical alignment document that aligns Common Core standards from kindergarten all the way through eighth grade. The standards for place value and notation are located on page 19, so that’s where I’m looking for guidance on which standards to put together.

place value and notation vertical alignment

As you can see, there are multiple standards that students should have mastered in kindergarten, first, and second grade in order to successfully round numbers to the nearest ten and the nearest hundred in third grade. If students show mastery of the third grade standard, their quiz will also ask questions regarding the fourth and fifth grade standards in the skills similar to rounding.

For this quiz to work, you’ll need to click “add a section” on the right side after creating each question. After creating your questions, click on the stack of 3 dots in the bottom right corner of each question to reveal a menu. I like to shuffle my answer choices, but you’ll definitely need to use the option “Go to section based on answer.” You’ll need to set up each question to send students to answer correctly to a question of equal or greater difficulty, and all wrong answers to take a step back in difficulty level.

On mine, I’m including at least one question for each related standard from first through fifth grades. I started with a second grade question in an effort to build confidence with something familiar before moving forward. If they answer a second grade question right, they move to a third grade question, if not, they get a first grade question. If a first grade question if answered right, they move to a second grade question, if not, they get another first grade question. When I ran out of first grade questions, students who answered a second grade question wrong got another second grade question. I set it up to submit the quiz after any incorrect answer from 4th and 5th grade questions.

You can see my sample responsive quiz below. In order to avoid having changes made, I can only share it like this. One of the drawbacks of Google Forms is that you can either share with editing rights, or you can share the completed form. Feel free to take the quiz to see how it works, purposely answering questions correctly or incorrectly to get a feel for how it would play out for your students. The number at the top of each page represents the grade level of the standard the question covers, the letter beside it is just a numbering system to keep the questions straight.


Teacher Planner Options

There are so many options out there for what teachers use as their lesson planner. Here’s what I know about just a few of the options out there. I know from personal experience that different schools have varied expectations about teacher’s lesson plans. Some administrators never check plans unless they see a need for it, others require teachers to turn in plans the week before they are taught, and everything in between.

Digital Planners

Google Drive

Whether you use a new doc for each week, a spreadsheet you have carefully formatted and create a new tab for each week, or even format slides to show specific lessons, your plans will always be available to you if they’re on Google Drive.

If you aren’t up to the task for formatting the file to look how you want, there are tons of sellers on Teacher Pay Teachers who sell digital templates they have set up, and some will even make custom ones for you if you have specific needs that you don’t see met by what is already in their store.


This web-based planner allows teachers to set up their planner for a variety of types of schedules. You can view your plans by day, week, month, or as a list. Lessons can be organized into units. Standards and assignments can be attached to lessons. It allows you to share plans with colleagues who also use using a teacher key, and you can also share items you specify with students (and their parents) with a student key. If you need to bump a lesson forward or backward by one or more days, it only takes 2 clicks. You can also easily extend a lesson and/or the standards attached to it for those lessons that take more time than anticipated. There is a print-to-pdf option that would make it easy to keep a paper copy on your desk, or attach the pdf to share plans with your administrator. There are also apps you can use to access your planner on both Android and iOS. Although there is a yearly subscription fee of $12 for, that is far less than some of the paper options out there. You can sign up for a 30-day trial to check out whether it works for you before committing to the subscription.

Here’s another web-based planner, with many similar features to This does have a free version and a paid version. The subscription costs $25/year, and you lose some really important functionality without it, such as being able to print or email your plans. Their site is supported on iPad and iPhone, but not through an app. You get a 14-day free trial of premium features when you sign up, and are automatically changed to the free version once the trial ends. It only takes 2 clicks to bump the entire day’s plans to the next day (think snow days). Comparing and, the latter is very simplistic, but that also means there are fewer features available, so it depends upon your needs and preferences which is right for you.

Paper Planners

Erin Condren

I’ve seen a couple of colleagues with Erin Condren teacher planners, and several YouTube videos of teachers outlining the pros and cons of these beautiful planners. They start at $55 for a standard wirebound coil, or $60 for metallic coil and metallic accents on the cover. It comes with: 40 weeks of lesson planning, 12 monthly planning pages, a communication log, a yearly planning page, some checklist pages (not enough to be your gradebook), 1 sheet protector, a folder, dry erase board inside covers, and 4 pages of sticker sheets. The primary complaint I heard from several YouTube videos is that the monthly planning pages are all together, and then all of the weekly pages are in a separate section. So, you’ll have your August-July calendars, followed by your weekly plans for August-June, while some prefer to have the weekly plans immediately following that month. By the time I customized one on their site, I was up to $68 before tax and shipping. They are very pretty, and have a lot of useful pages included. The second most common complaint I heard on YouTube videos is that the months and weeks are not dated. The months are labeled, but the actual numbers for each day are not printed on the page. You need to put little stickers or write them in yourself.

The Happy Planner

I spent some time drooling over these at Michael’s one week this summer. (Yes, I went multiple times, don’t judge me.) There are several YouTube videos I watched comparing Erin Condren’s planner with The Happy Planner. Some of the biggest differences include that The Happy Planner already has all of the dates filled in, the weekly planning pages are immediately after each month’s calendar, and the page are repositional (to a degree…some won’t make sense elsewhere). The Happy Planner is bound using a disc system (like the Arc notebooks at Staples), so you can use a special punch to attach any paper you want into your planner, and you can also remove and replace pages. There are lots of ready-made accessories you can add to your planner, such as additional student checklist pages, notes pages, folders, stickers. Let’s put it this way, I didn’t have everything I wanted to buy in my cart, there was a 40% off sale, and I still had $80 worth of things in my cart at Michael’s before I decided against it.

My Two Cents

Personally, I like to use a hybrid of paper and digital plans. I love having all of my units and lesson materials on my Google Drive, but keep an abbreviated version of that week’s plans written on paper. For the past several years, I have started the year with one of the digital options, but before September ended, I always go down to the teacher supply closet and pick up one of the basic planners available there. You know the ones, with greenish paper, 6 boxes across and 5 days down.

For the coming school year, I thought long and hard about buying an Erin Condren Teacher Planner or The Happy Planner’s version. In the end I opted not to get either one. I’m left-handed, and have a very difficult time writing in binders and wirebound notebooks. The Happy Planner’s binding system has 11 discs I would need to avoid, rather than the 3 in a binder, and I never write in binders.

Instead, I bought a really big Leuchtterm notebook, since I don’t mind writing in that style of binding, and I’m setting up a few pages most days this summer to take what I think are the best features of The Happy Planner and the Erin Condren Teacher Planner and put my own twist on them. Is it time-consuming? Absolutely, but I’m counting it as crafting, so I’m happy to do it. I intend to include my weekly plans, checklist pages for me to log grades (as backup for PowerSchool, and to keep them at my fingertips in case I need them and don’t want to log in to the digital gradebook), and more. I’m logging my progress in Instagram if you want to follow my setup.