2021 – Day 2 of Google – Google Docs

On our second day of Google, we will focus on Google Docs. There have been many aha moments in Docs lately. Let’s jump right into it. Did you know…


You now have the ability to add a water mark in the document. I remember the days of Word, where a file was shared and I immediately knew it was in draft format as the word DRAFT was written diagonally in the background. It was faded but it was clear that things were not set in stone.

For those that are looking for some sort of visual faded in the background, follow the steps below. You will see in the example below, our school logo was added. I had the ability to determine whether it should be faded or not, as well as what I want the scale of the image to be.

  • Under insert menu, select Watermark
  • Select the image box on the right column and find the image you want to upload
  • Determine scale and if you want it to appear faded

Continue reading “2021 – Day 2 of Google – Google Docs”

Math Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Docs

Math teachers know that typing math notation in Google Docs takes a bit of work. Rachel Fairhurst, a middle school math teacher in the Bedford School District, created a Google Doc with a list of shortcuts for her students so that they can type math expressions efficiently and correctly without having to spend the time to find what they are looking for in the equation tool bar. A sample of shortcuts can be seen in the image below. To view the full list of shortcuts that Rachel felt were important for her students click on this Google Doc link.

The trick to getting started in a Google Doc is to open the equation editor in the Google Document under the insert window. There is even a shortcut to inserting an equation without the need of moving the curser to the insert window.

Chromebook Shortcut: Alt + I + E (Alt + I will open the Insert window. E then opens the Equation editor)

Mac Shortcut: Ctrl + Option + I + E (Ctrl + Option + I will open the Insert window. E then opens the Equation editor)

Demonstration of Using the Shortcuts

For example: If I am looking to typing the following equation in a proper math notation in a Google Doc


I would type the following:
y=3\pi(space bar key)x+\frac(space bar key)5(tab key)8

For a better demonstration, watch this short view.

Big Thanks to Rachel for sharing this great resource for students!

Creating "Fill In" Responses in Google Docs

Why not have Google Docs work for you…you can turn a Google Document into a ‘fillable form’ by making questionnaires, investigations, worksheets, etc. I know that Google Forms exist and you can ask questions for people to fill out but sometimes, you just do not want your responses to be located in one big Google Sheet.

Where I see this method work great is for investigations or worksheets that students might typically have done with paper and pencil in the past. That is right, students can do the same work electronically, allowing them to ‘turn it in’ through Google Classroom or other electronic collection means.

Below are some examples of how I see this working out:
1. Questionnaire or Form – wanting to collect basic information from people but need the information separate from others in a document.
2. Investigation or Worksheet – students completing their work electronically in a document – getting away from the traditional paper and pencil method.
There is a little trick to this madness. Follow these steps and you will be golden:
  1. First you must determine the questions that you want to ask. 
  2. Then you must insert tables in your document. This is how you create those text boxes for users to fill out.
  3. Next, you need to customize the look of your tables so that they don’t look like tables. It is also recommended that if you want the responses to have its own style, you will want to customize that as well.
Things to Know/Consider
  • If you are going to use this method for all of your required course work, you will want to be consistent. In other words, keep your response boxes the same color, type of font, etc.
  • When choosing a color for your box, do not choose a dark color. It might be good to just keep it basic and choose a light grey color.
  • Depending on responses – documents may look different. What I mean by this is if a response by a student is extra thoughtful, it will push all content below it – which might result in things showing up on a different page.
Why this Method?
I like this method as students know exactly what is expected of them. There is no confusion for students as they know where a response must be given. There is no room for ‘well I didn’t know I had to answer that’!
Just this year, our administration team had all teachers complete their professional goals and self reflections in an Google Document that was set up as a questionnaire. Again, this allowed teachers to know exactly what they had to fill out and complete.
As always, if you want to learn more as to how you can use this tool in your classroom/curriculum, you know where to find me!