What are Interactive Worksheets?
Interactive worksheets, or “interactivities” as we like to call them, are made with educational apps that take your favorite PDF worksheets and convert them into engaging digital materials delivered online to your students. Interactive worksheets challenge students in ways plain old paper worksheets never could because you can incorporate learning activities that are only possible on the computer. With interactive worksheets made with TeacherMade, you can also incorporate audio, video, and hyperlinks to transform learning beyond the printed page.
How are interactive worksheets different from paper worksheets?
Unlike interactive worksheets, paper worksheets are limited in how they can challenge and engage students. You can only ask questions or assign tasks that can be completed with a pencil or pen. Because of these limits, paper worksheets tend to be static and repetitive. Interactivities add the power of the computer to the worksheet so they have layers and levels that are not possible with paper worksheets.
Think about all of those times you included an excerpt from a speech for your students to read within a worksheet. With interactive worksheets, you can include a video clip of the actual speech for your students to watch! Watching the speech allows them to analyze it in ways they never could just by seeing it on paper. Deeper connections with the material are made for the student, making it memorable.
With other tools like hotspots, drag and drop, and audio, there are no limits to what you can do with interactive worksheets. Not only are students more engaged but the brain-friendly connections they are able to make within their learning are far stronger using these interactivities.
Are interactive worksheets the same as your favorite paper worksheets?
Deep down, all interactive worksheets are just paper worksheets that have been upgraded. So don’t go throwing away that filing cabinet filled with years of resources! Many of the questions that are asked on interactive worksheets are the same as those asked on paper worksheets. It is the way in which students are asked to respond that is different. For that reason, paper worksheets provide the perfect base for Teachers to expand on when they are uploaded to an educational app.
It’s no secret that students love technology. By moving learning resources and supplementals like worksheets online, they automatically capture students’ attention far more than paper worksheets. And because TeacherMade allows students to check their own scores, the worksheet is gamified for the student. Teachers consistently report that their students try harder on interactivities in TeacherMade.
The technology-enhanced question types offer additional excitement for the student. Drag-and-drops have students take objects and place them in the right location or sequence. It’s a fun way for students to show what they know. Voice recordings open up a world of possibilities, too. Students can read a poem, speak in a foreign language, or express their opinions in a medium that’s more natural.
Interactive worksheets let students move at their own pace allowing them to take control of their education and be more creative with their answers. In many cases, students can upload links, videos, or even audio to support their responses and find new ways to express themselves. Did we mention that TeacherMade has instant scoring for the student as part of its auto-grading feature? The ability to see their grades as soon as they submit their work also gives students a sense of ownership over what they’re learning. They naturally want to try harder!
Where do we even begin?? Once a Teacher knows how to use TeacherMade, they can save hours of time when prepping for class. For starters, these worksheets are assigned online to your students. This means that once they have been created, which can take a few minutes to set up, they can be sent directly to your students. No more costly printouts or losing battles with the copy machine. Just a few clicks on your computer and the work is ready to go.
As we mentioned, TeacherMade is the only educational app for making interactive worksheets that offers auto-grading. When a student submits their work, you can automatically see the score they received. Gone are the long nights and weekends of grading student work! And since TeacherMade is integrated with Google Classroom, Canvas, and Schoology, student grades flow directly to your gradebook. This streamlined process cuts out the middleman, aka the Teacher.
All in all, interactive worksheets let Teachers breathe knowing that their students are doing more rigorous, challenging assignments while they have simultaneously less paperwork. TeacherMade gives Teachers back hours of time both in and out of the classroom. Teachers use these time savings to spend more instructional time with their students or just to relax (a term foreign to most Teachers during the school year).
Knowing everything that’s possible with interactive worksheets, it’s hard to imagine ever going back to paper worksheets. So which educational app should you use and where should you begin? Like most things in life, getting started is the scariest part. Lucky for you, we know just the app 😉
TeacherMade takes your static PDFs and turns them into interactive worksheets that are easy to make and popular with your students. As a result, the best materials that you’ve curated over the years can now take center stage in your digital classroom.
Using TeacherMade is pretty easy. An upfront investment of time learning the basics will pay off for you for years to come. So let’s get started making interactive worksheets using TeacherMade.
Create Your TeacherMade Account
If you have not done so already, you will nned to create your TeacherMade account. To do so, go to https://teachermade.com and click “Sign up FREE” in the upper right corner of the homepage.
You can choose to create an account by typing in your information or registering with a Google account. We highly recommend that you sign up using your school email address, as it will make it easier if you choose to use one of our LMS integrations.
It is important to note that only teachers need TeacherMade accounts. Therefore, no student needs to or should be signing up for TeacherMade.
Once you are all signed up, the application will take you to a page titled ‘My Worksheets.’ This page will host all of your assignments and folders once you start creating them!
Turning PDFs into Interactive Worksheets
To make an interactive worksheet, start by selecting “Create Worksheet” in the upper left-hand corner or select ‘Actions’ in the right corner and then “Create Worksheet.”
First, you will need to give your interactive worksheet a title. You, your students, and any teacher you share the interactive worksheet with will see this title.
Next, you will have the option to add this interactive worksheet to a preexisting folder and then give the assignment a description.
Both of these steps are optional!
Finally, you will choose the background of the assignment you are creating. You can either upload a document from your computer or leave the background blank if you would prefer to make a worksheet from scratch.
Time to Upload Your Worksheets
You can upload any jpg, png, gif, pdf, or Docx file that is 12 pages or less. If you have TeacherMade PRO you can upload up to 25 pages. When you upload a document, TeacherMade turns it into an image and then places it in the background of the assignment.
For this reason, it is best to make any edits to your document before uploading it to TeacherMade. For example, if your PDF is landscape, you will want to rotate it into portrait orientation on your computer before uploading it.
Once you have filled out the necessary information and selected a background, choose “Make My File.”
Converting Your Worksheets to Interactive Worksheets
Once you have uploaded your PDF, the website will redirect you to the “Edit Worksheet” screen. Here, you will have access to a full toolbar with TeacherMade features to make your PDF a fully interactive worksheet.
When creating your TeacherMade assignments, you have 12 different question types to choose from. To access them, either select their icon on your toolbar or pick “Insert” and then select the kind of question to add.
Let’s walk through the different types.
This feature is represented by the ‘T’ on your toolbar and is meant for short one or two-word answers that can be auto-graded. You will only be able to see the words that fit in the physical box. Students will not be able to indent or type long paragraphs.
To use this feature, select the tool on your toolbar and then draw an answer box where you would like it to be on your assignment.
To set the correct answers for a Short Answer, highlight it and then click on the “Edit Short Answer” tab found below the toolbar. A pop-up window will appear.
Type in the correct answer(s) and assign points. You can choose to add up to 10 correct answers and give a max number of 10 points.
You can choose to give points only when the correct capitalization is present in the student’s answer by checking the box next to “Answers must match case (upper or lower) to be correct.” You can also choose to ignore a student’s punctuation by checking “Ignore punctuation marks in student answer.”
If your assignment requires multiple short answer boxes, don’t waste your time creating each one. Click on the first one you make to highlight and then select Control + D. This will duplicate the box and allow you to move it anywhere on the assignment.
For a drop-down style question, you will want to select the downward arrow on the toolbar and draw the box where you’d like it on the assignment. You can insert up to 10 answer choices and choose one correct answer. This feature can be auto-graded and you can also use Control + D to duplicate this question
This question type is represented by the ‘P’ on the toolbar and is meant for longer answers that cannot be auto-graded, like an open-ended question. Using this feature, students will be able to hit enter and create a paragraph regardless of the physical box size.
In addition, the application will create a scrollable window as they type that will let them and you see all of their work.
Select “Matching” and then draw boxes around each option and their match/answer to use the matching tool. Then hold down the ‘Shift’ key and as you do so, select two choices to match them. Students can only match each option with one answer.
To assign a point value to each question, select ‘Edit Matching’ on the toolbar. Use Control + D to duplicate the matching box and drag them onto each answer choice.
True or False
Select the T/F false from the toolbar and then choose from one of these true or false orientations.
Draw a box by the question and simply click on the correct answer. The default score will be one point. Click on “Edit True or False” to change the point value.
Select the circle icon on your toolbar and then choose the number of answer choices your question requires.
Again, you can click the correct answer right on the screen and open up the “Edit Multiple Choice” to select a point value. There can be only one correct answer when using this feature.
You have a few different formatting options with multiple-choice features.
Next to the “Edit Multiple Choice” button, you have the option to make the multiple choice box transparent. You can also orient the multiple-choice from left to right instead of top to bottom if you would like. To do so, select the item and resize using the bottom right corner, moving it up and to the right. The box will automatically switch its orientation.
This feature is similar to multiple-choice, but you can select more than one correct answer. You also can have up to eight answer choices.
In addition, you can make the same orientation edits. Make the box transparent by checking the box next to “Edit Checkboxes” and can also orient the checkboxes from left to right by dragging the bottom right corner up and towards the right.
This feature allows you to make any part of your worksheet (i.e., part of an image or diagram) the correct answer! The answers are usually a part of a group. Start by selecting the flame icon on your toolbar and then inserting a box around the first part of the image that could be an answer.
Continue adding these boxes until each answer choice has a box. For example, to create a “group” or question, click on the first hot spot you want to include, hold the Shift key down, and then click on the rest of the hot spots that are part of the group.
When assigning points to a hotspot question, you have the option to click, “The student should click this hotspot” or “The student should leave this hotspot unclicked.”
Students will need to select one of these hotspot boxes as their answer when answering the question. In addition, you have the option to add a border around each of the individual hotspots, change the Color of these borders, and make the corners of the hotspot rounded. This question can be worth up to 10 points.
Basic Math Question Types
Use the Math tools to draw short response areas on your worksheet that are pre-formatted to accept numbers, math symbols, and operators. For example, when you click on Math tools, you will choose one of the following types of problems:
a. 123 Number Choice: This choice will accept numeric characters and symbols only. You can list up to 10 correct answers for this question. As this question is, students are restricted from using commas, minus/negatives, and decimals when typing in their responses.
When inputting correct answers, you have the option to allow your students to use any of these digits. You can also change the font, font size, the color of the text, and the border color when adding this question type.
b. Fraction: The middle line provides th