Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Amazing Classroom Ideas from 2 days of walk-throughs

Although I work with schools and train teachers for 2 whole days of PD (1 prior to getting chromebooks and the other after 1 month of working with them), I find that I learn more from the teachers when I see them in action with their students.  I learned through my years of teaching and writing that what we say and what we write is interpreted in many different ways due to the prior knowledge and experience of the audience as well as the current situation of those listening/reading.  For this reason, after I train teachers in the use of a tool it is nice to see how they manipulate the functionality of that tool to come up with amazing lessons and engaging content that I would or could ever have created or thought of myself.  I see these ideas on walk-throughs, like the one I did today.

1. Kahoot and whiteboards in combination - A teacher used the Kahoot game to gather evidence of her whole class and how they were understanding problems in her AP Chemistry class.  After answering a question on the Kahoot, the teacher would then give them time to write out their explanation or an answer to a subquestion developed by the teacher when she saw the confusions students had with the question.  Kahoot was truly a formative assessment tool that allowed the teacher to assess students, then restructure teaching immediately.

2. Participation during presentation - Many teachers have students do presentations, but what do the students do as they listen to the presentations.  A teacher gave an assignment where the students needed to record information about the presentation in a table nested in a google doc.  Students then were required to use the research tool to gather an additional piece of information.  As this was delivered through google classroom, not only could the teacher coach students on presentation skills, but he also checked in on students during the presentations.

3. Socratic Seminars - A teacher in an high school Sophomore English class had students arranged in an inner and outer circle in her room.  Students in the inner circle were arguing as part of a Socratic seminar while the students in the outer ring added to the notes on the book the inner circle students were discussing.  The teacher mentioned that she was interested in having students share a google doc and have outer circle students feed answers and evidence to the inner circle students through the google doc.

4. Annotated bibliographies for research papers - a Junior English class was annotating bibliographies on American figures from the past.  The teacher collaborated with the US history teacher to make sure the project supported what students were learning in both classes.  The teacher had the students annotating and evaluating sources in google docs to later use in their research project.

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