I've noticed that many teachers in my district are still giving the material to the students through the traditional teacher-centered lecture/powerpoint based instruction. I wanted to try something that made the students accountable while you were presenting and had the ability to check their understanding through formative assessment. In my searching I found Pear Deck and boy did I fall in love. I recently tried Pear Deck with my students and was amazed and their engagement and participation. Pear Deck is like a traditional powerpoint except it can be shared on students computers or devices and has interactive questions, quizzes, and ways to promote social interaction in the classroom and check student knowledge. Then you can chart what they know or read it in class. I found once my students realized this they became much more attentive. With this free software is the ability to upload your already created powerpoints and make them interactive. I suggest trying this out and let me know what you think!
Example of engaging students in the first few minutes:
Video about peardeck:
I tried Quizlet Live today to review the terms from the first unit in Excel. Let me say I was pleasantly surprised at the excitement and participation from the students. It was loud, but it was chatter only about the topic of excel. I felt quite giddy that they were yelling terms out like, "spreadsheet", "name box" , "cell". There was lots of encouragement from eachother to pick the right answer since they would fall back in the scoreboard if they missed. A couple students asked if we can do this everyday. My response, "Of course we can't but we certaintly can for review!" My review on Quizlet is that its simple to set up, fun and engaging, and truley a win in my book.I really liked that out of the 3 in each group they had different answers on their computers and had to decide which student had the right answer. The only issue we had was I have desktop computers so you can't sit by your assigned group. But I actually liked it that they were having to find a way to communicate with each other from a distance. Most of the students got up and moved around or spoke with eachother to narrow down their choice. So don't take my word for it, try it! See the video I took in class today!
Quizlet is a free website providing learning tools for students, including flashcards, study and game modes. It was created by high school sophomore Andrew Sutherland in 2005 and now contains over 40 million study sets. All of the material is user-generated.
I don't know about ya'll but I love using Quizlet in the classroom to practice vocabulary and terms from the unit. The kids like it because they are online playing different games like that reinforce the terms. Here are a few of them:
Flashcards—Review your material, shuffle/randomize, or listen with audio.
Learn—Track your correct/incorrect answers and retest the ones you've missed.
Speller--Type what you hear in this audio-powered study mode.
Test—Randomly generate tests based on your flashcard set.
Scatter—Race against the clock to drag and match terms/definitions.
Space Race—Type in the answer as terms/definitions scroll across the screen.
I think quite a few of the teachers at BHHS are currently using Quizlet in their classroom or have shown the students how to get the APP on their phones so they can make their own terms to study. Well, Quizlet has something new that is outstanding! Its called LIVE, an in-class, team-based learning game based on any Quizlet study set. Students are randomly paired into teams of 3-4 students to race against other teams. Each team must work together to clear their board, and the first team to do so wins.
How does the game work?Here is what to expect:
1) Set up your computer to project your screen to the class
2) Give each student a computer or tablet
3) On your computer, go to the set you’d like to use on Quizlet
4) You’ll see a “Live” button on the right side of the page with a “beta” label. Click it!
5) On this screen, click "Create game."
1) Students go to http://quizlet.live and enter the game pin you are projecting on your screen (if you cannot access quizlet.live due to school filters, you can access it via https://quizlet.com/live)
2) When all students have joined, preview randomized team assignments (with the option to reshuffle)
3) Assign these teams to students by clicking Use These Teams
4) Ask students to move next to each other so that they can work together
5) Start the game!
CLick HERE:for the new features
I have been on a kick lately incorporating some writing in my computer courses. My web design students are creating a 20 page website about an interactive adventure story with multiple endings. Google "Create your own adventure story" if you don't know what I'm getting at. I fell upon Inklewriter, which has been around for a few years, and fell in love. Here is the concept from the website "The inklewriter lets you write as you play, branching the story with choices, and then linking those branches back together again. It keeps track of which paths you’ve finished, and which still need to be written.
There’s no set-up, no programming, no drawing diagrams – so there’s nothing between you and the empty page. Oh, and it’s free to use. And once written, you can share your stories with whomever you like."
Book Trailers and Video Projects
The other project that I have been working on is having my students work on producing videos. The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest (ALAUM) has partnered with the United Soybean Board to put together a High School Video Contest informing the public on the benefits of biodiesel fuel. This is a great project for students for a few reasons:
A few of you have been interested in using google drive for quizzes and utilizing the self-grade through flubaroo add-on extension. I found some great information from Richard Byrne, a teacher that was presenting at my conference I attended in June. You can find instructions HERE.
If your looking for some geography resources to use this week in your classes, I've listed some sources that you can add to your lessons.
Example of a zaption video on cloud computing