This is an extension of the activity you began during the workshop session. Use the resource you identified during the workshop in your classroom. Share how it went, with your peers Here are a few guiding questions.
Hans, how did you use Wordle? Just curious. Did the students add to one on the activboard, or were they done on an individual basis. I do like the idea of using this as a pre-assessment tool.
During the first session, we had time to explore many math web sites. As professionals, we really go into the games and were having a lot of fun. We decided that presenting this to our students would be beneficial.
My students have been using BuzzMath to help them prepare for their mid-year. It is a site that gives them review problems and gives feedback. In the past I have found this to be much more exciting than reviewing from worksheets and/or textbooks. The sites given at that last workshop were more like games than just question and answer activities. My students found this to be much more exciting. They enjoyed the challenge of creating balances and trying to find the values of each shape. They were challenging each other and racing dirt bikes as they were solving problems. I do believe that they did more math in that class than any other class. They were focused, engaged, and having fun. Some students even went to a game about slope and y-intercept (which we have not covered yet) and learned all about it on their own.
When I first mentioned that we were going to the computer lab, they were immediately excited. They have enjoyed BuzzMath in the past and prefer it to paper and pencil tasks. When I mentioned that they could explore another site that had games, they were more engaged. They immediately wanted to try something new. The idea of using the computers to play games and review for their test was exciting for them.
I have learned that not all concepts need to be introduced by the teacher first and then reviewed by the students using the computer. These students just kept trying games and learning about new concepts through exploration. They were even enjoying themselves. Many of them are competitive and kept working at beating the high score. They were motivated without me having to motivate them. I also learned that the focus of the students improved. The students that have difficulty attending, got more done than they generally do in a classroom.
Brenda, this model is called the "Flipped Classroom" where teachers assign the content to be learned at home for homework, then convene during the day for assimilation. This helps maximize class time for more indepth processing and assimilation. Khan Academy follows this model and has been widely embraced by many upper grade level classroom teachers. Here's is a great infographic on the topic: Flipped Classroom.
Great to read that the students were self-motivated and that through exploration they were successful!
Thanks for sharing, Grace
Principle 1 Provide Multiple Means of Representation. Check point 3.2 Highlight Patterns, critical features, big ideas and relationships via an Interactive Computer Activity: Lesson Focus: Teaching the Elements of a Story. Interactives . Elements of a Story Using the Activboard within the LEAP classroom, the students were taken through a complete audio/visual lesson for highlighting all Elements in a Story while using the familiar young child’s Fairy Tale, Cinderella. The Fairy Tale was read aloud to the students as the screen featured the animated characters acting out the story line. Once the full story was completed, the students were taken through the easily accessed tab for each element (setting, characters – hero vs. villain, sequence, exposition, conflict, climax and resolution) and according to the pace initiated by the teacher. The students were invited to take turns to be the “teacher” at the Activboard and “activate” the tabs and action buttons in order to progress through each step of the lesson. At the conclusion of this presentation, students were encouraged to test their skills and take a 14 question multiple-choice assessment using clipboards at the Activboard area.
2. Describe the outcome, did students reach the goal, did more students maximize their learning?
I was very pleased with the response from the LEAP students for this interactive activity. Most students appeared to be happy and engaged as they enjoyed making the screen change, moving characters and words and confirming if the class choices were correct. One older student struggled a bit by his initial impression that the Fairy Tale was considered “baby work.” After the exercise and with time to process, I realized that I should have talked to this student ahead of time about why such an elementary story was used. I assured him later that as long as we all knew about a common, simple story line, then we could spend quality time working to understand the more difficult vocabulary in the story as well as Elements, which are a part of the middle school curriculum. Overall I was excited about the new learning resource and have already returned to the site to introduce another curriculum game for spelling.
3. Describe how students reacted to what you presented, were they engaged? How do you know?
I had given each student a packet; complete with the (in class) 14 multiple-choice questions to just circle the correct answer as well as a reflection page as a homework assignment. I was interested to learn what the students found easy, difficult and if they wished to visit the activity again, which Fairy Tale would they choose to review. Many students responded positively to the exercise and stated “I learned new words and what they mean, some of which were hard to figure out by myself.” “ I liked how it read it to us and we did not have to read it.” “I think we should do another one.” “It was fun and exciting and interesting.” “The part that was hard for me was when we had to put the pictures from the beginning to the end because you had to remember what happened in the story.” “I would like to do this again with the story, Jack in the Beanstalk.”
4. What did you learn?
I gained a greater appreciation for the need to include more sensory exposure in a lesson presentation. I witnessed this in this lesson and feel that my students were better equipped to understand the material because they had numerous ways to see it, hear it and actually touch it to move the lesson along.
Checkpoint 2.5: Illustrate through multiple media
Tech resources: Google Earth, Google Docs, Internet
Text resources: Library books, class handouts
How used: Internet, books, and handouts were used to research information on various pharaohs, structures, and characteristics of civilization for the three kingdoms of Ancient Egypt. Google Docs was used to help organize information collected from sources. Google Earth was used to build a model to incorporate pictures, videos, and text that students researched.
Outcome - Independent research, website evaluation, using technical skills students have in academic setting
Did students reach the goal? TDB - just wrapped up the project today
Did more students maximize their learning? TBD - just wrapped up the project today
Reaction: I'm thinking about doing a survey with the students on the project to get a better idea, my initial thoughts about reaction to the project is mixed. I think there was a level of anxiety because no student had done this type of project before. There is a technical part of Google Earth that is challenging, certain functionality of the tool is not intuitive. My design of how to do the project and the presentation of the project could use a lot of improvement, I think this would impact the reaction of students.
Engagement: Overall I saw a high level of engagement. How do I know - I did not catch anyone on flight simulator. On the engagement piece three out of four classes had high levels of engagement (with minor exceptions), one class had multiple students not at the level I would have liked. For the engaged it was exhibited by good questions with focused work at school and home. For those with less than desired engagement it was exhibited by my need to redirect them for not doing the work they should have been doing.
What did I learn: I could write quite a bit here. I still have to do formal assessment of the projects and see about getting some student feedback. I did a similar Google Earth project last year with students (the first time ever). Last year I put too much of a technical requirement on students. This time around I prebuilt a lot of items to remove a lot of the technical requirements but made the mistake of giving students too much choice on what they could research. I did get some feedback from another adult about the inclusion of more focused guiding questions.
The one class that I feel did not go well also happens to be my largest class (30 students). The challenge with a project like this is a student will have a technical question but their question might only pertain to their situation, I have to do quick mini stops with students at their computer and answer content, research, and technical questions. In the other three classes I felt like I got around to students and was able help them as they needed. The large class was just too many students, four or five less students would have made a tremendous difference.
I need to make a lot of changes to this project, but I really believe it has the potential to be an outstanding learning experience.
I have had a lot of fun just scratching the surface of so many available resources. I actually used two of the activities. The first, I posted a note about on December 18th.(although, i had trouble posting, asked for help, got no response. I think either the holidays or me posting to the wrong place must have have been the reason .
The Principle I used was (Principle 1) Provide Multiple Means of Representation
The Guideline I used was (Guidline 2) Provide options for language, mathematical expression, & symbols
The Checkpoint I used was (Checkpoint 2.5) Illustrate through multiple media
1. I introduced my 6th grade students to a brief unit on Self Esteem by having them create"Self Esteem Wordle Clouds." The students all received an agenda with a scenario which directed them to brainstorm "Self Esteem is_____" in small groups.(5 students per group/ each group had a computer) The task was to first go to "wordle.net." The student groups each identified 10 descriptive words or short phrases pertaining to self esteem. I then had each group read their list and created a class self esteem wordle. I modeled color, font & other features for the students. They then finished their own group wordles and printed them out in color.
2. The students definitely reached the goal/objective of the lesson. I typically teach this concept through group brainstorm and discussion. Using wordle definitely added another dimension to the self esteem learning activity, not to mention color!
3. The students appeared to be totally engaged. Even those who had never done wordle were drawn in because it is easy and the results are immediate. What sealed the deal for me regarding their involvement , I over heard the kids say, "How many copies should we print?" (each wanted their own copy of their group wordle)
4. I learned that I can teach a concept with a slightly different spin and see the students come alive with both motivation and enthusiasm about "Self Esteem." (usually not a topic which elicits the responses I observed.) I realized we could have used more time. I also owe an apology to Michelle Zinner as I had most print out their group wordle to 151 color printer! Sorry, Michelle......
1. I used Principle I, Guideline 2, Checkpoint 2.5 "Illustrate through Multiple Media". I chose the "Illuminations" math website which prorvided several interactive math games/activities. The students split into teams and played the Factor game and Deep Sea Duel. The purpose of both games was not only to practice their math facts, but to work on developing their number sense through using strategies to win the game. I used the Active Board to play the games and by the final rounds, all students were up around the active board, excited for their turn.
2. We walked through the steps of each game in a practice round before playing "real" games. The students needed to see how the game worked as the directions and rules were explained to them. By the final round, even though I had to provide guiding questions for the strategies of the game, the majority of the students were able to answer my question and choose their moves wisely.
3. The students were frustrated by the factor game at first because the rules were complex and they had to play through a few times to figure it out. By the time we played Deep Blue Duel, they were all up at the active board, offering each other suggestions for moves to make while I sat back and followed their instructions.
4. I learned that I need to really make an effort to plan whole group activities in the program that engage the students and get them up and moving around.
This is the third attempt to get this lesson on this site-- previously my responses were not published!?! So, I am writing a shortened version this time.
I conducted a lesson I call Point/Counterpoint. during this lesson students explore the Bil of Rights. They work in pairs to research current issues that have been raised based on the rights found in the first ten Amendments. Fro example, there was a recent article on police using drug-sniffing dogs on the front steps of a house (Amendment #4). Students research the rights contained in the Amendment and find other examples. Then they each pick a 'side' and write a two to three minute speech defending the opinion and present it to the class. The class must listen and decide which side they would favor if they were a judge.
I learned that this is a motivating activity because students work with each other, can express opinion and argue form their points of view.
1. I wanted to focus on Principle One (provide multiple means of representation), Guideline One (provide options for perception) WGBH's Guidelines for Describing STEM Images seemed like a good resource for MCAS review, because we identified the interpretation of diagrams and other visual pieces as a major weakness for 8th graders on the science MCAS. However, we did not make it to this lesson in time for the workshop! I did work very hard on this same guideline, but without using a specific resource, when putting together my materials for the latest unit. One piece of this unit is on the Kinetic Molecular Theory, and the other is on atomic structure. Students typically have trouble with these abstract concepts, especially with relative size of atoms/subatomic particles, and when applying the Molecular Theory to concrete lab examples. I added several animations, videos, and picture representations to my flipchart, as well as many more analogies than I usually use. We did a lab activity to help students visualize the molecular theory in action.
2/3. Students seemed much more comfortable with the relative sizes of particles after the visuals and analogies. They were very interested in how tiny atoms were once they felt more comfortable with it. While the lab is a typical activity for my curriculum, and students always find it helpful, many more appeared (through facial expression and questions they asked) to understand more when shown the supporting video and animation. They were able to use the theory (with guidance at this point) to explain another lab. I will know more after our next unit about their ability to use the theory independently, which will allow me to assess their mastery of it. However, on the relevent multiple choice questions on the quiz, the students had definitely mastered the basic principles.
4. From doing this unit, I was reminded just how frequently I need to incorporate visual (non-text) representations into my flipcharts. Since this is a lab-based curriculum, I already have many opportunities for students to interact kinesthetically with the material (through simulations), as well as in more traditional lab experiments. However, I typically pair my lab material with verbal (either written or auditory) information. Students will learn more if I find a better balance.
I worked on Principle 3: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement, specifically providing options for self-regulation.
i. Over the past several years, students decrease in persistence has been concerning.
ii. Offer charts to individual students to collect data on behavior.
iii. Students are better able to monitor & regulate their behaviors.
i. Student was given a check off sheet with a list of positive behaviors.
ii. Student's behaviors have improved despite not regularly having the sheet completed.
iii. Presented by Administrator.