Posts tagged ‘student ownership’

Going Beyond Presentation: 5 Ways to Create Using Google Slides

“Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.” By Yo-Yo Ma

Antu_google-slides.svg

Often times educators use Google Slides to present information but you can do so much more with Google slides. Here are ten ways to use Google Slides where students can be creative.

  1. Comic Strips: Have students create comic strips to show what they know or their creativity by using Google Slides. To create a comic strip:
    • Background: Add a background by right clicking and changing color or add an image as a background. (If you add an image, remember to send it to the back)
    • Characters: Insert images and/or objects (use PNG’s for their transparency)
    • Speech Bubbles: Add speech or though bubbles by inserting shapes and then callouts. (Double click on bubble to add text)
    • Animations: Use this feature to add or take away characters or objects to the slides.
    • Transitions: Use this feature to make it feel like you are moving from one slide to the next. (Click on the slide and then change transition)
    • Word Art: Use this feature to add excitement and onomatopoeia
  2. Creating books: Have students create story books to show what they know about a topic. Once they complete it they can publish it for an authentic audience. There are lots of ways you can do this such as publish to the web, as a pdf or print and bind it. You can also use screencastify extensions and have the students record themselves reading it which the creates a library of audible books. You can also add an extra challenge by having students create chose their own adventure too.
  3. Interactive Journal: Create an interactive journal that students can use when incorporating a self paced learning experience. It is a great way to hold students accountable along with making sure they master the content. To create an interactive journal in slides.
    • Start by clicking on a new slide show
    • Click on file and go to page set up
    • Customize the sizing to 8 x 9.75 inches (This makes slides look like a journal page)
    • Then add your content you want the students to complete and the questions/tasks you want them to complete.
    • Tip: Force students to make a copy by changing the url from edit to copy.
  4. Stop-Motion Animation: Have students create stop-motion animation movies. To do this with Google slides use the take a photo feature. Then publish to the web with the auto-advance feature.
  5. Vocabulary Notecards: Have students create their own vocabulary note cards. Set the criteria expectations and then allow them to peer review others notecards for feedback.
    • Students define vocabulary words
    • Insert images to help them remember the word
    • Students can change slide background color to correspond to topic or unit.

Great sites for creative common images to use for the above ideas: 

https://openclipart.org

https://thenounproject.com 

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

 

 

 

Advertisements

Identifying Types and Levels of Student Engagement

“When I talk to students, I don’t ask them what they want to be when they grow up, I ask them what problem do they want to solve?” Jamie Casap

We know that engagement is an essential part of learning but often times educators have mixed understanding of what engagement is and how to identify it. To me, student engagement is when the student is motivated to learn because they have curiosity, interest and/or passion about what they are learning. Often times educators think that student participation is engagement but that is not necessarily true as that is active compliance. For example, a teacher asks a question, a student answers. Technically the student is participating but they are not necessarily engaged.  It is important to note there are different levels of student engagement along with different types of engagement.

Different Types of Engagement:

  • Emotional: Student attitude ranges from liking what they’re doing in class to deeply valuing learning and skills they are gaining.
  • Cognitive: Students use strategies such as metacognition for deep learning.

Different Levels of Engagement:

  • Engagement: Students take ownership through active and authentic learning strategies based on their needs and goals along with having voice and choice in their tasks.
  • Active Compliance: Students participate in learning and complete performance tasks.
  • Compliance: Students complete work that is given to them. The tasks are routine and/or rote.

As a teacher it is important to reflect on your craft to see if you can identify the different types and levels of engagement happening in your classroom. Once you can identify them it is important to take action to strive to always have true engagement in your classroom.

Here are some other resources on student engagement:

National Survey of Student Engagement

Edutopia: Student Engagement

12 Myths About Student Engagement

 

Mystery Skype

“It is the dim haze of mystery that adds enchantment to pursuit.” By Antoine Rivarol

Guest Blog Post by Megan Mehta

We were a few weeks away from a unit centered on the 5 Themes of Geography, and my options were looking like either a) pull the info from the textbook, or b) do something the kids would be excited about.  So I started doing some research and some thinking and this is what I came up with:

We would still use the 5 Themes framework, but I wanted them to branch out beyond the borders of North Carolina.  I also wanted them to work collaboratively while sustaining interest in a project that was going to span a few weeks. I began with a regional map of the United States:

Picture

I split up the kids and let them choose their regions.  Each and every group was excited about their region because someone had some connection to a state, so we were off to a great start!  The next step was to figure out a way to organize our information.  We are a BYOD school, but not all of my kids have devices, so we discussed ways to keep track of our learning and research and decided on a common graphic organizer:

Picture

Hey! That’s only 4 themes! I decided to omit the “movement” theme for the purpose of this unit, as we will be learning about it later in the year.  Anyway, we discussed the themes as they related to Charlotte, North Carolina, and began with Location.  They immediately realized that finding the absolute location of their region was going to be tricky. One group’s solution was to do it just for the capital cities in their respective states; the other groups declared them geniuses, and everyone was happy with the solution. For relative location, some groups chose to describe it for the capital cities, some chose to focus on the region itself.

We went through each of the remaining themes like this: I modeled, they applied. I assessed them with a simple rubric of 3 (mastered), 2 (partially mastered) and 1 (not mastered), and provided support where needed. I expected to be tearing around the room with my hair on fire, but the kids were really into this and did an amazing job of working collaboratively.

We finished our graphic organizers (this took about 4-5 class periods of 45 minutes each) and I was (fairly) confident we were ready to set up our first Mystery Skype. I found a list of jobs and tweaked it to meet our class needs. What we ended up with was this:

1 note taker (records the clues on paper)

2 tweeters (to live tweet the event, of course!)

3 moderators (the faces of our class– asked the questions from the inquirers and relayed answers to the mappers)

4 state experts (answered the questions from the other class)

3 inquirers (asked questions based on the mappers’ notes)

4 mappers (used maps of the U. S. and Google Earth to narrow down the other class’ location)

2 photographers (used iPads to document the experience)

For the first call, I assigned the jobs but in subsequent ones, I have had them pull them out of a hat (a fancy word for “quart-sized storage bag”) and given the option to trade.

To set up the call, I turned to the Great and Powerful Twitter. Within hours, we had three classes wanting to connect. I learned quickly that scheduling can be a challenge with our regimented days, but with some creative rearranging we managed to find a time to connect with a class in Iowa. I told them from the get-go that we were completely new to this in case we breached some Mystery Skype protocol or etiquette that we were unaware of. We took our cues from them and we were off and running! Their first question asked us if we were in the U.S. and where we were in relation to the Mississippi River. It took all I had to restrain myself and let the kids figure out the strategy! I’d like to say that everyone stuck to their job and their assigned classroom area the whole time and everything went perfectly… However… we had sound issues which made it all much more difficult than it should have been. We couldn’t get skype to work on our desktop, so we were using an iPad. The speakers I had weren’t working, so the only audio we had were the tiny sounds coming from the iPad speakers. In a room full of excited 8 year olds, this is not ideal. At one point, I was leaning in to the speaker to listen, not realizing my face was right in the camera. Not exactly the big screen debut I was hoping for, and I’m pretty sure I reappeared in a subsequent nightmare or two because that was one intense close-up. Also, the kids were SO excited that they were (of course) all over the room, talking over each other, doing each other’s jobs, and often doing everything but paying attention to the clues. BUT, we made it! After 45 minutes, they had guessed our location and we figured out theirs (with a little help).

In all, it was and continues to be an amazing learning experience for these kids. They are learning so much about U. S. geography, and thrilled about connecting with other kids across the country. We will definitely continue this throughout the year! If you are looking to connect with us, our Twitter handle is @MehtasBESpandas.

**Update! This process has evolved throughout the year, and I’m sure it will continue to do so next year. I’ve since added the job of “back channellers” where we set up a room on TodaysMeet.com and ask questions about how many kids they have in their school or class, what their school mascot is, etc. We also use Google maps to find out how long it would take us to travel to their school by car. Something we may do next year is come up with a short bio about us and the Charlotte area to use as a wrap up or conversation starter once the locations have been correctly identified. We also need to talk about time zones and the 13 original colonies– both those questions came up a few times and stymied our state experts. I’ve also learned that guessing the state is the easy part– guessing the town or city is really tough! I think the biggest take-away I have from doing these this year are how quickly my kids took over and rocked it out. There was a lot of initial coaching, but by the end of the year, THEY were the ones taking the lead, keeping each other in check, critically thinking, and collaborating. And no one will ever be able to say one of our Pandas can’t find xyz on a map of the U.S.!

%d bloggers like this: