I’m always looking for new ways to hook my students and get them working. Our focus for the next two weeks will be formal writing essays. We saw a teacher in San Francisco using Doceri and that gave me the idea to try something similar using the app Explain Everything. On Friday I tried the following lesson and I was pleased with the way it went.
Steps to take:
1. Leave bags and iPads on desks.
2. Sit in a circle.
3. “Huddle up” for class discussion.
Instead of having the whole lesson mapped out on Explain Everything, I just had the main ideas and treated the presentation as a working document.
The simple idea of removing desks made all the difference!
When I asked for ideas, students who have never contributed suddenly found their voice. Maybe it was the removal of desks, maybe it was because I was sitting in the circle with them, but I was blown away by how responsive they were. One student who is extremely shy emailed me on Friday night with her ideas. Teenagers thinking about school work on a Friday night, there’s something wrong with that picture!
As they gave their ideas I jotted down as many as I could onto a blank slide that I had in the presentation. Great discussion ensued.
They went back to their places and in pairs they developed their research question. They worked in Educreations which is a free app. They are going to do a teach back session in the next lesson where they show another group what their topic will be and how they will set about doing the formal writing essay.
Finally, I added some voice overs to the presentation and uploaded it to YouTube and our LMS for my students to refer to if need be.