Wishing you could make your lesson more interactive? Here’s the perfect pear.
“Welcome back to school everyone. We’re going to start of the school year by reading off some classroom expectations. After that, we’ll learn about the parts of the cello and how we should take care of the instrument.”
Not the most exciting lesson, eh? Enter Google Slides and PearDeck. I was looking for a way to make the beginning of the year content a bit more engaging and interactive for my students, and this combination seemed like a great way to do so. Although the original reason for trying out PearDeck was for the beginning of the year, I think that many teachers would find this program extremely useful at any point throughout the school year, not only to keep their students involved in the learning process, but also to assess what they have retained.
Here are some examples of some Pear Deck templates that I have used so far this year:
There’s many more templates for interactive slides that are already made. All you need to do is customize it to your needs.
Here’s a video to demonstrate what the Pear Deck Add-On has to offer:
For more information about how to start using Pear Deck go here!
For more information contact: Jenna Girone Virgilio
Looking for a way to Introduce new students, faculty and staff to An important space and its available resources? You might want to try a Scavenger Hunt.
Evolution of the Scavenger Hunt Map
Library Map process
Canva was initially used to create map, but proved to be time consuming due to learning curve. Hence, a hand drawn map was created – process attached. Team names were added to the maps to prevent overcrowding at the respective locations
Other elements of the scavenger hunt
QR Codes“ QR Codes A-F” were added so that students could follow a “route” which prevented them all starting at the same spot. Each QR Code also had QR Code Blurbs, descriptions of the library locations teams visited. Tokens, photo representations of the Team names were placed at each location. Teams had to collect the token to “prove” they had visited the location.
The map was detailed and easy to follow.
The kids understood the symbolism of the Team names (Falcon, falcon, quill, and owl)
I should have been more explicit about the activity NOT being a race.
I should have allowed students to keep maps for future use. However, I think I probably would have seen the maps scattered all over campus.
The map was too detailed for the scope of the project.
I am happy things went smoothly and students genuinely had a great time. The, “This was SO much fun!” statement made my day.
However, in the course of having a great time I know that not all the groups actually READ the information contained in the QR Codes. To avoid this in the future I will:
Make it abundantly clear that the activity is NOT a race, and
Create/include a knowledge check to ensure that students walk away meeting all the “Desired Results” for what they will “know” and “be able to do.”
Additionally, I am happy that students felt comfortable expressing themselves during the question and answer period. Afterwards, one student asked if she could make a suggestion. The student thought the activity would have been more meaningful if the QR codes were on the books and part of the hunt was to locate the books. I agree!!! This idea had been considered, but was not implemented given time constraints. However, some classes (that did not participate during orientation) may do the hunt during Home Base. That is an opportunity to implement that idea along with the inclusion of a knowledge check, or at the very least a more robust question and answer period.
Overall, this was a fun project and I liked using the tech (QR Monkey) I learned in camp. I am currently contemplating a phase two.
Phase 2 could look something like:
Have teachers actually do the scavenger hunt.
NOTE: One new teacher actually DID the hunt. Feedback was that the hunt was helpful as a new teacher and knowing where he could find things.
Frame the QR Codes around the library and present the information is a more user/reader friendly format, eg. infographic format OR have a tablet that has the library catalog AND the QR Codes on it.
Make sure to include having participant FIND an item in the respective sections.
Looking for a way to have purposeful use of your school’s 1 to 1 environment? Do you think your classroom tech is limiting your opportunity for kinesthetic learning?
I think QR codes might be the piece you’ve been missing. Most classrooms and school buildings are inundated with posters of historical figures or inspirational quotes, the QR code allows for deeper learning to commence beyond a mere glance at a poster. A QR code is simply a code that a phone or tablet can scan using the camera that leads to something else whether that be a video, document, website, or picture. Think of it as the hipster of hyperlinks. Use this site to make your next qr code.
Are you tired of scrolling through Google images looking for the perfect infographic for tomorrow’s lesson?
Are your event flyers sad Microsoft Word templates? No time to master the Adobe Creative Suite? Well it’s time to turn those I can’t dos into. I Can(va) dos. Jokes aside Canva is an awesome FREE graphic design tool that uses user friendly drag and drop actions to create graphic design masterpieces. Check out this short video tutorial to learn more…