Month: December 2016

Have your students create a sociogram #antiworksheet

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

 

Instead of having your students answer questions in a worksheet…

 

…ask them to create a sociogram.  A sociogram is a specific type of graphic organizer that maps relationships between people.  It can demonstrate the connections between people – both the obvious and the subtle.

Sociograms can be created with pen or paper, but there are also some digital tools that help create one, such as Popplet.

There are many uses for a sociogram.  Teachers can use them to demonstrate relationships among characters in a book or to show how historical figures are connected. The Teaching Tolerance website even has a lesson using sociograms to help students understand how they interact — or don’t interact — with their classmates.

Ask your students to write their own blogs #antiworksheet

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Instead of asking students to answer questions on a worksheet…

…ask them to write their own blogs.  Even young children can write their own blogs! Reading and writing online could be considered a skill that students will need in the future, so writing their own blogs encourages students to do both.  Plus, they get to share their writing with an authentic audience.

There are many resources for students who want to blog.  Our students in grades 6-12 have a blogging feature built right into Schoology.  Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use it:

Teachers can also look at some of these other options for student blogging, keeping safety and age-appropriateness in mind:

 

And if you’re just too busy this week to think about blogging, you can find this great list of 50 ideas for student blogging and writing online from the Edublogger.

Ask your students to record themselves solving problems #antiworksheet

8622645342.pngby Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Instead of asking your students to complete a worksheet…

…ask them to record themselves solving a problem. For example, math teachers could assign a problem to a student or to a group of students.  The students would use their device’s cameras to record themselves solving the problem. They could then upload the video to a Schoology assignment or elementary students could upload them to a shared Google folder. To take the assignment one step further, teachers could also ask students to review each other’s videos and to provide feedback. This technique could work for other subject areas as well!

Ask your students to mark up text #antiworksheet

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Blended and Cyber Learning

Instead of asking your students to answer questions in a worksheet…

…have them mark up the digital text that they are reading.  They can underline, highlight, add their own notes etc. This is extremely easy to do on a tablet; students can just import the text into an app like Adobe Reader or Notes to highlight text or to add comments.

If students have laptops, they can use a great tool like Scrible to mark-up text, even from a website. Here is a link to a Scrible I created when talking with my blended teachers about flipped learning: Business Schools Tackle ‘Messy’ Real-Time Corporate Issues – WSJ

Scrible is installed in a toolbar.  Once you are on a webpage, you can access Scrible to highlight, add post-it notes, underline, change text color, etc.  There are then a variety of options for saving, indexing,  organizing and sharing the pages.  (NB: Teachers can use Scrible to save static pages of Websites that may change frequently!)

Zach Brown, blended English teacher at DEHS, asks students to use Scrible to download and take notes on web pages to evaluate the website’s quality, to analyze online article (e.g. identifying bias) or to evaluate effective organization.

 

Students with any device can also use Google Drawings to underline words, highlight text, draw shapes, and leave notes on Google Docs, PDFs or Word files.

Send Your Students on a Scavenger Hunt #antiworksheet

2016-12-12_0954by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Instead of having your students do a worksheet…

ask them to do a QR code scavenger hunt. This idea was suggested to me by Linda Morley, Downingtown science teacher. She created QR codes and put them all around the room; students had to find the QR codes and scan the code to get a “clue.” The students were allowed to work with up to 2 other students.

Creating QR codes is easy.  Google Chrome has extensions that you can install to automatically create a QR code for whatever site you’re visiting.  There are also sites and apps like QR Stuff, QR-code-generator, QR code maker, etc.

Have your students create their own memes #antiworksheet

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Blended and Cyber Learning

Image result for meme teacher ageInstead of having your students answer questions in a worksheet…

…have them create their own memes. A meme is a captioned picture that is often intended to be funny such as the one to the left.  However, memes can also be used in a fun, academic context where students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge through imagery and text.

This unique idea was suggested to me by Troy Podell, Civics and Government teacher at the STEM Academy. He asked his students to create their own memes to verify understanding of the governing philosophies of America’s two primary political parties during the presidential primaries. (Some of them were pretty funny – but also on point.)

There are some free meme generators online, but it’s fairly easy for students to make their own.  They can use any app or program where they can insert an image and add text, such as a Google or Word doc. Try it out!

Ask Students To Create Their Own Higher Order Questions #antiworksheet

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Blended and Cyber Learning

Instead of asking the students to answer questions on a worksheet…

…ask them to create their own questions using the Bloom’s Taxonomy chart below. I like the chart because it actually shows the students the phrasing of the different questions.This assignment is better than a worksheet for a few reasons:

This assignment is better than a worksheet for a few reasons:

  • Creating good questions requires just as much thought as answering them (as any teacher knows!).
  • Using Bloom’s Taxonomy means that students will be asking and answering higher-order thinking questions.
  • Students will know the material because they will be creating questions, answering questions, and “correcting” answers.

In four steps:

  1. Assign students a partner.
  2. Ask the students to create questions for their partners on a chapter/book/topic from Bloom’s Taxonomy.  For example, you can ask them to create six questions, one of each type.
  3. Require the students to go back and answer their partner’s questions.
  4. Have the question writer provide feedback on the answers.

This assignment can easily be done in a Schoology discussion forum.  If your students do not have a Schoology account, they can also create questions for each other through a shared Google Document.

blooms-question-stems

Image attribution flickr enokson; 25 Question Stems Framed Around Bloom’s Taxonomy