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KNOW WHAT YOUR STUDENTS KNOW WITH PADLET #ANTIWORKSHEET

by Nicole Stulak, DASD Elementary Instructional Coach

Instead of handing out a worksheet, an exit ticket paper or even a post-it note, try Padlet. Padlet is an easy way to have your students demonstrate and their understanding of key concepts and utilize 21st century skills.

Padlet is a web-based tool, and FREE app, which allows students to use text, video, photos and weblinks to contribute to collaborative “boards.” Teachers can design a question or post notes to the Padlet board for students to respond to. The Padlet board can be accessed by an auto-generated QR Code or custom URL.

In addition to its existing options, Padlet now has voting and grading features, that propels Padlet to be an all-encompassing, formative assessment tool. Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers, has great resources and videos about Padlet to help you get started.

Take a look at this article from Matt Miller, 20 Useful Ways to Use Padlet in Class Now, to learn how you can use Padlet instead of a worksheet!

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Have your students create an infographic to synthesize material #antiworksheet

by Khristina Hunt, Downingtown West Instructional Coach

Instead of having your students complete a worksheet, ask them to do research, synthesize multiple sources, summarize, and represent data visually in an infographic. 

For example, here is an infographic that gives the history of education. Notice how the use of visual images helps you to process the information.

Check out these options for creating an infographic below…

Canva makes it easy to create beautiful infographics

It is free and very easy to use!

  • Large library of clip art and photographs, or upload your own images
  • Download as PDF and PNG files
  • Collaborate with others

Video demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FZGN7BCs6k

Infogram

Infogram is an easy tool for making charts and infographics.

Video demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hel-Wb4x0eE

Piktochart

Piktochart also allows students to create and personalize their infographics:

Video demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=LdRMqJWyvik

If you’d like to learn more ways to utilize this platform or for more assistance, please contact your instructional coach.

 

Ask Students to Design Their Own Website #antiworksheet

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

If you want students to synthesize their learning and develop an important 21st-century skill, ask them to design their own website using Google Sites.  Google Sites is collaborative, so a group of students can also work on a website together.  Because Google Sites is intuitive and works similarly to other Google apps, students can spend more time focusing on the content of their sites and less time on learning how to design them.

Here is a great 8-minute tutorial on Google Sites.  Watch as Mr. Perreault walks some young students through a creation of a website.

Give Your Students Some Choices for a Digital Book Project #antiworksheet

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

If your students are reading fiction books on their own (or even as a class), throw away the worksheets and use this awesome digital book project by Caitlin Dankanich, Gifted Support Services Teacher at Uwchlan Hills Elementary School.

The project gives students 8 different ways to demonstrate their understanding of what they’ve read, including creating a character webpage or a spinoff ebook. The project includes directions for the students as well as links to the digital tools to get started.

Thank you to Caitlin for sharing!  If you have a great #antiworksheet idea, please let us know!

Have Students Collaborate in One Google Slides Review #antiworksheet

by Jen Hervada, Lionville Middle School Instructional Coach

Instead of having students fill out a worksheet when reviewing for a test….

…Ask the students to create a Google Slides Show and teach the concepts to each other.  The students collaborate inside a Google Slides Show with groups creating one or two slides to teach their content.  With the Google Slides projected on the screen in the classroom both the students and teachers can watch the collaboration in progress. The students see the others’ work and get inspired.

Here’s how:

  1. Create a blank Google Slides Show.
  2. Divide the class into groups of 2-4 students.
  3. Assign 1 or 2 slides to each group.
  4. Have the groups design their slides to teach the concept.  You can require students to include images, links, videos, etc.
  5. Project the Google Slides Show on the screen inside the classroom while groups are working.
  6. Watch the collaboration happening in real time.

In this activity, students teach their content to each other in their own words and provide examples and/or study tips on how to remember key concepts.  Students learn from each other through the collaborative process.

Click here to view a sample template for a social studies class.

DECEMBER: THE #ANTIWORKSHEET CHALLENGE

worksheetby Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Blended and Cyber Learning

For the month of December, we will again be taking the #antiworksheet challenge.

So why are we picking on the worksheet or (worse) the packet of worksheets? Well, a worksheet is not that engaging or exciting for students. It’s often not student-centered or meaningful. They’re rarely collaborative. And, it’s very easy for students to copy someone else’s worksheet.

So for the month of December, we are going to have a challenge – the #antiworksheet challenge! If you frequently use worksheets in your class, we’re going to give you digital alternatives every day during the month of December.  Of course, there are lots of non-digital alternatives to worksheets, too – but this is a tech chat.

We would love to hear your ideas!  Email them to dtowntechchat@dasd.org or comment on this post.

Website Wednesday: Let’s Recap

by Khristina Hunt, Downingtown West Instructional Coach

recap

Recap provides teachers with new, creative ways to gather evidence of students’ thinking using video. It helps create new learning connections between students and teachers and fosters more transformative dialogue by everyone.

In addition to asking students to summarize the most important concepts from a lesson, teachers can also elicit quick feedback on how well students think they grasped a topic. Expand assessments, encourage reflective practices and empower students with Recap. It’s all short-form response, providing quick, energetic bursts of valuable data for teachers. Recap is built for teachers, students, and even parents.

 

recap2

Here’s how it works: Teachers create (typed or recorded) and assign prompts or questions to individual students, or the whole class. They’ve also added the ability for teachers to set maximum response times, set due times, and to set a poll that gathers qualitative data. As responses start rolling in, the Daily Review Reel—a selection of student responses set to engaging music and visual effects—is quickly generated for the teacher, along with a snapshot of the entire class’s responses. Teachers can then adjust subsequent lessons, spend more time on topics and dig into individual data to better enable students learning at different paces.

Here are a few other ideas for how you can Recap in your classroom:

  • Implement a more engaging approach to formative assessment—Collect richer, more valuable insight on performance by equipping students to respond in a multimodal format (video). Recap can be used for video exit tickets or admit slips, reading logs, self-reflection, and simple Q&A to assess students.
  • Support Common Core standards—Get students to explain their answers in verbal form, provide descriptive feedback and demonstrate evidence of thinking on video with Recap.
  • Strengthen language skills—Include the use of Recap at the end of a unit or chapter, where lab and oral responses are already expected of students.For example, a Spanish teacher can quickly test listening comprehension and verbal skills by recording a question in Spanish, prompting students to then respond in kind.

Please see your instructional coach for more assistance with this quick formative assessment resource.