Today’s Contributor: Jack Jeansonne
Jack Jeansonne is in his 21st year as a teacher. He has taught PBL in an enriched curriculum for five years and holds a Master’s degree in Education Administration. He is involved with multiple school and community activities and one of his goals is to help empower students with austism.
As most people know, Kahoot is almost always a hit (unless it is overdone). This year we tried something that was hit or miss. I asked students to create a Kahoot quiz for each other to take. As you can guess, many of them were poorly written, but I feel the students learned and remembered a bunch while thinking through the process of how to create a strong question. They really enjoyed taking each other’s Kahoot quiz, too. This was the most engaged they’ve been this year. One drawback is that to create a Kahoot, the students must use a functioning email. It’s difficult to find a workaround in Elementary schools, but we managed to do that with a little help and parent permission.
I used a lot more coding this year than we did last year. During the week of code, we spent quite a bit of time with Code.Org and Code Combat. The coding apps have gotten really interesting and many students enjoyed them. It gave them a good taste of what coding is after a lengthy exposure, and each kid realized whether or not coding will be a possible option for the future.
Since every student has access to the Google Drive, we use it constantly. Students really enjoy the learning process and adding new skills as I gradually leak new abilities of the programs. By the end of the year, they are skilled presenters, most of whom understand research skills and what makes a good presentation, as well as creating graphics in G-Drawings and more. This is a great place to pull everything together.
Discovery Ed is a go-to tool for me when I run out of ideas for differentiation or simply need a quick lesson idea. Science lessons on this site especially are easy to find and implement. Not all are great, but many are!
Our students simply love digital math games of all sorts. There are tons of them out there, and holding them accountable makes a big difference. The ability to challenge one another or have a class tournament is always a hit. We use several different ones, many of which you likely already know.
Self Reflection – My students have been entering grades and their reflections on the learning process into a shared app. This is an easy step that seems to be making an impact on student ownership of their work. I create an assessment title and students share their grade and reflections. I make some small productive comment each time.