I was super excited to begin teaching my learners in a way they hadn't learnt before. Luckily, my learners really took to using digital tools - so much so, that they get pretty thrown when we do anything on paper.
NearpodI've wrote about it before, and I am still a massive fan of Nearpod. My learners absolutely love using it. They go from reluctant, shy learners to confident collaborators. So far I have used Nearpod to gauge students Prior Knowledge of explanations, as well as inquiry lessons about stormwater pollution and the health of rivers. I have been using a range of its features, such as polls, quizzes, open-ended questions and collaborate (like Padlet and LinoIt). What is so great about Nearpod is that you can add as many slides and activities as you want. I often have slide with an image to start conversation, followed by a poll or quiz, and then an open-ended question or collaborate. Another cool feature that my learners love is the ability to 'like' posts on collaborative activities.
One day I discovered I accidentally erased the student's contributions to a Nearpod. Instead, I got my learners to participate in a quick bus stop rotation, where they had to share their ideas about a photograph to do with stormwater pollution and rivers. The content of the lesson was basically the same as what would have been done with Nearpod. However, the students level of engagement was completely different. It was interesting that as soon as we got back to using digital tools (Mentimeter this time) the students perked up and were engaged once again. This shows the power that tools like Nearpod and Mentimeter have on my learners. They are are highly engaging and my learners love them!
AnswergardenThis was suggested by Ashley during Summer School and I wrote about it in a previous blog post. 5 weeks down and my learners are still loving Answergarden. I have used Answergarden when creating a class contract, getting prior knowledge, during writing lessons and 40 character summaries in inquiry.
I think this tool works for a number of reasons. Firstly, it encourages students to summarise and be succinct. It is a great way to see the ideas that are common amongst a group or class. Learner's also find it much easier to share their ideas on Answergarden instead of verbally. While it's easier for them to share, learners are still sharing their ideas with their peers before they post, so they still are sharing their ideas verbally.
ProdigyI discovered Prodigy from a Facebook post on the NZ Teachers (Primary) page. It is a maths site where students are wizards and battle pets and other characters. In order to attack, students must correctly answer a maths question. Teachers can assign certain topics and decide how long the topic will run for. You also can track your students achievements and the topics that they are struggling with.
|Assign topics or strands for your students to work on|
|Check students achievements and gaps|