We are so happy to support and partner with the John F Kennedy Foundation and the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in part two of the webinar series hosted by the Presidential Library and Museum and Foundation entitled:
Teaching History with Primary Sources 2: 1963 Struggle for Civil Rights
Moving your classroom discussion into those higher levels of Blooms can be daunting. Teachers work on their inquiry questions, wait time, cooperative learning techniques and partner discussions. If discourse and student to teacher ratio talk time is a classroom goal for you. Academic discourse and vocabulary work together hand in hand helping students to intelligently present their thoughts and arguments. We have some ideas that utilize technology tools to elevate the discussions in your classroom.
Poll Everywhere allows for different kinds of questions. Try the word cloud with your students. Open a Poll Everywhere Word Cloud question and watch the cloud develop in real time with the words that are used repeatedly getting larger on the screen. Students can discuss what they are seeing and why they think the words are related to the question, why some words are larger than others and what it means.
Flashcard Factoryis simply amazing. Pear Deck has taken on the 4 C's in a big way! Teachers create a vocabulary list, students sign in and are assigned to teams. They stick close to the factory theme throughout the whole experience! You even "clock in" when you head into the factory. The teacher acts as the factory foreman and the students are put into groups of two and assigned to the day or night shift. Students then work together to illustrate and give examples of the vocabulary word. One student will get a drawing screen to create a picture and the other will have a screen asking them to give an exemplar of the term. They work together to make these additions and then turn in their flashcard! The class then discusses the cards in quality control and decides if they should leave the factory. The foreman can then give them a stamp of approval and send them on. Flashcards can be exported to Quizlet and Gimkit! It's simply amazing! One of my students told me it was the most fun he had experienced in school all year! Try it out!
Quizlet Live utilizes vocabulary flashcards in an engaging collaborative way. Students are assigned to a team of three. The teacher has the game posted so that all can see the progress of the teams. Once students find their teammates, they line their computers up together. The correct answer is listed on ONE of their computer screens. The teacher screen can project the race progress and see who wins. Its an amazing way to familiarize students with difficult vocabulary or sentence starters what will help them have a more meaningful discussion!
Learning managements systems like Schoology and Canvas offer discussion features that require students to respond to a post before seeing what their classmates have posted. They can then have threaded discussions with each other and will often express themselves and join in a virtual discussion when they won't say a word in class. It is a great way to give all students an option to "talk" and be heard. Using Google Classroom? You can use its question feature in much the same way. Try an online discussion today and see if your students respond in a different way. You may learn more than you wanted to know!
Flipgrid is an online video platform where students can quickly create a video response to any prompt or discussion point. This week, we had students give feedback to their peers through Flipgrid. They completed a feedback form about their peer's writing and then posted it to Flipgrid. The students were excited to receive the individualized feedback and enjoyed creating the video complete with selfies and stickers!
We are using the Screencastify Google Chrome Extension on all of our student chromebooks. Students can create screencasts that include drawing tools and even have the option of embedding a webcam view of themselves while they are explaining their screencast. We have used it for students to explain their math thinking, create videos for their parents about how to access the parent portal and grades, giving feedback to other students, explaining their thinking about their google doc. The sky is the limit with this tool and we are loving it for promoting more discourse in our classes!
Want more ideas about using discourse in your classroom? Check out our presentation which includes readings, information and tips for getting those kids talking!
Pear Deck Bills Itself as the Fastest Way to Transform Presentations into Classroom Conversations and We Agree!
Take your google slide show and transform it into an engaging interactive lesson for your students. You can do this as a class and control the pacing of the lesson or you can set it so that students can work at their own speed. Pear Deck is offers a trial subscription. Once the teachers in my school tried it, they decided to include a school subscription in their building budget and use it almost daily! Just load a google slide show, add the Pear Deck add-on and start engaging students. You can use the library of questions already created in Pear Deck or make your own.