Formative is an awesome way to see, share, and quickly assess student learning & understanding! Teachers upload some kind of text, document, picture, or video and students can respond back in a variety of formats. The teacher can share responses, view in real-time and provide feedback!
Aww App is an online collaborative whiteboard. It has the capability to mirror directly to students' tablets in live time! Great for collaboration and sharing of thinking ideas or math strategies!
Kahoot is a great way to quiz students and engage them through game-based learning individually or with teams!
What ways have you used technology to formally assess students in your own classroom? Share below!
Today we get to feature a GUEST post - how exciting!! Sarah Wood is the technology and media specialist at Godfrey-Lee Public Schools. Her current passion is designing and implementing curriculum-based BreakoutEDU games for the classroom. This week she is presenting in Kansas at Podstock about the benefits of doing Breakouts in a classroom setting. Recently, she came and ran a fractions game for our 5th grade class. Check it out!
If you haven't heard of Breakout EDU yet, you are missing out! In a simplified description, Breakout EDU is a way to create an "escape room" for your classroom. Instead of trying to escape your way out of a locked room, you are trying to break out of a box that has multiple locks. There is a fascination with wanting to unlock all of the locks to see what is hidden inside the large box. Students can't resist!
Recently, I had the awesome opportunity of working with Olivia and Christi in designing and implementing a fractions game to use with their 5th grade ZONES group. I was super excited to see the game in action, as they had shared so much about their students with me and I was curious how the game would play out in the classroom. As soon as the students saw the Breakout boxes sitting out, they knew something fun and different was in store for class that day!
Before playing the game, Olivia and Christi had been working with their students on adding, simplifying, and comparing fractions. So, the students already had prior knowledge of how to work through problems using fractions. Adding the element of the Breakout box allowed the teachers to work in the "now what" part of learning...what do you do once you solve a problem? For some, the higher-level thinking is really challenging and mentally draining, but others thrive on it! Sometimes those students that you think would do really well end up having a difficult time, and those who you think might really struggle end up having a time to shine.
For me, watching and facilitating Breakout games never gets old because it is always a new experience each time. I have co-facilitated one particular game over five times so far, and each group always approaches the critical thinking, communication, and collaboration aspects of the game a little differently. For this particular game, there were three boxes/games going on simultaneously in the classroom. The classroom was divided into thirds and groups were assigned a color. All clues were hidden in the students' respective third of a classroom (to avoid checking out what other groups were doing). This allowed for smaller groups and more students to have an opportunity to have a voice in the game.
As a bystander, it is always fascinating to see how the students work with each other and interact with the game components. For example, one of the clues was to use a Google Form containing some questions regarding vocabulary. Students had no problem accessing the form, but struggled with the "what next" part. In solving the the questions on the form, students would be directed to the next part of the clue. As a result, they were stumped for a bit and a couple of groups needed hint cards to help them through the clue.
As part of the class debrief, it is always interesting to hear what students have to say about their experience. Many said that unlocking the first lock made them feel excited and happy, but on the same note, were quick to admit that it was difficult at times in getting to the point where they could unlock a lock. As a first time for most students participating in a Breakout EDU game, I think it was a success and the students overwhelmingly agreed that they would like to do another game.
If you want to see a brief video about how our district has been using Breakout EDU, please watch the video below!
So, who is super excited about teaching fractions?!?
Regardless of grade level, I feel like fractions is always the unit I dread. There is so much to cover, we always get to it towards the end of the year, and there is so much conceptual AND content to learn.
Last week, we played an AWESOME fraction game in 4th grade that got me a *little* excited!! There was so much differentiation easily integrated into the game that it was accessible for my low students, yet challenging for my high students. I LOVE activities with a "low floor, high ceiling".
This one is called Build A Fraction Wall.
Here is how we differentiated the game to make it accessible and challenging:
The students loved playing this game, and we as teachers loved it too! Next week we are going to play a very similar game called Fraction Race. We will use the same differentiation strategies to help all students be successful and grow!
If you are looking for more low floor - high ceiling activities:
As always, let us know if you need ideas or resources - we are happy to help you!
I was skimming through Twitter this weekend when I came across this fun post from @mraspinall . It was an emoji exit ticket! How fun!
We decided to use it after our lesson on division. In 5th grade, we have the lowest group of students. They still struggle with basic math concepts, which means that before we do multi-digit division, we have to go back and solidify what division actually means.
We took a whole class period to introduce and play Roll and Divide. I love, love, love this game for so many reasons:
After students spent the class period playing the game, we had them fill out the emoji exit ticket. The class loved it, and so did we!
Here are some examples of what we learned from the exit ticket:
Some students remained confused -- good to know for a small group or a conference!
Some students changed how they felt from the beginning of the lesson to the end (makes a teacher feel good):
This student clearly made a smart partner choice:
Some students benefitted from having a hands-on learning experience:
Click on the image to download a blank copy of the emoji exit ticket, so you can try it in your classroom!
Stayin' cool like the kids,
The EXPLORE zone can be used in a variety of ways to extend learning. It's hands down a favorite zone in many classrooms! A common question we get regarding this zone is:
"What are students to do if they finish early?"
Ah, yes. Gotta love those early finishers.
Well, stress no more... we've got your problem solved!
Option # 1: MEMORIZE FACTS
Some teachers have found that it works well if when a student finishes early, they
simply go right to practicing flashcards. I always allow this option.
Option #2: LOGIC/PROBLEM SOLVING GAMES
I also have the option of allowing students to choose a logic/problem solving game as an additional choice.
We're glad you're here!
Rescue your math class with ZONES:
How can we help?