Taking Instruction out of the Textbook
It’s Friday afternoon, a time when so many students (and some of us) are counting down to the weekend. Keeping students engaged is often a challenge. Jeff's Algebra 2 classes were working on the Law of Cosines on just such a day. In this case, however, they weren’t counting down the moments until the weekend. They were engaged and having fun and so was he!
Jeff had the students take their practice out of the textbook and into the building. He challenged his students to find or create angles that couldn’t easily be measured. The students then took pictures of those angles, imported them to Notability, and solved their problems by writing on the pictures themselves. “What is great about this activity with iPads, is students can write all over the picture and see what the sides of the triangle actually represent.”
His students were being creative, and innovative with their thinking and problem solving. They collaborated in groups to demonstrate their learning. What a great example of our vision!
“The vision for digital learning at Pine Creek High School is focused on students as learners and teachers as their partners in the learning process. Here we use digital tools to create products, innovate design, collaborate with others inside and out of the classroom, and demonstrate learning. Our learners will be globally connected creators, communicators, collaborators, contributors, and constructivists.”
Students use Sphero Balls to Develop their Programming Skills
Did you find yourself watching small white balls rolling around the hallways a couple of weeks ago? Well, one of Denise's programming classes was responsible for that. Using the Sphero app and an iPhone or iPad, students collaborated in small groups to program those balls to light up and roll around the hallways. The goal was to race each other’s Sphero Balls around the hallways. Races, competition - how much fun is that?! Add in creativity, innovation, collaboration and a fun way to demonstrate learning and everyone wins! That’s not where the learning ended with this project, however, but only the first steps. After establishing those foundational skills, the class moved on to programming their own retro-style games on desktop computers.
Digital learning takes many forms throughout our school. Students and teachers are partnering to create, innovate, collaborate and demonstrate learning. Share your stories with each other (and with me). Talk in the pods. Visit each other’s classrooms. There are so many amazing things being done with our students and Denise’s example is just one. Let’s celebrate these moments!
I am a Digital Learning Coach by title, but lifelong learner by practice. An Apple Teacher, Google Certified Educator and Microsoft Innovative Educator, my goal is to assist educators in investigating, exploring, and investigating resources to embed in their instruction. I also hope to be a part of their journey toward an innovative and transformative practice that empowers learners and strengthens their own craftsmanship. I spends my free time with my family, my dogs and a good cup of coffee.