Friday, December 7, 2018

Joy in the Journey

As I have visited various classes this week for Taylor ISD's Hour of Code and have received pictures and videos I can't help but be reminded of how our students should have fun learning and being successful.  Though I wish many more teachers and students were involved in our Hour of Code, the ones that have participated seem to be having a blast and learning some great new skills.  Some have found some fun activities on, while others have found activities using the Kodable app and Bee-Bots.

You can see more pictures here. Student Showcase

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tips for Using Multiple Choice Questions in Pear Deck

As I have shared with teachers on how Pear Deck can be used for formative assessment, they sometimes ask what question types are best.  Many of them migrate to multiple choice because that is what usually appears on assessments and makes it easy to grade.  However, I usually recommend that they carefully consider all question types to keep their lessons engaging for students and to help differentiate their instruction.  Pear Deck offers the following 5 interactive question types.

  • Draggable- drag icons on an image of your choice (flag, star, checkmark, etc)
  • Drawing- draw on a canvas or background image
  • Text- type text
  • Number- type a number
  • Multiple Choice- select a predefined answer

The question itself and the way you use the question type is most important.  Ask yourself are you pulling out the information you want from students?  Are they making new discoveries?  Is the question and the question type conducive to powerful discussions and help your students succeed?

For those of you that still love your multiple choice questions, however, I highly recommend reading this great blog post from Pear Deck’s Chief Educator, Michal Eynon-Lynch about using multiple choice questions.

Best Practices:  Multiple Choice

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Have a Dance Party!

The Hour of Code is happening this week and there are a ton of activities that you can have your students do.  Dance Party is guaranteed to entertain and motivate your students to learn more. Here is a lesson plan you can follow.

If you do not have access to computers you can still join in on the fun by using Dance Party: Unplugged.