April 21, 2018 by Dr. Barber
Sometimes, you can’t make this stuff up. To accommodate end-of-year testing, the original* schedule is laid out where my high school teachers will be confined to their classroom for 4 hours per day for 5 days in a row with one class group. Oh, and there will be no available student computers or iPads. And, students do not have access to wi-fi on their cell phones. The challenge is to get through the week without hurting anyone, including yourself. Bonus points if you actually teach something.
I focused my Tickling Tech sessions on looking for things to help. One suggestion is to look at Jeopardy! games that the teacher can run on their desktop. I handed out this flyer to teachers. I offer them three different types of Jeopardy! The first, Jeopardy Labs, is a lot like Quizlet in that you can search for subjects and use others pre-made Jeopardy games. The second is a Google slides template and the third is a PowerPoint template you need on your hard drive but it has all the bells and whistles. Part of the point of this exercise, though, should not be to add work to the teacher. Instead, give the students five subject headers and make them write questions and answers. Choose a set and have another student enter them for a different class. Then each class can play a different Jeopardy! game and very little of the work falls on the teacher. BONUS: Students are actively reviewing what they learned.
Flipgrid will allow students to share one cell phone and respond to a question (or set of questions). The handout I created for my teachers provide some suggestions for use including debates, student reflections, and even how to solve a problem. Again, the goal is not to create a lot of work for the teacher but allow the students to review and stay engaged.
The other thing to consider is the fact that teachers are fairly confined in their silos and may need to reach out to each. What better way to do that than with a Bitmoji?! With a few well placed images to colleagues and friends, you can feel better without stepping outside the room.
What can you do with these restrictions? A lot. It just takes a little imagination and support from your friends.
*The original schedule has been slightly modified to split two weeks instead of one straight period of 5 days. But it’s still 20 hours of 5th period in 5 school days.