Take Note is not the traditional note-taking or outlining of a lecture you may initially connect with. Instead, it promotes students to actively engage in the learning with the opportunity to reflect, take notes, and engage with discussion after the learning. This thinking routine helps students develop their memory and focus during learning by NOT worrying about capturing all of the details in traditional lecture notes. It supports students in learning to use their brains more efficiently by inviting them to distill out the key points of the learning they are presented with.
This strategy will be best used synchronously when first being introduced and for a fair amount of time following the introduction. However, as students become more familiar with the routine, the learning could be done asynchronously. For example, students might watch a video prior to meeting for class, take note following the viewing, and come with notes to be shared in a class discussion. This independence is the goal and requires student understanding of the importance of the routine.
If using this strategy from a distance, a great tool for students to digitally record their notes could be Jamboard. We’ve created a template that could be used for students to share their notes and discuss the ideas of others.
To create and use this template:
Below you will find a table with suggestions of how to tweak the Take Note Thinking Routine to be more effective in alternative learning environments.
Click here to learn more about COVID Cohorts.
We would love to hear how you have used Take Note with your students! Share your story in the comments!
~Mindy and Gina
Recent times have forced the landscape of our classrooms to evolve. The question I often ask myself is, "Will we ever go back?" I don't know the answer to that question. What I do know is that it is imperative that we adjust highly effective instructional strategies to engage students in hybrid environments to prepare for whatever the future holds for education.
When I started to think about instructional strategies that could be most easily modified for this type of environment, Socratic Seminar was the first one that came to mind. Socratic Seminar provides a structure for students to discuss a question posed by a classmate or teacher (usually dependent on a text). Often during Socratic Seminar there are two groups: an inner circle and an outer circle. Both inner and outer circles have roles during the Socratic Seminar (also know as a fishbowl).
In a hybrid environment, the inner circle could be the face-to-face students while the outer circle could be the remote students. Traditionally, the job of the outer circle is to be the observers and summarizers of the discussion of the inner circle. However, engagement in this role might be challenging for remote students. In addition to being an observer and summarizer, a suggestion would be that the outer circle continues to pose deeper questions throughout the discussion and shares their own thoughts through a backchannel chat, using a tool such as YoTeach or the Q and A feature of Google Slides.
Don’t be afraid to switch these roles! If your remote learners are lacking engagement, allow them to be the inner circle and project the video-call for the face-to-face students to observe in class. Face-to-face students can also pose questions for deeper conversations through the tools listed above.
A few things to take into consideration would be:
What instructional strategies have you modified to suit hybrid environments? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!
Socratic Seminars: Let's Build a Culture of Student-Led Discussion
Fishbowl Instructional Strategy
5 Steps to a Successful Socratic Seminar
Building and maintaining a collaborative and creative community has been on our minds lately. The struggles of keeping strong relationships with our students and our students with one another is challenging from a distance. We've gathered some ideas that we wanted to share!
Provide Shared Experiences
We've seen so many great ideas to provide shared experiences for our students via Zoom/Google Meet. If it is pet parades, show and tell, costume dress-up days, or scavenger hunts, teachers are doing everything they can to foster the relationships between classmates. Building in these fun, community-building ideas might be the way to do it! Jennifer Gonzalez shares some other ideas here.
Create the Illusion of Being Together
Using Remove.bg gives the effect of green screen without all the extra tools! Create a class photo or have students create their own. This simple, free tool will stoke those creative fires! Check out Amber's quick tutorial below and another example of how she used it with selfies from the team!
Synchronous or Asynchronous Collaborative Idea
Creating a digital flip book with Google Slides is easy! Using the duplicate slide tool makes this idea a breeze! Create a Google Slides presentation so everyone can edit and then watch the magic unfold. Use this will small groups or as a whole class (with some guidelines, of course) and create something that represents your class! Check out Mindy's tutorial below!
Bonus tip: Check out TallTweets (use Tall Tweets Classic in the middle of the page)! It will create a .gif file of your flipbook that you can share anywhere!
We want to connect with you!
Share with us how you are maintaining connections with your students! We want to hear about how you are fostering creativity in your classroom community! Tag us on social media with @DLGWAEA and, as always....
~Mindy and Amber
We always love it when we find tools that are versatile. We also love it when our favorite tools evolve into something bigger and better over time. We love it even more when those tools are free. Wakelet has quickly risen to the top of our favorite tools list at DLGWAEA and we are excited to share ideas of how to use it.
If you are new to Wakelet, imagine it as the ultimate digital bulletin board. If you have a core list of websites and resources that you share with your students, turn it into a Wakelet. Wakelets can be shared not only with students, but teams could contribute and share resources through a Wakelet as well. Wakelet not only allows you to collaboratively curate resources, but it also has Immersive Reader and the Flipgrid camera as built-in features. (For a step-by-step tutorial on how to get started, check out Microsoft's Surfing the 5Cs Wave with Wakelet!)
So how does Wakelet measure up for classroom use?
First of all, Wakelet, could be used simply as a digital library of vetted resources for students. Give students a headstart with online research by curating resources for them! Take it one step further by opening up the collaboration feature for students to continue to add resources. But you aren’t just limited to links. Add images, text, videos, Tweets, or anything from your Google Drive or OneDrive.
Take a 45 degree turn on this idea and consider it for student portfolios. Imagine all of a student’s work in one spot to share or reflect upon throughout the year. Wakelet is easily shareable to any audience through link, QR Code, or direct connection through some of your favorite places like Google Classroom, Remind, and more! Pro tip: Keep track of all your students’ portfolios by creating a ‘home’ Wakelet and adding student Wakelets into the home Wakelet to make them more easily accessible.
But there’s always room for improvement, right? Here’s what we would like to see improve with Wakelet before we declare it the "Absolute Edtech Supreme":
Wakelet is a flexible tool that has endless possibilities for classroom use. From a digital library of resources to more powerful playlists, Wakelet might be the answer your classroom has been looking for and all for free! We would love to hear how you use Wakelet in your classroom! Leave your ideas in the comments or connect with @DLGWAEA on social media!
~Mindy Cairney (@TeamCairney) and Amber Bridge (@abridgesmith)
Chances are if you have heard of reciprocal teaching you have thought of it in the context of an English Language Arts class. Although reciprocal teaching is a text processing strategy, its application is further reaching than the English classroom. Reciprocal teaching has a .74 effect size making it a powerful instructional strategy for all content areas where text is being used.
What is Reciprocal Teaching?
Reciprocal teaching includes four steps:
Reciprocal teaching is a process that best works in a collaborative environment so most commonly small groups will be used in this strategy. Additionally, the process helps students organize their thinking about text. Creating a Doc or Slide Deck template for groups to use (see examples in Step 1) can be used to record ideas and provide links to additional tools used in the process.
Incorporating Digital Tools
Step 1 - Predict: The predict step can look different in different grade levels and content areas, however, no matter what grade level or what content area prediction involves previewing the text and connecting prior knowledge to what is seen. Additionally, students think a little bit about what the text might focus on based on the quick previewing that they did. Collaborative conversations are imperative to the prediction process. Recording thoughts on a table in a Google Doc or collaborative Google Slides can help classmates when returning to the conversation and for later evaluation of predictions.
Step 2 - Clarify: In this step students read through the text and note any areas that are unclear for them. One area that can be focused on is vocabulary. To clarify and further make meaning out of unknown terms, students can use an online dictionary tool (like the dictionary feature in Read & Write for Google or the Google Dictionary Chrome Extension) , but additional development of this new vocabulary might be needed. Vocabulary programs have an effect size of .62. One model that can support the explicit teaching of vocabulary is the Frayer Model. On a collaborative doc, students determine words needing clarification. Repeated words from the doc are collected and distributed to groups for further investigation. A shared Frayer Model tool can be used to further build the group’s understanding of their assigned words. Google Slides or Google Drawings fulfill the need to share and collaborate as a class.
Step 3 - Question: After all of the predictions have been made and all unknown terms have been clarified, groups begin in-depth reading of the text. Each group will record three questions they have as they read. Groups are encouraged to come up with a ‘right there’ question, a ‘between the lines’ question, and a critical thinking question (Kieschnick, Bold School). Teachers will need to model the question generation process prior to turning kids loose with this responsibility in addition to providing language scaffolds to help students generate questions. To learn more about question generation check out some of the resources in our Riddle Me This blog post.
Step 4 - Summarize: The final step in reciprocal teaching is summarizing. As a small group, students create a summary of what they just read and come to consensus on how they will show what they know about the text. There are a variety of different ways that students might share their summary of the text. With the time constraints of a classroom, this strategy might not be completed in one day. Flipgrid allows students to share their summary in the moment, with the ability to view with the class at a later time as they evaluate their summaries against previous predictions. This could also be great for students to reflect and review before an assessment.
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