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
In a world that is still not done with virtual learning or quarantined classrooms, the ability to teach online is still and important skill for teachers to hone. Zoom and Google Meet are becoming an integral part to facilitating that learning, so in this post I am going to take a look at how you can use these tools to share a document camera, a USB webcam, your smartphone, or even an iPad on your next virtual meeting.
How to Use a USB Webcam or Document Camera in Zoom
Document cameras are perfect for showing documents, but they can also be used to share learning materials, manipulatives, a dry erase whiteboard or just about anything else you can fit under that camera. If a document camera is not flexible enough for what you want to show, or you don't have access to one in your classroom, you can always plug in a USB webcam and use that instead. They six-foot USB cable will give you some additional options for displaying content that may not fit under a document camera, and many can be mounted on a camera tripod for additional support. Take a look at the video below to see how to use a document camera in Zoom.
How to Use a Webcam or Document Camera in Meet
If you are not using Zoom, fear not, because there are options for Google Meet too. Unfortunately, Google does not have built-in support for document cameras, but the ability to change your video input or share you screen to show the camera software is still an option. The video below shows you how that is done.
How to Use an iPad as a Document Camera in Zoom
Great teachers make the most of what they already have access to. Document cameras are in short supply right now, and so are webcams, so if you have iPads in your classroom, then you can absolutely use those instead. If you have an iPhone, you can use that too. All you need to do is follow the directions in the video below.
How to Use an iPad as a Document Camera in Google Meet
In Google Meet, you can use an iPhone, iPad or even an Android phone as your document camera. All you need to do is join your call twice, once on your laptop and once on your mobile device. When you want to use your device as a document camera, simply share your screen and open the camera app. Details on how to do that are in the video below!
If you are having problems with any of the methods described in the videos above, feel free to let me know and I will do what I can to help fix your issues.
Digital Learning Consultant
This December we bring you Premium Pear Deck! Make sure to follow along with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays to learn more about your Premium Pear Deck Account as a GWAEA Educator! Let's get started!
An Intro to Premium Pear Deck
Google Slides just got better.
Pear Deck Premium was recently purchased for all of our Iowa educators as an excellent add-on for Google Slides for teaching in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments. It allows the teacher to create and add interactive elements to a Google Slides presentation to engage students, gauge social emotional well-being, and gain data and feedback about student learning. Additionally, Pear Deck allows students to respond during an instructor-paced or student-paced mode, providing a variety of learning opportunities for any learning environment.
To get started with Pear Deck there are a few things you need to do. First of all, log into Pear Deck by using your school domain Google account to authenticate. Once you are logged in, your profile picture should be wearing a crown (see below) to signify you have a Premium account.
Next, start a Google Slides Presentation and click on ‘Add-ons’. Then, select ‘Get Add-ons’ and search for, select, and install Pear Deck. Now Pear Deck will be accessible in each Google Slides presentation you initiate.
Lastly, you may want to install the Pear Deck Power Up Chrome Extension. It helps run videos and gifs more smoothly in Pear Deck. After installing it, you will see it in your Google Slides toolbar.
Now you are ready to explore Pear Deck! By clicking on the Pear Deck icon in your Google Slides toolbar, you will instantly open up a side panel to help you begin building. At the top of the panel, you will find a template library full of lesson builders, learning development, and content area slides ready to be selected and added to your Slides.
Feeling creative? You can build your own interactive slides from scratch by choosing a question type to add to the Slide and building from there. Additionally, you can add audio files to your Slides for a multimedia approach to your questions (more to come about that in a later post).
A few things to consider during the building phase of your lesson:
If you have chosen instructor-paced mode, students can go to joinpd.com and enter the code that is generated at this time. Or click on ‘Give Students a Link’ below the big pear and send the link through a Zoom/Meet chat or in your learning management system, like Google Classroom.
Now you are ready to play! We suggest pairing your Pear Deck with a colleague to try it out before using it with students. Let us know what questions you have! Check back on Thursday to learn when to use instructor-paced and student-paced sessions!
DLGWAEA's Pear Deck One-Pager
DLGWAEA's Pear Deck Handbook
Edtech Take Out: Episode 81: Perfect Pear Deck Presentations
Connect with Us
We'd love to hear how you are using Pear Deck! Let us know in the comments below!
~Mindy, Amber, and Beth
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
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