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
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
Self-assessment provides students the opportunity to build awareness and reflect on what they understand and do not understand. Self-assessment provides students the opportunity to empower themselves through:
What is a single point rubric?
The first step is making sure students are able to identify where they are in the learning through self-assessment. This means providing them with a tool like a single point rubric. We first learned about single point rubrics from the amazing Jennifer Gonzales at the Cult of Pedagogy blog. With a single point rubric, you, as the teacher, provide students with one column of a traditional rubric and the students reflect and decide on whether they match it, or are below or above that place. Learn more about single-point rubrics from Jennifer Gonzalez.
Why would we want to share a single point rubric with students?
By focusing on one criteria, it narrows and simplifies the learning path for students. This self-reflection through the single point rubric helps to determine if the student is on the path, off the path and needs reteaching, or ahead of the pack. Students will step up to the responsibility of identifying where they are at on this path and share their reflection and evidence back.
How will students use a single point rubric?
To introduce students to the use of a single-point rubric, consider the ‘I do, we do, you do’ structure. Providing students with a body of work (with low cognitive load) and working through the single-point rubric to assess gives students the opportunity to practice.
As students move to independently use a single-point rubric, giving them a space and giving them time to work on this within the classroom is essential. Whether you are asking them to physically look at work or giving them a digital space where they can compile their work, you need to make space for this reflection to happen with work that they have already completed. This process will not work overnight and will require modeling, patience, and perseverance.
What will teachers learn about the students when they go through this process?
What will students learn about themselves when they go through this process?
Be part of the conversation! Share in the comments or reach out to us on Twitter--@DLGWAEA
~Beth, Amber, and Mindy
When thinking of concept mapping, graphic organizers often come to mind. But concept mapping is more than that. The graphic organizer is the tool for this strategy, but can often be confining to our students that see connections outside of the typical graphic organizer. Concept mapping has an effect size of .64. It is important to highlight that this is effective when students are making their own connections and not the connections predetermined by the teacher.
This instructional strategy is comprised of three specific steps.
Step 1. Predetermine the topic or question for the concept map. “A helpful way to determine the context of your concept map is to choose a focus question--something that needs to be solved or a conclusion that needs to be reached (Kieschnick, Bold School, pg. 124).” Teachers can help students focus their concept map by asking essential questions.
Step 2. Pull a list of key terms or ideas from the topic being addressed. Students should work to classify those key terms or ideas in some way. For example, they might identify the broadest ideas working down to the most specific details. Because students may visualize this in different ways, it is important they have the freedom to choose a tool that best supports their thinking.
Step 3. Connect concepts by creating linking concepts and words. In this step students might need language stems to support the connections they are making. For example, “is related to”, “as a result of”, “caused or causes”, “leds to”, etc.
Incorporating Digital Tools
It is important to provide kids with a variety of options for concept mapping, both digital and unplugged. For example, Mindy would rather create a sketchnote as a tool for concept mapping while Gina really likes being able to have a stack of manipulatives with a broad canvas to organize and connect. Online tools that support concept mapping might include Jamboard, Mindmup, Lucidchart , or Google Drawings. For kids who prefer an unplugged option, the Post-its App can allow students to start their work in an analogue environment and then move it and manipulate it online. Finally, for kids who prefer a drawing or sketching method for organizing their thoughts, consider using a camera to capture and share unplugged work.
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