The results I had hoped for are becoming a reality in my classroom, manifested by students fully engaged in learning and today sharing quality ideas. Backtracking a bit, last Thursday I used Kahoot!, setting up a contest-format review of The Crucible. Students loved the race to answer questions and see their standings when correct answers for each of the 28 questions was revealed. This competitive format had a downside, however, in that students were more interested in seeing who was leading than on amending their understanding by reviewing correct responses to the questions. My ATTPS coach, Bill Bauman, gave me information on how I can block that feature next time, which I will do. Overall, though, 100% of students were engaged in the review and it was an easy setup for me.
Today I used Google docs to have students brainstorm ideas on the following questions: Who are some heroes of the past and why are they heroes? How are some heroes of the present and why are they heroes? What are three criteria a person must meet in order to be considered a hero? This is in preparation for evaluating Arthur Miller’s John Proctor as a hero. Using Google docs on the ipad was more confusing than on the computer; we had trouble figuring out how to share the responses with me, and only four students successfully did so. However, after students brainstormed and recorded their responses in a Google doc I had them post their contributions on a “page” in TodaysMeet. This allowed students to see each others’ ideas, and more voices were certainly heard than is routine in the classroom. I have more students who are shy than outgoing, and one foreign exchange student who is not a fluent English speaker. This learning activity today was one of the most valuable I’ve experienced and I’ll definitely try it again. Thanks to Bill Bauman for connecting me with TodaysMeet.