Wednesday morning at NECC. I’m at Linda McDonald‘s model lesson session. Before the session started, Linda gave the students a lecture on how to behave on a videoconference. It was great to hear her tell them to behave as if their mom or grandma were watching.
A quality videoconference partnership includes three things:
- higher order thinking
- all students included and engaged
- design based on curriculum need
Higher order thinking – focus on application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation. Open ended questions stems. If you push kids to the higher level thinking, they will master the knowledge and comprehension level. Teacher as facilitator – don’t answer for the kids.
All students engaged – students in small groups, think time for small group discussion (just mute & talk in groups!!), “learnin’ ain’t quiet”. Keeping a fast pace. Addressing multiple modalities.
Curriculum need – math marvels came from weaknesses on the standardized tests. Timely – has to fit the time that they are doing the book or content. Aligned to how the teachers teach the skills, but still pushing them to the higher level thinking skills.
After the intro, we did several little examples of projects.
I Have, Who Has game. The group is in charge of the clues. The cards have an answer at the top and a question on the bottom. The answer and questions don’t match. The first student reads what they have, and then reads the question. I.e. I have Ulysses S. Grant. Who has the turning point in the Civil War? If you google “I have who has,” you can find examples of how this works. The cards are mixed up amongst the two sites. The answers bounced back and forth between the sites so it’s really easy and really interactive. This is great for a test review.
For Math Marvels
A challenging problem is given to both sites. Both sites mute and small groups try to solve the problems. Then a hint is shared. Then the groups share their problem solving strategies.
The ABCs of writing. Have words that start with a letter, and then write it into a sentence. Here’s an example.
- Against taxation without representation
Americans armed themselves against taxation without representation and afterwards set up an anti-monarchy government.
Then both classes supply B words, and together write a sentence – one site writes the first phrase, and the other site writes the second phrase. Then, does it match what you know about the topic? Did it stretch your time?
Kickoff session is before we start reading. The book for this model lesson is Number the Stars. While you’re watching the video clip, make a list of words that come to mind. They activate students schema, make lists of vocab words, etc. to prep for reading the book. After the video, the two sites create a group word wall and share all the words they came up with. Since this class is 8th grade, Linda pushed them to come up with more 8th grade words vs. just sad. So they came up with disheartening, overwhelming, depression.
In the example of the after session, students then work on a story map together. A shared file is created with the two classes.
See the NECC page to see the resources that go with this presentation.
Components of Linda’s challenge videoconferences: strong lead teacher, pushing the content and instruction to a higher level. Hardly any “talking” or “presenting”. Instead everyone is interacting on the content, with each other at their site, with the teacher, and the students at the other site. Each one is really focused on the content.