2017 Summer Conference Presentations
Thinking Outside the Worksheet
With the new curriculum in College and Career Awareness, I felt that I was teaching too much by the PowerPoint/Worksheet method. This year I have tried to expand that and find ways to teach outside of using a worksheet. Because I have a lab, this opens up so many other avenues for teaching. Please feel free to share your own ideas as you come to this class.
Here are a few methods I have tried this year:
- PowerPoints - Make your PowerPoints more engaging with interesting backgrounds--either homemade or downloaded from online--and use lots of different media: videos, activities, interactive learning, etc.
- Worksheets - Create worksheets that require students to DO something with the information, not just write it down. If every question on the worksheet has only one correct answer, it's probably not a good one!
- Picture Review - Create a PowerPoint with pictures that give clues to the vocab words. I use this when teaching Computer Basics in Computer Tech. The kids get WAY into it.
- PowerPoint Review - This is the typical review using PowerPoint, but it's still a good one if you make the PowerPoint more interactive! Add buttons that take the students through a journey, rather than just slide after slide of bullet points. You can also use the Developer tab in PowerPoint to create fill-in-the blank boxes--the kids can answer questions right on the PowerPoint! I haven't created one like this yet, but it's a plan for the future.
- Jeopardy - And oldy but goody. You are welcome to use the one attached here as a template to create your own. I found some fantastic but pricey templates for games at this TPT site--I haven't purchased them yet but they look fantastic!
- Nearpod - I had a lot of fun creating Nearpods! They take some time if you want them pretty--they lack all the bells and whistles that I'd like. But I like how interactive they are. You need the pay version to get all the different interactive things, but I use the free version and it works just fine. It keeps the kids engaged as well.
- Prezi - I'm still learning Prezi, but it's nice to have something a little different from the typical PowerPoint.
- Nearpod/PowerPoint Combination - I found as I was teaching Marketing that I wanted some of the features of both a Nearpod presentation and a PowerPoint. So I did both at the same time. I ran the PowerPoint on my computer witht he kids watching, and then had the Nearpod version on their screens. It was awesome and totally worked.
- Graphic Organizer - I used this twice this semester and I really loved it. While giving the lecture, the kids would write their notes using a graphic organizer that I created in Photoshop or Word. I provided colored pencils if they wanted them. Some kids went all out, some didn't, but they still took organized notes that put things into perspective visually.
- PowerPoint Notes - Another note-taking method I did was having the students use PowerPoint. I taught the lesson from my own PowerPoint, and also created a sort of template for them. They opened their template and answered the questions given, or wrote their own notes. This allowed them to use the internet to find examples, insert pictures, etc. It was actually really fun and easy to grade.
- Internet Scavenger Hunt - It's never a bad idea to make THEM research the answers. Before teaching, give them a worksheet with questions or situations where they must find the answer online. The kids love this sort of activity! Then discuss what they found afterwards. It's sort of like an anticipation guide--they will be much more interested in the discussion because they already did their research. I also did something similar when I taught entrepreneurship. I taught the basic info, then sent them off on a scavenger hunt to look up entrepreneurs, inventors, etc.
- Self-Grading Assignments - I have become a huge fan of self-grading assignments using Word. In my Making Macros class, I go into detail about how to do this with the help of Vlookup tables, data validation, etc. These assignments give the students immediate feedback and can be quite interactive! To see HOW TO MAKE self grading assignments, click on the Making Macros link at the bottom of this page.
- Kahoot! - I hesitate to add this one because I fear it's getting a little overused in the classroom. Kids who don't get in the top five tend to lose interest. However, it's still a great way to get the kids interested. It doesn't have to be a quiz about what they learned--it can also be a great pre-test to see what they know going in.
- Today's Meet - This is a very simple website that lets you set up a temporary chat room. I used this in my agriculture lesson. I gave the kids an article and they typed into Today's Meet what they learned from it, sharing it with the class. I also used it to do silent auctions in my College and Career Awareness class. This is also a great starter!
- Lanschool quiz - Use Lanschool to do a quick quiz on what they learned the day before, or what their prior knowledge of what you are about to teach today. I always forget Lanschool is an option! It's limited in it's quiz capabilities, but it's still a great way to shake things up.
- Magnet Games - In an attempt to get away from worksheets, I bought magnet strips at Magnatag. They weren't cheap, but they were totally worth it. I've found a million ways to use these things. Its fun to reorganize them, move them, write on them, categorize them, etc.
- Card Games - I made two new card games this year for my Exploring Business and Marketing class. I designed them in Photoshop and printed them out, but you could easily glue paper onto existing cards. One game I created was called Adverts to Adverts, and was a spin off of the game Apples to Apples. IT. WAS. EPIC. This game was seriously so much fun. And it caused them to really think about they vocabulary words. This one is available on my Teachers Pay Teachers site. The other game I created was an assets and liabilities game to teach balance sheets. You can find it here. We also played a game I got from Teachers Pay Teachers that is a Murder Mystery. It was ok. I made cards for that game too, which helped a lot. You can find it here.
- Google Classroom - I discovered this this year and it has ROCKED. MY. WORLD. I don't know how I survived without it. This allows you to create online worksheets instead of printed ones, and share them with your class.
- Videos - When all else fails, FIND A VIDEO. I've found so many awesome ones on Youtube. Working in videos is a great way to get the kids more interactive. I don't mean long 20 minute videos, but adding clips that can really bring some interest in. I used a lot of Econ Movies videos from Youtube and the kids loved them. I've even used Studio C Videos to teach about assets and setting passwords. You can also make your own videos! I make them with Camtasia for kids who are absent, or if I want the assignment to be self-directed.
- Apps/iPads - When you have a lab, it's easy to think you won't ever need iPads. But I found an AWESOME app to help with stock market. It's an app of the old board game The Stock Market Game and the kids absolutely loved it! It was $.99, so we had to pay to install them, but our school has a fund for that. Don't hesitate to shake things up and bring in the iPads!
- Video Game Review - There are some awesome websites where you can create video games FREE with your vocabulary lists. My kids love these! I've used Classtools.net, but there are others.
- Socrative - This is a standalone site but is also part of Mastery Connect as an App. Great place to do quizzes and help kids prepare for exams. I found that the sections where my students did a Socrative before the test, they performed significantly better than the other sections.
- Video Tutorials - This is more ambitious and is not for everyone, but it has completely revolutionized the way I teach. I purchased Camtasia for $300 (though I hear you can get it for half that with a teacher discount). I use it for so many things! I create step by step tutorials with a table of contents. I record lectures so that absent students can watch it when they miss a day. I've even used it to create fun teacher videos for the students.