My good friend, fellow French teacher and colleague Sylvia Duckworth and I brainstormed the following. Sylvia has been a huge advocate for using technology in the classroom, and has actively used iPads in her classes for the past couple years. Check out her excellent website, which contains a multitude of teaching ideas using technology as a tool.
1. You keep a well organized Professional Learning Network (PLN)
You keep up to date with the latest technology in education trends. You are always willing to learn more about technology in education. On Twitter, you keep an eye on the hashtags #ipaded and #ipadedchat. In Google+ you have joined the community iPad Ed. You have subscribed to iPad Ed blogs like these:
2. You are familiar with the SAMR model in education
Applying the SAMR model definitely helps…
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The Question Game
by Sophie Wrobel, geist.avesophos.de
The Question Game: A Playful Way To Teach Critical Thinking
Big idea: Teaching kids to ask smart questions on their own
A four-year-old asks on average about 400 questions per day, and an adult hardly asks any. Our school system is structured around rewards for regurgitating the right answer, and not asking smart questions – in fact, it discourages asking questions. With the result that as we grow older, we stop asking questions. Yet asking good questions is essential to find and develop solutions, and an important skill in innovation, strategy, and leadership. So why do we stop asking questions – and more importantly, why don’t we train each other, and our future leaders, to ask the right questions starting from early on?
In A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, Warren Berger suggests that there are three main questions which help in problem solving: Why questions,What If questions, and How questions.
Regardless of the question, the question needs to be phrased openly and positively in order to achieve positive results – a closed or negative question only raises bad feelings against each other.
- Why questions help to find the root of a problem
- What If questions open up the floor for creative solutions
- How questions focus on developing practical solutions
So, perhaps, this lesson can be adapted to help trigger young children to start solve problems early too and stop accepting whatever the kindergarten teacher says to be fact? And perhaps, continue to keep up these inquiring and probing abilities later on in life?
The Question Game focuses on teaching children a kind of thinking which is particularly useful in creative problem-solving–a focused approach to get from a problem to the most effective solution. It is most effective when combined with regular repetition, which solidifies the thought pattern, and with groups, which encourages contributory exploration of alternative responses and creativity.
Thinking strategy is just one of many qualities that are necessary for imparting charisma and leadership skills to the next generation. Many of us would claim that we don’t have the ‚natural gift’ that charismatic leaders like Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Ghandi had. However, charisma and leadership are qualities that, to a large extent, can be cultivated and trained. With soft skills becoming more important in today’s job market, cultivating these skills early on can provide children with an additional edge in becoming effective, active citizens in our society. These skills can be broadly grouped into four logical skills and four emotional skills:
- Logical skills: risk-taking, thinking strategy, creativity, and negotiation.
- Emotional skills: persuasion, emotional connection, body language, and dealing with vulnerability.
Of these eight skills, the Question Game focuses on thinking strategy and creativity, and aims to solidify the critical thinking thought pattern from an early age onwards.
Introducing The Question Game
Preparation: print out the figure in the illustration, cut it out and glue the tabs together to form a cube.
- One simple idea is to pick up your favorite illustrated fairy tale book–the kind of book you’d read a two-year-old for bedtime stories. (This also works with most fictional works; the natural ‘break point‘ for questions is at the end of a plot development or paragraph for older audiences.)
- On each page, roll the cube and answer the question together. I’ll bet you’d be surprised by what turns Little Red Riding Hood can take. And more importantly after a while you and your child will both start asking these questions reflexively.
Evaluating Learning Progress
My personal experience introducing the game to my two children (aged Pre-K) is a gradual acceptance of the game and associated learning goals:
- Initial excitement: Rolling the cube puts the child in control and made a fun addition to reading their picture books; they couldn’t wait for their turn to roll the cube.
- Distress: The questions are hard, especially when they aren’t used to this sort of thinking pattern and are accustomed to the ’teacher knows everything’ thinking pattern. Here, my children often asked if we could read ‚without the cube‘, or ‚I don’t want to roll, but ___ can roll and answer the question.’
- Acceptance: As they start to recognize that there isn’t a single correct answer, and they begin to understand what each question is trying to achieve, they begin to enjoy the game and insist that we read ‘with the cube‘.
- Application: During more abstract conversations, discussions, or observing how the children go about solving day-to-day problems during play. Example: a particular lego construction doesn’t quite work, even though it was‚ built according to instructions‘–and the child goes about investigating what is wrong and fixing it himself. Another example: When they ask me questions and I give them answers that obviously don’t make sense, I get more pointed questions than just ‘why?‘ as a response.
March 20, 2015
Here are some very useful educational web tools we have curated over the last few weeks. These are EdTech tools we came across through posts from other edubloggers. As is the case with previous posts in New EdTech Web Tools for Teachers, we only feature the recent trending tools which we think would be a valued addition to teachers technology toolkit. Check out the ones we have for you today and share with us if you have other suggestions to add to the list:
iClicker is a powerful formative assessment tool and intuitive student response system that allows for dynamic student-teacher interaction. Here is how it works: Instructors ask questions through any presentation application; students answer questions with a remote or smart device; instructors display results in real-time and
ThinkBinder is an excellent web tool for creating study and discussion groups. It allows students to collaborate on their homework, ask questions and interact in realtime, upload videos and share notes and files all in a secured group. The tool also supports text and video chat and provides a collaborative whiteboard to help students work on their problems.
EverySlide is a web tool that allows you to create interaction around your presentations. You create a presentation in PowerPoint or Keynote, upload it to EverySlide and share the generated link with your students. using the link, students can join your slideshow from any device. You can then start asking questions, or running polls while students are going through the slides. After the presentation, you can review participants’ interactions online or download their contact details and answers as a spreadsheet.
«RabbleBrowser is a curated, collaborative Web browsing and file sharing tool to help with learning and sharing in a group setting. RabbleBrowser allows a leader or facilitator to lead a group browsing experience. This browser is the perfect tool for a classroom, lecture hall, discussion group, boardroom or any meeting room.»
«Flocabulary is an online library of educational hip-hop songs and videos for grades K-12. Over 20,000 schools use Flocabulary to engage and inspire students. Its team of artists and educators is not only committed to raising test scores, but also to fostering a love of learning in every child.»
«Collect ideas, discuss and vote. That’s how tricider works. Your team will make decisions faster without meetings or calls. Innovative solutions arise because everyone can contribute ideas and vote. Whether with friends or clients: taking advantage of all the opinions and ideas to find the best solution has never been easier.»
Master math is a great website that provides all kinds of math resources for middle school students. Resources include: free video lessons, practice worksheets, self-grading quizzes, downloadable worksheets, and many more.
8- Google Blockly
«Blockly is a visual editor that allows users to write programs by plugging blocks together. Developers can integrate the Blockly editor into their own web applications to create a great UI for novice users.»