Last week I brought a favorite team activity online, and my students seemed to enjoy it even more in Zoom breakout rooms with their classroom teams than they normally do in the real classroom. Maybe it’s the challenge of tech work-rounds, figuring out how to share their screens, or just being bored at home, but I was impressed with what they accomplished. HERE’s the paper version I use in a school-building class, and HERE are the Google slides I used online that they can write on.
Logistics: Zoom for communicating & collaborating and Peardeck for students to take notes, explore, and be monitored. I also use Notebook or something similar to be able to explain things because I like to annotate while I talk, but that’s optional. The beauty of Peardeck is that 1) I can monitor their writing in real time and 2) when the lesson is over, there is an option to “Publish Takeaways” and a copy of the slides with their own notes show up in their Google Classrooms.
- Open my slides, download the Peardeck add-on for Google slides, and click Present in Peardeck. After playing around with that, experience what students experience by going to joinpd.com to sign in with the code.
- Schedule a Zoom meeting for students who can join with a computer. A couple of mine used ipads and phones. I don’t know what that looked like on their end, but I could see they were with me.
- While students were arriving to the Zoom meeting and logging into Peardeck, I had my own Notebooks slides so I could explain some things. HERE’s a PDF of that if you don’t have NOTEBOOK. Again, that’s optional but always have Notebook open for writing and explaining. The first few slides are some examples of where we see inequalities in real STEM jobs.
- We worked through the Warm-up together, and then we went to breakout rooms where students figured out the rest of the activity in their teams, sharing their screens and laughing at how ridiculously intuitive the questions are. I monitored progress by seeing their responses on the Peardecks slides. When I could see someone lagging behind with their Peardeck activity (notes), I popped in their breakout room to check on them.
When most students were about finished, I brought them back to the main room and explained how to solve an inequality and check the arrow. We had a few minutes left to chat, then I sent them off with a reminder to do the practice problems linked to their assignment sheet. For those who could not Zoom with us, there was also a video.
This lesson doesn’t take any of the “deep thinking” the lessons that follow require. It was fun and memorable. Some days, that’s enough.