Thursday, June 03, 2010

mobile learning

Or, Holy crap, a post about teaching!

I am excited about one of my lessons today, and I wanted to share it and record it for posterity.

So we're studying one of the ancient civilizations right now; we just started a week or two ago on this unit. I showed one overview powerpoint, and then I MADE another one (it took like three hours! I was very proud of myself, even though it was just cutting and pasting, although I did also go find and insert pictures for each slide) about daily life there.

I wanted to cover gods/religion this week, but I didn't know what to do. My colleague originally offered to find something, but the day approached with nothing (it's been a busy/fast week, so not a surprise). So yesterday I tried to think something up.

I knew I didn't want to do any more powerpoints. I also knew I didn't want to make a giant packet (finding, copying, the kids quickly losing...) of all the gods. That wouldn't help them learn much.

In looking around the internets, I found a site with pictures of each god and short description of his/her appearance and domain. So I came up with a really cool plan!

First, I printed out a page for a bunch of the gods. Then I copied the image of each god into a separate document all together, like a photo album. Last I made a notes page for the kids to create a chart listing each god, appearance, and domain.

The cool part is that I took the gods pages and put them up all over the room--on the back of the door, hanging off a chair, in a book display shelf, on a locker, on the side of a cabinet, etc. I gave the kids their chart sheets and photo albums, and they did kind of an easter egg hunt--moving around the room at their own pace, matching pictures and then jotting down details.

And friends, it worked perfectly! Everyone was on task, the room was quiet, and at the end when I asked some basic questions, lots of hands went up--they learned!

I loved it, and I even heard a kid say, "This is fun!"

There are a lot of days in a school year, and there are five-ish different lessons I have to teach in each of those days. In the last six years, there have been only a handful of lessons that I'm really proud of (as in, most things are fine, or okay, but some are Special, and Awesome) for creativity, incorporating the vaulted Multiple Intelligences and resulting in real learning. Today's goes on that list!


Clix said...

Congratulations! :) Isn't it lovely when things go ... well, not as planned, but BETTER than planned! :D

Sunny Insomniac said...

Brilliant! Great job thinking outside the box. :) Most days it's so tempting to just do the minimum, but then you miss out on THIS feeling! So, from one (part-time) teacher to another teacher, congrats!
~Sunny Insomniac (Mandy)

rddietrich said...

Way to go! This sounds like a fun idea that can be adapted to other subjects/topics with fab results.

I, too, know that feeling that you refer to. When all goes right and you just feel so good about your job and the kids. It doesn't happen often enough as we rush through too many lessons with too many kids per week. ENJOY that feeling and I'm wishing you many more "good lessons" in the future.

Thanks for sharing.