Well, a nice week followed my awful Monday. I had a fellow teacher come to check out my class. It is so much fun to share WBT with others who are eager to try something new. She said that since she stopped by, she has already tried using some of the techniques and now the kids don't have time to get in trouble!
At our school we rely a lot on technology. We often incorporate videos from United Streaming in science and social studies. We also have online math lessons with our Pearson math. You expect anything on the screen to be engaging, and maybe it was at one time, but now it it just feels like the same old thing for the kids. They think of a video as a time to zone out and I’ve actually heard the class groan when they saw me open a Pearson lesson online!
To combat this sense of boredom, I have been incorporating gestures and the teach-ok with my use of technology in the classroom. Here is an example of a lesson we did yesterday with a 15 minute video about natural resources:
Teacher in red, Students in blue
Class, class, class!
Yes, yes, yes!
Today we will be watching a video that teaches how we can take care of the Earth.
Tell your partner what we will be learning about AND give an idea about how YOU can take care of the earth. Teach!
Ok! (The students explain to each other what they will be learning about)
I start the video and they watch the introduction. Pause.
Materials from the earth that people use. (with gestures)
Materials from the earth that people use. (copying gestures)
Teach your partner the definition of natural resources AND give examples. Teach!
Ok! (They turn quickly to their partners and start talking)
Classy, class class!'
Yessy, yes yes!
Natural resources. Materials from the earth that people use. (as they act the definition out with our gesture)
Raise your hand to share an example of a natural resource.
We have a trusty stuffed animal that we throw across the rooms at times when students share. I toss it to 3-4 students as they quickly respond with examples of natural resources. Everyone wants a chance to catch the dog and throw it back to their teacher!
Watch some more of the video. Pause.
Tell your partner why we need to conserve natural resources. Teach!
Ok! (Partners start talking)
Natural resources. (sometimes I use the vocab words to get their attention)
Natural resources. Material from the earth that people use.
Watch some more. Pause.
To use less of something. (As I bring my hands together to show less)
To use less of something. (The class mimics the gesture)
Teach your partner what reduce means and tell them something you can reduce your use of. Teach!
You get the idea. The videos offer much more information than our out of date textbooks. Now I feel like I am using the videos as a tool to provide more depth, not just as a filler. They are actively involved. The students come away acutally retaining the information. As always, these WBT techniques are especially helpful to the ESL kids. Most of the video would go in one ear and out the other without some time to stop and process what they are learning.
Hopefully I will have a Smart Board next year. I can’t wait to see how I can use that to engage the students and incorporate WBT! Air Smart Board, anyone? ;-)