As a high school math teacher for 29 years, I have watched my students change so much with how they learn and what they are exposed to in their school years. My students are products of instant feedback and they do not have to wonder about anything because they have Google in their pockets with their cell phones. A few years ago, as I was returning my paper assignment that I had graded, I noticed that my students would not even look at their mistakes. I have completely changed my class such that now my students get immediate feedback six times every single day in my class. Now my students look at their mistakes and learn from them before the assessment is given. I have experimented with many things in the classroom throughout my career and I can honestly say this works and I love it for many reasons. The most important reason is my students. I teach with HyperSlides and have built my slides to be engaging activities that allow students to work at their pace. They are able to complete interactive materials with instant feedback and built in self assessments. This provides students with more ownership of their learning and prevents waiting for a paper to be graded to see if they understand the content. HyperSlides is based on the strategy coined in the HyperDoc Handbook: Intentional Lesson Design Using Google Apps. Learn more about HyperDocs here.
I start my class off with everyday with Teacher Time. Research shows that a student’s age plus one is the number of minutes you have of their attention before they start drifting from the topic. Therefore, if I teach 15-year-old students that means I have about 16 minutes to ask them to zone in and understand the material. Teacher Time is designed on that fact. I pre-select three to four problems that I teach to my students on a given topic or standard. I stand and deliver those problems in class as part of the teacher time, after completing those problems my students are directed to a Google Form with one problem that is similar to the one that they just watched me complete. The Google Form is branched, meaning that if students get the question right they move on to their Hyper Slides activities that I have prepared. If the student misses the question they are directed to help in the Google Form, which can be a video, or a problem that is worked out and placed in the form as an image. Once they are more comfortable with the question, the students try the problem again. If they are successful, they move forward, if they are not then they are given help as I watch their data live from the Google Form. Without my students having to ask for help, I make my way over and revisit the problem that was missed with individual attention while other students are moving forward.
Drag & Drop
Drag and Drop is one of the ways I allow my students to practice. It is interactive and allows them to practice the way their state assessment will be. In my state of Georgia, there is a Drag & Drop activity on the assessment that my students take. I have made a daily Drag & Drop in Google Slides for them each day as a quick practice and it is so much better than a worksheet. My students like this because they get a chance to Think-Pair-Share their results before turning in their slide deck. I want my students to be able to share and communicate about the math that we are doing in class. The Think-Pair-Share gives them time to collaborate with each other and build working relationships in their class, much like I do with my own job.
There are aspects of of digital Geometry lessons that are my students’ favorites. I do not assign traditional homework; instead I do a work session. The work session is an interactive engagement that provides the students a way to understand and practice their skills they have learned. The work session allows the students to ask for help and to sharpen their skills before their assessments. I use live data in my classroom daily. The live data is generated with Google Forms in a few different ways. I shared the Teacher Time You Try, however, built into each lesson is a Student You Try activity. The Student You Try is a Google Slide in the slide deck that has the pencil icon and my students know that they place their answer in a Google Form, which provides them with immediate feedback on their comprehension of the standard. If they get the problem right they move forward, but if they do not get it right then help is given to them in that Google Form with a branched form that allows my students to see their mistake and to try again.
Self-assessment is an important piece of my class and I have my students self-assess twice daily. After completing the slide deck, students fill out the Google Form and the indicator for me to know if they got it, need more help or clearly don’t understand. I also provide a way for them to ask a question about the lesson. I choose to do this before they see their grade on the ticket, so a true value of the assessment is done before they see the grade. At the end of the slide deck, I give my students a self-assessment slide that asks them to decide how they feel about the lesson. I think it is important that they can reflect on these as we progress through the curriculum of my class.
I use Bitmojis in my lessons and allow my students to use them to express how they feel about the lesson. I think for students that grow up with Bitmojis this is a great way for me to connect with them.
Another aspect of my class is my review menus. I realize that not every student needs every example, but some do. I teach to the many and accommodate the few, meaning I offer all kinds of different ways for my students to learn. This is an example of a menu for a summative review that I give my students. The red links are mandatory in my classroom and the other links are options depending on the self-assessments and the ticket grades for the unit. My students like the choices of the review menu, it helps them understand what to study for a summative assessment. My class has a high-stakes test, and showing my students’ study methods for their weaker standards is very important. I make menus according to topics so they can quickly find their materials. I teach using Google Classroom everyday. My students get a slide deck with all the different components and they get direct instruction for the topic of the day, everyday. However, to help with students missing class for different reasons, I post a video of me explaining the problems, and a PDF of the problems worked out in teacher terms so they can easily follow the process.
After years of teaching high school math, I have reflected often about my methods of teaching. Over the last three years I have taken my passion for using Hyper Slides in my classroom and applied it to training teachers. I share the things I have learned with educators around the world. Going digital is not for the sake of making teaching easier, but it does. The purpose was not to keep all things in my classroom organized, but it did. Integrating G-Suite for Education changed the landscape of learning FOR MY STUDENTS.
Lynda Moore has been a teacher for the last 29 years in Georgia, and the last 25 in Burke County at Burke County High School in Waynesboro, GA. She has taught all different levels of high school math. A lover of technology and a lifelong learner she has two children, her 21-year-old son, Trent and her 16-year-old daughter, Addison. She has been working with Google in her classroom for the last four years and training teachers the last three years. Teaching online Google Classes has allowed her to connect with many teachers learning about how to better engage their students. You can connect with Lynda at:
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Hi, I really love the innovative use of technology, differentiation in learning experiences, and student choice. There are so many take aways from this article. I feel as though this method of teaching could be applied to various learning subjects and models of teaching (ie. Flipped Classrooms). Thanks for sharing!