Wednesday, March 8, 2017

#214EdPrep: Spark Sessions for Engagement and Pre-Assessment Strategies

By Rachel Barry

This is the third in a series of blog posts discussing the collaboration of the Collab Lab and our EG Ed Prep students.  Please follow along on our journey using the hashtag #214EdPrep or clicking on the label #214EdPrep in the word cloud!

In yesterday's blog post, we discuss the background behind these Spark Sessions with our Elk Grove District 214 Ed Prep students.  

On the second "Spark Sesson" day, I presented students with a game to practice or review class material as well as using Google Forms to pre-assess students.

Spark Session 3:  Play Basketball to Engage Students in Practice or Review Concepts

The game is typically called "Mathsketball" in our department, however, I wanted to show students that they can play this game with any subject area.  To view the game the students played, click here.  

How to Play:
- Students are each given one piece of paper.  They must use this piece for all 6 questions.
- Once the PowerPoint displays the problem, you have 30 seconds to complete the problem.
- Students must show their work, and circle their answer.
- Before the buzzer, students will crumple their paper and toss it into the recycling bin.

Then we discussed potential adjustments to the game, including:
- passing out pieces of paper with the problem write out (if graphs, tables, or diagrams are needed)
- increasing/decreasing the time limit
- wait to provide answers until the end of the game

Additionally, we brainstormed other games that can accomplish similar practice or review:
- Jeopardy
- Battleship
- Scavenger Hunt
- Last Man Standing
*Stop by the Collab Lab if you are interested in learning more about any of the above!

Spark Session 4:  Pre-Assessment through Google Forms

The purpose of this part of the lesson was to provide these students with a method of pre-assessment.  Due to technology issues, students couldn't access the Google Form, and instead, I had to transition this focus into a lesson on flexibility.  For reference, here is the Google Form that was given to students to pre-assess their understanding of slope.  I displayed this for them, and we discussed how to use the feedback from the form to drive instruction.  Then, I changed the focus to discuss the importance of being flexible.  I explained to students that sometimes things don't go as planned, and we discussed the importance of being prepared with back-up plans in the classroom.  For me, the last question on the Google Form was the most important: "Of the four examples (Classkick, Socrative, Basketball, Google Form), which do you believe is the most applicable for your current placement?  Why?"  Because I still wanted the feedback from these students, I had students open up a new e-mail, address it to me, and answer the question.  I expressed to that that this was part of my goal for the day, I talked them through my thought process of how to still obtain this feedback.  

Student Thoughts

"I also really like the games like the math basketball because it something to do when it is kind of a relaxed day and there is not much to do or it is the day before break. I think I will use both of these things in the future as a teacher."

"I like the math basketball game because I really never heard of it till now but kids can easily copy off each other. I do think it's a really really fun game and a change. Plus it gets boring do the same thing everyday."

"I feel like the elementary kids I'm working with would love that."

More blog posts to come.  Follow #214EdPrep and @EGCollabLab for more!

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