Dynamicclassroom professional development opportunities are designed to be "hands on" and conducted in small a group setting. Participants can expect to gain a variety of instructional tools that they can quickly implement in their classrooms.
1. Digital Lesson Design
Learn how to connect with your students, engage them with your own custom designed content, keep them on task, keep yourself on task, use a variety of instructional approaches, and create a fun, exciting, and stimulating Dynamicclassroom.
Transition Activities: Flippers The ability to quickly produce an activity can do much to revitalize a class that is losing its steam. Transition activities can make the switch from one major activity to another appear seamless and natural. It also can serve to reinforce a point just learned and by utilizing an interactive format it engages the interest of all the students.
Smart Software offers ready-made templates that enable you to create fun interactive activities in a snap. On the above example a student volunteer must navigate through the various operations on the Smart Board. The top squares pose a question and the correct answer is on the reverse side of each square. The squares "flip" when touched. The quarter adds a bit of suspense and provides assistance for the student trying to complete the activity. When activated, the coin spins and if it stops on heads a girls from the class may offer help to the student at the Smart Board. These can be created with PowerPoint as well but lose some of the interactive nature of the activity.
Hands on visual activities like flash cards and cut & glues offer another avenue of approach to instructional differentiation. Students who are having difficulties learning their 50 states may be asked to complete a set of these flash cards. What about those who know the states inside and out?
Have them create a PowerPoint and then a webcast on the states of one of the regions. They can explore this topic by looking at a host of factors related to their region. For example they could profile foods of the states found in their region!
Interactive Notebooks are a key element in the Dynamicclassroom philosophy! Projected via LCD projector or Smart Board, students can see the page from their notebook in front of the class. This serves to focus them on the task at hand and focus the teacher as well. In this example as we read this article students will identify seven key points from paragraph number 7. The lower image is the page with acceptable answers provided. This graphic, is in PowerPoint and is animated as well. I have each answer appear individually and this allows us the opportunity to discuss and explore each topic.
Often this page would be viewed on the day following the introduction of the page above. It permits us as a class to review, absent individuals can catch up, and those who were not able to follow along on the previous lesson have one more opportunity to complete their notes.
Note: The notebook page number is clearly visable so no more wasted time answering the question, "What page are we on?"
Speed Rounds: Learn how to wake up your class, develop a team spirit, and watch your students as they motivate one another in an attempt beat the clock.
Each card contains an answer to the previous card and students must listen for their question as read by another student. Once answered they must then read aloud their clue! It gets fast and furious!
Speed rounds are a great way to review and a quick transition activity when you need to change the atmosphere and shake out the cobwebs.
See how handheld responders magnify student involvement, assess their learning, and identify areas of instruction that need to be approached in another way.
By using one of the many different systems available teachers are rewriting how assessment is measured. Rather than an end of unit test consider having a daily record charting student learning and improvement. These tools make common formative assessments a quick and accurate reality!
2. Interactive Notebook Design
Learn how easy and fun it is to create your own interactive notebooks. You select activities and text that target specific Standards of Learning (SOLs.) Save time, be focused, and create activities that can then be utilized in a number of differentiated formats such as ESL and SPED.
By creating notebook pages that accompany the lesson the students have multiple anchor activities that draw them into the lesson. In "Thought Doodle" pages the students first create outline notes based on a reading, discussion, or multi-media presentation. They then illustrate that key concept, event, or relationship. They have thus put the concept into their own words and illustrations. They have also created their own study guide! When they create it, they own it!
Using the information gained in the previous activity the students have the background knowledge sufficient to complete more advanced activities. In this case create a newspaper front page on the Homestead Act.
Cut and glue activities are great hands on activities that may illustrate a host historical events and relationships. In this example the German invasion of France in 1940 is learned as the student reads a narrative, and sequentially interacts with the graphic. Some events are drawn/colored right on the map while others are in the form of icons that are glued into place. Now for the best news - once an activity like this has been created it can easily be adapted and used on a Smart Board! The entire class can follow along as the story unfolds. They can manipulate the icons and tell the story in their own words. Once we have completed this activity all of my students have learned the SOL Essential Knowledge: That in 1940 Paris, France fell to the Nazis. Even better, they understand why and how it occurred!
Before & After Activities: These types of student created illustrations serve to put in a visual form complex historical events. When the student creates the "before" image they must clearly illustrate the state of affairs before the event in question occurred. In this example what did Europe look like after World War Two? The student must detail the economic and infrastructure situation in 1945.
In the "after" illustration students must clearly show concrete examples of exactly how the Marshall Plan benefited Europe by 1950.
Video Resources and Multiple Points of View: Teachers are often torn on how best to use video resources in the classroom. You really can not show an entire film so how do you strategically use short clips to illustrate the SOLs? I show 3 clips from a film that illustrate some of the reasons that immigrants came to the U.S. in the late 19th century.
Students illustrate each clip, describe the action and the cause for the immigrants to move to the US. Taking that information the student then assumes the role of an immigrant and composes a detailed diary entry listing the causes for immigration and the impact that the move will have on their life.
The interactive notebook is considered a major part of the course gradeand is the product of all of the student's labor from the classroom and at home. Therefore notebooks are not kept in the classroom after hours. That means that all assessment must be done in a one-to-one format with the student. Feedback is personal, direct, quick, and provides both the teacher and the student with an accurate understanding of each student's progress. By using a notebook check "scorecard," assessment can easily and quickly be accomplished. The collecting and handing out of masses of paperwork can been eliminated. Precious teacher planning time can be devoted to creating dynamic lessons!
Each student is provided a scorecard before the checkand must have everything completed correctly to receive 4 points per page. How do the students know what they need to do for each notebook page? Instructions are contained on every page of the interactive notebook. Digital lessons and interactive notebooks maximize instructional time and eliminate wasted moments in class - permitting the teacher to truly interact andbe one with the students as they learn!
Each student is provided a scorecard before the checkand must have everything completed correctly to receive 40 points per page. How do the students know what they need to do for each notebook page? Instructions are contained on every page of the interactive notebook. Digital lessons and interactive notebooks maximize instructional time and eliminate wasted moments in class - permitting the teacher to truly interact andbe one with the students as they learn!
3. Webcasting Your Lessons
Imagine if you had the ability to "replay" one of your lessons for someone who was absent, or simply did not understand the lesson the first time around. By webcasting a digital lesson you create a mini movie with the images and key facts as explained by you. These webcasts can be reviewed in class, given to a student on disk or other memory storage device and viewed at their leisure at home. Believe it or not webcasts are easy and fun to make and can be used over and over again!
In order to easily create a webcast of one of your lessons it first must be in a digital form. (See Dynamic Classroom Workshop #1: Digital Lesson Design.) Then by using software such as Camstudio you replay your daily lesson and record sound narration as you navigate through your lesson on your PC. The webcast (a movie of what was on your computer and narrated by you) is then preserved as a media file!
Once created webcasts can be used in any number of ways. Students may consult the webcast for clarification of a point or two. Students who missed the class can quickly see what material was introduced and have a good idea of exactly what was learned. They can also see how the material was presented and what teacher expectations truly are. The webcast file can be given to the student on any type of portable memory storage device and viewed at home.
One of the benefits of digital lessons and webcasts are the multitude of applications and formats that your instructional materials can address. Take a look at my file on lesson #3 The 19 Cities. First I created a digital lesson introducing and exploring the 19 cities that the students must know. The lesson was then converted into a webcast for further use and review. I won't say finally because there are many more digital formats and directions that these resources will evolve into, but as of now I have also created a SMART Board interactive class activity that uses the existing digital resources.
It looks like a lot of work but believe me it is well worth the effort and is a vital component in making your classroom a Dynamicclassroom!
Camstudio: How to make a movie (webcast) of what is seen on your PC screen. Once you have a digital lesson it is a snap to convert it into a webcast using the software Camstudio. This screenshot illustrates Camstudio in action. I have my lesson PPT open and have camstudio open as well. The four green corners show the portion of the screen that is being recorded.
Camstudio enables you to record any action that you do on your monitor. Each move of the mouse, change of screen, or PPT animation. As you "broadcast" your lesson you can add your own comments as you do so and it is all recorded for you! To learn more or download the program visit. http://camstudio.org/
4. Student Webcasting
Learn how to use commonly available and inexpensive handheld media devices such as Flip video cameras, digital voice recorders, digital cameras, to empower your students to learn by creating webcasts.
Webcasting: The creative process where students are in charge of what they create and how they create it, has been an enjoyable discovery! Technology is a proven winner when it comes to engaging the students. It take teacher dedication, willingness to learn, and the acceptance of risk, but enabling your students the opportunity to create with technology will pay off!
Student produced webcasts combine all of the things that make learning fun and exciting. They combine technology and more traditional methods of learning in a way that engages the student, enables them to explore a topic in depth, and then to share their creativity with their peers in a fun and dynamic way.
This "hands on" workshop will introduce all of the various handheld devices needed to produce a webcast. Participants will be introduced to a number of software applications (Movie Maker & PhotoStory3) that may be used to create webcasts. Better yet participants will create their own webcasts and come away with a sound understanding of exactly what is required to introduce your students to the world of webcasting.
Software: Windows Movie Maker has proven to be a great way for students to create webcasts! In three easy steps you can really amaze yourself and others. First (#1) students download any still images, videos, or sound that they wish to use.Second (#2) selected resources are placed on a filmstrip in the order you wish them to appear. (They can be further edited!) Finally you can add comments or dialogue and view the project in #3 the preview window. Titles and credits may be added as can video effects and transitions. Once completed the project is saved and a video file or "webcast" is created!
For further information regarding these professional development offerings please contact Eric Miller.