"Scooting" Through the End of the Year
This can be a challenging time of year. The days seem to drag on and the students are just plain worn out. If you’re like me, we had about four weeks of state testing where all various types of assessments—both state and district—were given. I think my class had at least 7 days worth.
It’s during times like this where I am challenged the most to continue making learning engaging and #interACTIVE. It’s very easy to curate a packet for students to write about end of year memories, but rather I still strive to make memories until our last day in room 6-004.
I like to end our year reading a novel that wraps up our entire year of learning. We cover topics like using our voice to make a difference, acting courageously and focusing on what we can do where we are to make a mark in the world. But this book takes place in a very specific time period and to ensure students understand and hopefully connect with the story we must first cover some grounds in our social studies book. For whatever reason social studies seems to be the hardest content for me to engage my students in. So this year as we were working through it I took those end of unit review questions and I had my students “scoot” through them.
I created what is referred to in the edTech world as a Digital Scoot. The questions were organized in a PowerPoint presentation with one question per slide. I had some questions where students answered using Emojis, poll questions, and even one that were to be answered with drawing. Each device was opened to a different slide and each students was assigned a computer (and slide) to start at. Once they completed the activity, answered the question, or finished the task on the slide in front of them, the student simply “scooted” to the next. Around the room they rotated completing tasks as they went. It’s a fun way to get students physically moving, while also collaborating and sharing ideas with others. I like how this activity also makes every student responsible for their own thinking and contributions within the discussion and gives the teacher a real-time snapshot of where each student is in regards to their thinking and mastery of the content. For primary students you might simplify the activity from answering questions to possible leaving emojis as answers. If you don’t have a device for every student, use what you have and make it more of a center activity allowing students to rotate though the assignment throughout the week.
If you want to give your PowerPoint presentations a little facelift try using predesigned slides from sites like Slide Carnival. This is an easy way to update a lesson without having to put in a lot of extra time designing slides.
Getting students up and moving rarely every lets me down and is an easy way to mix things up! It keeps engagement up and most importantly it’s an easy way to keep students interacting with content as the year winds down.