Adding VNPS and Engagement to Review Activities
"As a math facilitator, my learners are often graphing and it is just so much easier to do now that I have access to the graphing surfaces of the Wipebook Flipcharts."
How can you revamp a traditional review game using thinking classroom elements? This semester I have the pleasure of working with a pre-service teacher who is open to learning new things and we recently tried utilizing the reusable Wipebook Flipcharts for the first time. We incorporated them into a Jeopardy-style review while getting learners moving, collaborating, and talking more than they might otherwise have done.
I really love flippity for all sorts of classroom resources. They have a ton of great vocabulary games, but I mainly use their Random Name Picker to create Visibly Random Groups. You can make groups of just about any size, easily jigsaw the groups, and even create Speed Dating pairs. For this particular review, we created groups of 3.
I am fortunate to have one large whiteboard across the one wall of my classroom and two small sections on each side of an interactive board. I really loved adding the Wipebook Flipcharts to the other two walls of the room as well as posting the graphing side to the regular whiteboards. As a math facilitator, my learners are often graphing and it is just so much easier to do now that I have access to the graphing surfaces of the Wipebook Flipcharts. I reinforced the flipcharts with duct tape to make them sturdier. To attach them to the walls, I used self-adhesive hooks. I used magnets for securing them to the plain whiteboards. Hopefully, they will have a long life in my classroom. In the short time that I have been using the Wipebook Flipcharts, I have seen learners be more willing the attempt tasks. They seem less fearful of making mistakes and more accepting of risk-taking in an academic setting. Participation has increased overall when using the VNPS.
Let the Game Begin
Once our teams were ready, we provided each group of three with one dry erase marker and one eraser each. We hoped that this would encourage learners to work together and discuss the problems. We projected the problems on the board and had each team attempt each problem. We found that projecting the problems, rather than providing them on paper increased the amount of math talk between group members. There was pointing and motioning at images as well as partially formed ideas being discussed. When these same problem sets were provided on paper in the past, many learners became absorbed in the task and worked independently rather than with their group mates.
Next, we used a random number generator to decide which team member would explain the solution. This helped all learners to stay motivated to be involved with solving each problem. It also encouraged stronger team members to help struggling members to understand the solution to the problem.
Although we anticipated some friendly competition, we were pleasantly surprised to find that learners ended up helping neighbouring groups as they finished their own problems. They voiced that they really wanted to see their classmates be successful more than they wanted to do well in a game. It was a very heartwarming moment, made possible by the types of connections that learners make with one another in a classroom where they take ownership of their own learning. VNPS and Wipebook are an amazing tool that make these types of moments possible.
Jennifer Abel, Teacher, Manheim Central High School
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