End of the Year Engagement

Last week’s #denchat focused on sharing ideas for finishing out the year by keeping students focused and engaged! We all know that this is the best way to keep our students, and ourselves, motivated and out of trouble. Busy kids do best! Here are a few of the highlights from our conversation.

Coding: I recently read on Twitter an idea that learning coding should replace learning Algebra I. While I’m sure the person wasn’t implying that math is not an important skill, I am also positive that he/she was trying to show the critical nature that deep computer skills have for the current generations of students. Here are a few of the sites that were shared where students can learn/practice coding skills.

Tynker

Scratch

Code Academy

 

Digital Citizenship: End of the year projects are a great time to reinforce the digital citizenship skills and expectations that you have been teaching all year. Many of our students are left “to their own devices” through the summer, and they need to be reminded of the things that will keep them safe.

 

Celebrating Accomplishments: Use digital content creation tools to share about your students’ learning and accomplishments throughout the year. Teachers shared ideas about making videos to share with new classes of students, writing extended blog posts, and finding new ways to share with parents and classmates.

 

Passion Challenge: Many teachers lately have been talking about different ways to help students find their passion for learning. Some people have adopted Google’s 20% time, while others dedicate one hour per week to “Genius Hour.” All of these are based on the idea that people will work hardest and longest at the things that most interest them. Challenge your students to learn something new, figure out how to do something, or research a topic that they’ve been wanting to know more about. The key idea is to get them sharing!

 

Connect: Find ways to connect your classroom with others. Check out the DEN Connects page for ideas! Use Google Hangouts, Skype, Edmod0 – anything. Just connect! The free resources from DE and corporate partners also offer a large variety of learning ideas, even for those who are not subscribers. There is fun and learning for everyone!

 

These are just a few of the great ideas shared at #denchat. Check out the archive for more!

 

 

Comments

  1. Beth

    I use an end of year review project with my students. I have created a rubric for students to use with a partner. Students go to http://www.internet4classrooms.com and choose grade level skills (K and up) in Language Arts or math to practice with a partner. There are 10 activities at the 8th grade level. Students choose 5 to complete. I set it up so they had to choose between 1/2, 3/4, and so on so they would choose harder activities to complete. It takes about two 45min. class periods to complete the tasks.

  2. Beth

    Another great activity for 7th-12th grade students can be found at http://www.scholastic.com/createvideogames/. On this site students can work independently or with a team on standards-based lessons involving research, then use the research to design their own video games. I will be using this activity this week and will let you know how it goes.

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