SOS Story: Wanda Hanley

The Spotlight On Strategies series (CDN subscribers) is one of Discovery Education’s most popular resources. First introduced 2012, these strategies help teachers use media in effective and engaging ways in their classrooms.

The best part about the SOS is that they are flexible and can be used across grade levels and content areas. We are excited for SOS Story: a new SOS series that spotlights teachers showing off how they have put the SOS to work in their classrooms.


SOS Strategy:   XO Let’s Go (CDN Subscribers)

Name:  Wanda Hanley

District:  Wake County Apex North Carolina

Role: Instructional Technology Facilitator

Twitter:   @twhanley


Wanda’s SOS Story:

This year, I decided to dive into using the Spotlight On Strategies series (CDN subscribers) and try some new ones.  As a classroom teacher, I had favorites that I used all the time. I’m now an Instructional Technology Teacher and have been ready to branch out and try some new ones with the littles (as we call them at our school.)

I recently worked with 2nd grade students who were studying matter. They spent several sessions practicing how to log in to their Discovery Education accounts. The next task was to have students partner up, watch a video (we use headphone splitters so that students can all use headphones) and play the game XO Let’s Go!  

The students were really excited to share what they could remember about solids and liquids.  First, each pair was given a sticky note and told to draw a tic tac toe board (or, as we called them for the older students, a hashtag mark!) Each pair then decided who was X and who was O.  

Next, I explained to the students that their goal was to win 3 in a row, the catch being that they had to remember facts, phrases, or say a summary sentence from the video they just watched. The student who was X was given one minute to summarize the video and then put an X anywhere on the paper.

I reset the timer and the other student had one minute to summarize what they learned, BUT could not repeat what their partner said.  If they did repeat something, they lost their chance to mark the game board with an O and the other person got an extra chance to mark another X.  We shortened the time as we went on and the students were amazed at how much they remembered from the video and had fun synthesizing their learning in the process.

I recently presented at a conference and talked about my experience with the second graders playing XO Let’s Go. I met a 10th grade World History teacher who told me he had used this strategy, too, and his students loved it!  I thought to myself, “Way to go, changing the world one SOS at a time!”

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