SOS Story: Nicole Quick

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 to share SOS Story: an SOS series that spotlights teachers showing how they put the SOS to work in their classrooms.


Teacher:  Nicole Quick

SOS Strategies: 3 Truths and a Lie (CDN Version)

District: East Irondequoit Central School District

Role: Instructional Technology Specialist

Twitter Handle:@nicolemquick1


Nicole’s Story

This year I have taken on a new role as Instructional Technology Specialist at Eastridge High School in Rochester, NY. My district 1:1, with students K-8 having iPads and 9-12 having laptops. I wanted to come up with a way for our teachers to incorporate more collaboration between classes. Since my teaching background is in math, I decided to work with the algebra teachers who use Discovery Education regularly.  Our goal was to use SOS strategies to help foster communication skills and increase collaboration among students.

Algebra was a good place to start because we offer it at both the middle school and the high school. I worked with an 8th grade teacher who works with accelerated students who are enrolled in algebra a year early and a 9th grade teacher who has an integrated co-taught class of general education students and students with disabilities. I wanted to model for other teachers how they can successfully use SOS strategies to help build collaboration among their students in different classes, and in this case, different schools.

A Twist on SOS 3 Truths and a Lie

We decided to use an SOS standby, 3 Truths and a Lie (CDN Version) , as a way for students to review understanding of algebraic functions. We wanted students to be able to develop a function from one of the five types of functions they were learning about and then to create a problem for students in the other building to solve.  In order to accomplish this, we used Padlet as a mechanism for collaboration between the two buildings.

Strategy Adaptations

The Algebraic Functions Padlet Board used for collaboration between two schools.

The Padlet board we set up had a column for each group of students, with either pre-determined functions created by the teacher, or student-generated functions. Students worked in groups to come up with four points, three of which had to be on the function and one which was not. After students posted their points, a group of students from the other school would determine which point was the lie and comment back on the Padlet.

High school students discussing before responding to middle school students via Padlet.

We were fortunate that both classes met during the same block of time, which meant they were able to watch each other respond to the Padlet posts in real time and give feedback on whether or not the responses were correct. In a couple of situations, students discovered that none of the points were lies, or that more than one set of points were lies, so they were able to write back and help the other group fix their mistakes. This was a good practice for multiple choice questions that students need to know how to do for their final exam, but also a good way for students to communicate and provide feedback to another group of students that they would not normally be able to work with.

Ideas for Sharing

The teachers of both classes noticed that students were more engaged and more likely to try the problems and find the mistakes because they had real time feedback from students in the other school, rather than just asking their face-to-face peers for the answers. Using the SOS 3 Truths and a Lie helped the students apply their knowledge of functions in an authentic and Padlet was a great vehicle for the collaboration that made it all possible.

I plan to show other teachers the video showing this SOS story in action and help them brainstorm how they could do something similar in their classrooms!

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