Thursday, December 6, 2018

Consensus

This year I am working on my gifted certification. With that comes weekly classes and a requirement of outside hours that include case studies, lesson planning, and implementation of strategies and activities. Recently we had one that was very similar to something Rachel had done previously in the year with post its. I was already intrigued by what she did and so I decided to give this a try. I found that I was pleasantly surprised and the students really enjoyed it and found it helpful.

Intro and Purpose

The basic premise of this activity is that students get up and mark their level of agreement with certain sentences and questions. What you do with the information can lead to discussion or a follow up activity of sorts. 

The purpose of this activity is to get kids moving and thinking. It also serves as a formative assessment and a survey of students' thoughts an opinions. 

Set Up and Preparation

The set up for this can be quite simple, or, if you want to provide the students with stickers to mark their answers, it can take longer. I've done this activity 3 times now. The first time, I just asked kids to mark with markers. This was easy for me (set up took about 5 minutes). The second time, I wanted to give kids stickers to mark their answers. Stickers are fun and I also have a large collection. this took longer - about an hour to set up and cut out groups of stickers. 

Teacher Prep 

  1. Decide on an appropriate amount of sentences/questions. I would choose between 10-12.
  2. Write the sentences/questions. You could...
    1. ask survey style questions to gauge the pace, comfort, community of your class. 
    2. write vocab words for kids to tell you how well they know each word
    3. write true/false statements about a story and kids decided how true or how false
    4. write open ended statements/questions that students can agree or disagree with. 
  3. The design of the papers is up to you. you can see how I did it with the sample images on this post. I might design it a different way next time. 
  4. Post them on the room. You want to vary where they are so students have to walk around and look, rather than follow each other in a single line. I placed mine:
  5. 90 sets of 12 stickers each!
    1. on various bulletin boards
    2. on the back of the door
    3. on my cabinet
    4. on the white board
    5. on top of a bookshelf
    6. on my desk
    7. on my stool
    8. on the computer desk
  6. Decide how kids will mark their responses. If you choose with a pen or marker, set up is done here. If you choose stickers, you'll need to make enough sets of stickers for each student. I did this with 3 classes in one day, so I cut out 90 sets of 12 stickers each. It took me an hour, but was worth it in my opinion. 
    1. The plus to stickers is that kids have an easy way to tell if they are done... If they are out of stickers... they are done!

Student Prep

These are the instructions I gave the students:
A false statement that was made clear in the story.
  • Around the room are 12 statements
  • Read each and decide to what degree you agree/disagree with each statement based on our story.
  • Mark your agreement with your marker/sticker.
  • When you run out of stickers, sit down.
A true statement that was made clear in the story.




These two images (above and below) were not clear in the story.
Students had to make a judgement based on what
they understood.


Follow Up

So far, I used this information to inform a simple follow up discussion on an points in the story that were unclear. Other ways you might follow up 
Students were unclear on this one. 
  • create an "alternate universe" type activity or reading from the false statements to compare and contrast
  • use the survey responses to adapt and change your teaching
  • use the "unknown" vocab and sentences to frame review or other follow up activities. 
  • use the true statements to build a timeline
  • ask students to back up true statements with evidence
  • as students to prove false statements false with evidence

What other things can you do with this? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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