I'm excited to share the latest tech experience my first graders have used these past two weeks. Nearpod.com is a website whose platform allows teachers to import slides, presentation materials, videos, student polls, add pictures, multiple choice questions, open ended questions, a "draw it" feature and much more. Although we couldn't use some features (because there are only in the "paid" version), this site offers SOO many options to really engage students into higher-order thinking skills!
So, how does it work? First, after I've published my project, student captains each scanned a QR code that brought them to the site. They then logged in with a unique code to gain entry into my presentation. Students used their whiteboards to individually respond to questions, collect details from the text and identify new vocabulary words as we read and dug into information within the slides. Next, their groups had to collaborate and discuss each other's responses. They are learning to prove/disprove and challenge each other's ideas with "proof" and "reasoning" about the text. Once the teams have evaluated their work and decided on the best responses, the captains enter the group's answer on their device. Their answers are shared and sent directly to nearpod.com. Immediately those responses start appearing on the Smartboard. As a teacher, I can check to see where each student is, monitor their thinking and progress, in addition to "hiding" all answers on the Smartboard until everyone has submitted their answers. Then as a class, we discuss all group answers and once again promote higher level discussions about why a group may or may not have chosen an answer. It's an eye-opener for students into how other students thought about a topic and really how to make our responses even better or "raising that bar".
The students get SO excited now to use nearpod.com that they will literally cheer and clap! They love to share their learning this way, and to analyze and evaluate the thinking of their peers. It's been a wonderful addition to our class and I'm excited to find ways each day/week that we can use this awesome resource! It's taking our learning to that next highest level! As soon as we go fully BYOD, each student will be able to "check-in" with nearpod individually! I can't wait! :) Check us out in action below . . . . . . Happy "Teching"..... Mrs. Colalillo