Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Spotlight on Strategies: Snowball Fight

April8

spotlight on strategiesEven though there is always a mind-boggling amount of invaluable info shared on the Discovery Education Network (DEN), one of the best resources available is the Spotlight on Strategies (S.O.S) series, a must-see DEN favorite designed to provide teachers with simple yet effective instructional practices for using digital content to support student learning.

To date, there are 70+ teacher tried and tested strategies featured on the DEN blog and now thanks to Lance Rougeux, Vice President of Learning Communities and Educational Consultants at Discovery Education and all-around DEN tech guru, I will now be featuring these techniques on my space. Two thumbs up to this guy!

So, enough of that. Let’s fast forward to the good stuff…

This week’s feature—Snowball Fight—old instructional strategy with a digital twist, one that focuses on engaging students with video content, writing and sharing ideas with peers.

Background

Showing videos in class is a great way to engage students and bring learning to life. But, often times, watching a video becomes a passive learning experience. In order to get the most out of watching a video, it is important to engage students with a strategy that gets them to think, reflect, and share what they have learned. This week’s strategy takes a fun spin on a snowball fight, as students share what they learn with each other.

Steps

Materials:  video segment, paper, writing tool

1. Explain to students that they will be watching a video segment.

2. Have each student take out a blank piece of paper. Explain to students that while they watch the video, they need to write one fact they learned from the video.

3. Have each student crumple his or her piece of paper into a ball and, on the count of three, have everyone throw his or her “snowball” into the air.
4. Have each student pick up a snowball, open it and read the fact.

5. Students are then responsible for adding another statement to the piece of paper. It could be a supporting detail to the original statement, or it could be a new statement related to what they’ve learned.

6. Repeat several more times until students have had ample opportunity to report out significant learning from the video segment.

7. Have students share what is on their snowball with the whole group.

Sum It Up

Wrap up by asking students to share what is written on their snowballs with the whole group. This activity provides a great way to motivate students to remember key topics and concepts from material they’ve learned. It’s fun and motivating!

More Ideas

» Have students take digital photos of the snowball statements and reflect on what they’ve learned in a blog post.

» Have students write questions about the content and have other students reply back with answers.

Click here to snag a PDF version of this super cool strategy.

So, there you have it—another S.O.S. trick to add to your edtech toolbox. Stay tuned for additional ways to activate learning in your classroom…

Like what you see? Then be sure to check out other ideas in this series:

» Reading Between the Lines

» ABC Summary

» 6-Word Stories

» What Did They Say?

» A-E-I-O-U

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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