After attending the annual VSTE 2019 conference, I had an idea. We all know that the best conferences are those that generate excitement to create new ideas. You know, the ones that spark something in you to want to try something new. VSTE’s buzzword at this conference was gamification. Gamification is when you make everyday classroom activities, duties, and skill-building concepts into a way to gain points. It is a great motivator for students! Another takeaway that I gained was the importance of student-driven learning; especially learning during small group instruction. Combining these two concepts helped me create a science lesson called, iTeach, iLearn. The premise of this lesson was to have students teach themselves the content and then the teacher reviewed and repeated instruction on any information they may not have understood.
To accomplish this, stations were created on Google Slides that introduced and taught concepts about the solar system. Each slide was a station that contained a video on its topic and had questions and other activities to be completed. Throughout the stations, students earned points for completing specific extra credit questions or by completing a station in its entirety. Students became motivated to earn points and enjoyed watching the videos. Teachers on the other hand, were somewhat hesitant about beginning the unit without teaching the material first; but guess what, it worked! By the time students were actively engaged in the stations and their knowledge of the subject was assessed, they knew the material. How? Perhaps, being able to rewind a video immediately to repeat information reinforced the material presented in the station. Perhaps, they enjoyed this unique way of learning. The most successful class was the inclusion class. The exceptional education students appeared to better grasp information using this teaching strategy. I can’t wait to try this again with a different subject next year!
Latia Pollard is an Innovation Specialist from Dinwiddie County Public Schools. Since the beginning of her teaching career in 2010, she has always shared a love with technology. Integrating technology into her lessons has always been very important. Latia has been an Innovation Specialist for 7 years and loves introducing students to new technology, gadgets, and helping their love for technology blossom.