Even if you have a Xbox 360, it’s still fun to dust the cobwebs off the NES once in a while, right?
I did an old school task today with frosh, using good ol’ slips of paper. They had done homework on Edmodo, writing out the subject, main idea, author’s purpose and theme for an xkcd comic strip (sorry, I can’t find the actual strip I used). And when I say they “had done” the homework, I mean maybe a third of them did.
Anyway, since their sentences were on Edmodo I could easily cut and paste them into a Word doc, and I compiled examples of good, average, and needs-work work. I then ran off copies, making each element (subject, main idea, etc) a different color. I stupidly marked each sentence with an A, B or C, thinking that would make it easier to poll the groups to find out which ones they thought were best. That might not have been stupid if I hadn’t put them on the Word doc in order of best to worst.
So I had to spend some stupid time tearing off the sides of the little slips of paper that had the letters on them before starting the activity. It was at this point that I thought, “Have I forgotten how to use paper?” I think many teachers feel inadequate and overwhelmed when asked to incorporate technology into the curriculum. I was feeling the same way trying to incorporate paper. Paper.
I hope all those hands-on, kinesthetic kids got something out of arranging the slips of paper. And it definitely seemed like good learning was happening when they were trying to convince each other – and then trying to convince me and the class – why one sentence was better than the other. And I’m not sure how something like this could be replicated digitally (unless I get that class set of iPads that I’m not working on getting).
And all this crazy paper talk puts this song in my head: