Over the next few blogs, I am going to talk about some of my favorite processing tools in the classroom. These activities allow students to actively internalize information, have them use different cognitive skills during the activity, and have an element of fun or interaction which I also enjoy.
The first activity is "tweet" your learning. I am not yet at a point where students have active twitter accounts (though I'm working on this!) However, using a subpage on classtools.net called Twister, students create a tweet to tell me one important fact they learned from the day.
I love this exercise for many reasons. Students can only give one 'tweet', and so they only get 140 characters. They have to be precise with their vocabulary and word choice. They start reflecting on 'what did I learn' and 'how can I summarize this so succinctly.' Students are actively forced to use different types and levels of metacognition.
When students get to the site they have four fields to complete: name, nickname, tweet, and date.
On the surface, students can write their name their 'nickname' and give a tweet and a date. So, in theory a final product could look like this:
This tweet also shows comprehension of new concepts, but does so from a different perspective. The tweet itself shows a dino misinterpreting those darn kids with the actual object in the sky. The date, 65 million BC, matches the researched date of when the extinction level event occurred.
They then download the tweet as a .pdf and then upload the file into our digital dropbox.
The students really enjoyed this and don't realize how much thinking they are doing. I got so many wonderful responses. Here are a couple of student examples:
What would you tweet about what you learned today? Who would you use as your avatar?