I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of being involved in a lot of great programs at my school site. However, the more involved you are in at your school, the likelihood that you will be out of your classroom greatly increases. As I have found myself out of the classroom more frequently, I have tried to find ways to keep my students focused and engaged while in the classroom. More importantly, I have tried to find ways for students to still be actively learning and involved in the content that we have been covering when I am normally in class.
My main goal, whenever I am out of the classroom, is to find ways to keep students learning, engaged, and to never “lose a day” of class.
I want the work that I assign when I am out of the classroom to be meaningful, not simply “busy” work in hopes that they will not be a behavior problem for the substitute. I truly believe that you can develop true and meaningful lessons for your students to complete when you are out of the classroom without leaving behind work that simply “fills the time”.
With my classroom already being blended, this concept has always been in easy in my classroom. Instead of completing the notes for homework (since my classroom is flipped), they can complete them in class. They can work on their Lesson Practice or continue working on projects. They can work on Khan Academy or play Prodigy. My biggest struggle, however, is ensuring that the information is being delivered to the students by the substitute teacher. Sometimes we have so many instructional strategies and tools being used in my classroom, that it can feel intimidating or overwhelming to a substitute. So, how do I ensure that the students are completing all of the activities that they need to complete while I am away? How can I truly ensure that they are involved in meaningful activities?
In the past, I would give the students a paper “handout” and they would work through the assignments on the handout. Unfortunately, this really did not help me to understand how my students were doing by the end of class. Students would not always turn the checklist back into the substitute. In addition to this, the checklist wasn’t interactive and it was easily misplaced. So, I came up with a new idea…
I was reading about HyperDocs and a million ideas came to my mind. The quickest and easiest one to implement would be to create a HyperDoc for my students to use when I am out this week. I wanted to create something that had the students do the following:
- Interact with the HyperDoc to gage their understanding and comfort with new material.
- Link to the lesson on EdPuzzle.
- Link to the Lesson Practice.
- Offer them choice for their final activities, such as SMG project, Khan Academy, or Prodigy.
- Give the students an opportunity to share about their day.
View the sample below or click HERE to view on Google Drawings:
I am extremely excited to hear about how this works in my classroom this week. (Yes, super nerdy teacher moment.) I’m hoping that the students enjoy this process and also find it to be meaningful and engaging. We will see how it goes!
Meagan Kelly is a Math & AVID Teacher, Google for Education Certified Trainer, and Technology Team Leader You can find her on Twitter @meagan_e_kelly and her blog where this was originally posted October 2016.