Keep It Simple Stupid

So it's been quite a while since I posted, and as I had stated before my goal this year was to find ways to keep STEM in the classroom as hands on and messy as possible while learning in this new environment.

This December I was fortunate enough to be sent to the ISTE conference and was blown away by all of the amazing software and ways that people have been able to present information in such cool and engaging ways. I promise I have a post coming for a lot of these resources!

But, as I was looking over all the great resources to share, thoughts kept coming to the back of my mind 'who has time for this? Who really cares about this right now? Is this really the most important thing to be sharing right now? Is content the biggest concern right now?' and though I am excited to share these things and teach people about fun new STEM tools, I think right now it's best if instead, I share things that have been working right now. Things that have made my students smile and stay engaged in our homeroom that haven't been a source of stress for me or my students.

 

  1. Class Jeopardy- A really fun and engaging site, Jeopardy Labs is a website where you can make teams and either play pre-made games or make your own and play with your students. Students can get competitive and have lots of fun. I've used it in homeroom and gotten some really fun responses
  2. Quizlet- This might not be new to some of you but I love this website. It's a way to introduce trivia or review that ensures collaboration. With Quizlet, each team is asked the same question but each student in the team has a different set of answers, this makes it so that students have to talk and share the answers they have and prevents one student from taking charge and answering every question. I highly recommend you check it out if you haven't as it is a wonderful and easy tool. You can check out pre-made quizzes or even make your own.
  3. This last one might be something some of you disagree with as it's not educational, but I will say, I had my students laughing, talking and fully engaged playing the game as a group. I have been playing a free game with my students on Friday mornings called Among Us. Some of you may have heard of this game or seen your students playing but for those of you that don't know, it's basically a murder mystery set in space, where 1 or 2 students is an imposter and the rest of you try to figure out who it is without getting killed by the imposter. During the course of the game we all were talking laughing and making dramatic accusations while working together. Some of my kids might feel like they're drowning when looking at an assignment or when they're sitting alone at home, but at least during this time with me, they are having fun and are still part of a community that can all get together and play. After all, they are still kids, and should have time to be kids.

I realize that some of the things I have shared here are not educational, but all I can say right now is that at this point, content is not king, relationships are. These are 3 ways I've been finding ways to have fun with my students that are light and don't require you to learn or test anything new. I hope you try some of them and share any thoughts or other ways you are having fun with students!

8 thoughts on “Keep It Simple Stupid

  1. Hi Robin!

    Thank you for this I really appreciate your thoughts and care for the students overall wellness and joy. I am definitely going to check out the jeopardy site! My own child is super into among us so I am actually relieved to hear the social value in it. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  2. Hi Robin. I totally agree! Relationships are first. Students enjoy the diversion of games -- especially if they get to interact with their classmates -- but nothing can replace the connection of person to person listening and talking. I am intrigued by Among Us. I had heard a little bit about it before but haven't tried it.
    I am looking forward to learning more about your STEM activities. I am a teacher librarian and edit a provincial magazine put out by the Ontario School Library Association called The Teaching Librarian. https://accessola.com/media/the-teaching-librarian/
    The theme for the next edition is [email protected] Do you ever collaborate with the school library staff with some of your activities? Could you see a role for a teacher librarian or other library staff when developing remote lessons?
    take care
    Caroline

    Reply
    1. Post author

      Hi Caroline
      Thank you so much for your feedback! Honestly it's not something I have put too much time in to but I can see how it would be really beneficial to have my library get involved! Also thank you for the link I'll check out your page!
      Robin

      Reply
  3. Thanks for this @rgarand - great post that captures the paralysis of choice and how to get through it :). From my perspective, ISTE is a great conference that leaves one feeling that there is so much potential to shift practices through digital tools, but as @cfreibauer replied above - you know yourself, your practice and your students best - do what you feel is right. To this end, I strongly recommend the latest podcast from SPARK on CBC - it features Justin Reich, out of the MIT Systems Lab talking about how Technology will not disrupt education.

    Thanks for the post!
    Garth.

    Reply
      1. Allison Campbell-Rogers

        My own kids are all over 'Among Us' here at home! I'd be game to make it a Cohort Game night! Thanks for your post Robin, it's great to hear about what others are doing to reinforce relationships with students - I agree, "content is not king" at the moment. Good for you for getting some laughs & relationship building going in your classes!

        Reply

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