Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Using Wallwisher in Middle School Chemistry

Using Wallwisher in Science

Class discussions in Science don't always get students thinking for themselves.  Often it is the most confident who answer and the least confident students may succeed in avoiding the teachers attention. 

Using web2.0 tools such as Wallwisher  the discussion takes place as before, the teacher can still guide the students in their answers, but there are three major advantages:
  1. The students participate simultaneously - so more students can express their ideas 
  2. There is a greater variety of  ways to answer - images, text, voice.
  3. There is a collaborative product created by the class - for future reference.
  4. The teacher becomes an assistant to the least confident students - they get attention. 
Watch this video introduction to wallwisher   -  2 mins

Middle School Chemistry -
Using Wallwisher 

At the beginning of a topic it's often good to find out what the students already know.  You might ask questions in a class discussion, but using Wallwisher could be a better way of involving the whole class.

Running the Activity
  1. Watch the introductory video on Wallwisher. 
  2. Create a wall with the title of the topic and share the link to it with students.
  3. Students 'brainstorm' what they know and share their ideas about the topic by posting notes on the wall.
  4. Students could search for images or videos from the web  to illustrate their ideas.
  5. While the students are busy the teacher can encourage the hesitant student to participate, or post their own messages on the wall to guide the students to relevent areas of the topic. 
  6. The wall at the end of 10 minutes will show clearly where students  understanding is, and any misconceptions.  It remains as a record of the 'brainstorming session' for future reference.
This wallwisher was made in Twenty minutes by five pupils and their teacher at the start of a topic on Recycling http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/y8recycling
Resources - Web 2.0

Access to the internet is required for this, although post-it notes on a wall have nearly the same effect.
Students don't need to log in, nor create an account, unless they want to create their own walls.

To involve more students in question / answer sessions 
To free up the teacher to help the less confident students
To record this sort of plenary session.

Wallwisher could be used in assessment for learning.  
Answers to a single question could be arranged to illustrate increasing understanding, and this would show students examples of the next steps in their own learning.

Alternative Ways
This activity could be adapted to many other classroom discussions:
  1. Collating phrases to use in a conclusion - move them about to make sense
  2. Plenary sessions - "What have we learned today?"
  3. Use Glogster  instead of Wallwisher - it's more 'zippy' but a bit distracting.


No comments:

Post a Comment

We all have favorite ways of doing things. Please share your ideas here.