5 Classroom Approaches to Beat Pre-Summer Daydreams

Looking for a new way to engage students who seem to have already checked out for the summer?

Hoonuit by Atomic Learning is constantly adding new learning resources focused on helping schools tackle common challenges found in education today—including increasing student engagement—and pulled together a five hot topics to help you kick those pre-summer daydreams out of the classroom for good!

  1. Nearpod in the Classroom
    https://cdn.atomiclearning.com/thumbnail/NP_000.jpgNearpod is a powerful presentation, assessment, and collaboration tool for the classroom that allows teachers to interact with students during a lesson and get real-time feedback! In this module, you will learn everything from creating an account with Nearpod to more advanced features like VR field trips. Upon completion, you will be able to begin using this powerful tool with your students right away!
     
  2. Project-Based Learning Lesson Framework: Million Dollar Classroom
    https://cdn.atomiclearning.com/thumbnail/MD_000.jpgIn this module, we will use the project-based lesson format to have students design a Million Dollar Classroom, in which students will plan, design, collaborate, and problem solve to construct their perfect classroom with a one million dollar budget. This module includes both an instructional guide for teachers and step-by-step videos to walk students through the project, and can be adapted to all grade levels.
     
  3. Minecraft in the Classroom
    https://cdn.atomiclearning.com/thumbnail/mine_000.jpgMinecraft™ is a unique combination of game and creative design tool, and its growing use in classrooms around the world is an exciting phenomenon. If you've never played the game or have never used game-based learning, this module will bring you into the Minecraft Education experience quickly, and give you the skills you need to hit the ground running with game-based learning and Minecraft in the Classroom.
     
  4. Create and Manage an In-Class Flip
    https://cdn.atomiclearning.com/thumbnail/FLIP_00.jpgFlipped learning has taken the educational technology world by storm! It emphasizes flipping traditional instruction to require students to view instructional material at home and use in-class time for application and creation of content. BUT...What if students don't have reliable home Internet? Or don't watch the videos? This learning module discusses creating and managing in-class flipped learning to benefit all students!
     
  5. KWL Strategy
    https://cdn.atomiclearning.com/thumbnail/kwl_00.jpgIn this module, you’ll learn the benefits of the Know, Want to Learn, Learn, (K-W-L) teaching strategy, and how you might use it in your classroom. Included topics cover the basics of creating a KWL graphic organizerhow to use wikis, concept maps and note-taking apps to implement KWL as a collaborative activity, and much more. This module also offers links to templates and resources to help you dig deeper into the KWL strategy.

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12 Ways to Energize Learning [Infographic]

Student engagement is always on the minds of educators, and, while it can feel overwhelming with all the moving parts—student retention, test scores, and more—you must start somewhere!

To help, we’ve pulled together a list of twelve ways you can shake up and energize learning with tried and true instructional strategies.

Ready to dive deeper into one (or all!) of these topics? Atomic Learning is here to help with professional online courses on each:

10 Ideas to Get Started with Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Jumping into the world of Virtual Reality (VR) begins with a basic understanding of what it is. To start, imagine swimming around the ocean, admiring colorful fish, only to turn around to find yourself face-to-face with a shark…

Now imagine students having this same experience while standing in your classroom.

Virtual reality provides teachers the ability to provide an immersive experience where learners can feel as if they are living the content that you are teaching.  THAT is student engagement.

While it’s important to understanding that the difference between reality and virtual reality can be a fine line, particularly for younger students to understand, it is a powerful tool to bring intense learning experiences into the classroom.

To help you get started with simple ways to use virtual reality with students, we’ve gathered a list of ten popular virtual reality tools, apps, and resources together in one place.

Ready to see what’s possible? Read on!

Nearpod     

Nearpod is a mobile learning platform that allows teachers to create and sharing engaging, interactive lessons with their class and collect real time feedback from students. With Nearpod, 360 photos can easily be added into lessons with the click of a button—allowing students to be immersed into the learning content.

A few of our favorite locations to explore within Nearpod include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Anemone Reef, Flaming Crown at Dusk in Melbourne Australia, and Santorini Greece. Interested in trying it yourself? Check out this sample lesson for a firsthand look.

Related resource: Nearpod Training

 

YouTube™    

Watching videos will never be the same! YouTube™ now offers a variety of virtual reality experiences using 360 videos—see that directional arrow in the upper right corner of the above screen capture? It can be used to change the viewers’ perspective, and, in the sample shown, walk with a Titanosaur dinosaur.

With as many as 360 videos uploaded daily, it can be difficult to sort which are appropriate for classrooms.  For a few of our favorites, check out this playlist of 50+ videos to bring an immersive learning experience into your lessons. Included are swimming with sharks, flying in a fighter jet, and, of course, walking with dinosaurs.

Related resource: YouTube™ for Educators

9 Ways to Foster Collaboration through Cooperative Learning

This article is part of the 12 Days of Learning. Click now to see all articles.

Has the thought of working with a group ever made you cringe? Or have you ever been in a group with someone who just didn’t seem to be interested in contributing OR one person who seemed to take over?

We’ve all been there.

However, being able to collaborate and work effectively in groups is critical to success not only in school, but also in college and the workforce. Luckily there are a variety of cooperative learning strategies that can be applied to foster students’ collaboration skills.

What is Cooperative Learning?
Cooperative Learning is students working in groups or with partners to put together pieces of a puzzle, achieve a common goal, and learn from one another. It’s a powerful strategy to help students learn, get them out of the box, and get them discussing a topic at another level.

Research has shown that students who work in cooperative groups often perform better on tests, and are better critical thinkers. And, if that alone isn’t enough, it’s also said to improve students’ social skills, enhance oral communications, and even heighten self-esteem.

With cooperative learning, it’s also harder for students to fade to the background, and when their contributions are accepted and acknowledged, they are more engaged in the learning experience.

Putting it Into Practice
While there are a wide variety of approaches for cooperative learning, we’ve gathered together a list of nine popular options that you can quickly introduce in your classroom.

  1. Think-Pair-Share
    One of the most commonly used cooperative learning strategies in education today. First the teacher poses a question to the class, and then gives students time to think about their responses individually before having them pair up with a partner to discuss their response. Based on individuals’ responses and perspectives they could learn something new or be challenged with something they’d not previously considered, and have an opportunity to discuss it with their partner before the teacher calls the class back together for pairs to share what they’ve discussed.

    Think-Pair-Share is very easy to use and can be a powerful tool for learning. If you're interested in trying it yourself, you can learn more in Atomic Learning’s Think-Pair-Share course.
     
  2. Prairie Fire
    The Prairie Fire approach is designed to get your students talking in groups about more high-level questions. To start, gather students in groups of 3-5 before posing a question, then give the groups time to discuss and formulate a single group response to share. Next each group quickly shares their answer and learns the correct response before being instructed to continue their group discussion on what was shared, what they may have gotten wrong, and why.

    This approach is a great way to help students practice the group processing component of cooperative learning, including incorporating feedback from other groups.
     
  3. Four Corners
    Start by dividing students into larger groups – say where they stand on an issue, for example, and ultimately directing them to one of the four corners in the room to join a team with similar values, opinions, philosophies, etc.. Then pose a question to answer or assign a task for these groups of like-minded individuals to complete. After allowing time for discussion, have groups share out to the class.  

7 Learning Styles: Which One Are You?

Whether they recognize it or not, most people have a preferred way of learning. While some learn best by listening (think of those lecture classes in college), others may have to see a concept in action to learn the material (this is where lab work comes in), and the list goes on.

The trick is figuring out your individual learning style and then utilizing your strengths while being aware of your weaker areas.  To help, we’ve worked with Dan Kuemmel, a specialist in learning technology, data visualization, and pedagogy, on an in-depth course on Learning Styles. As a preview, we’ve provided a quick peek at each of the seven types of learners below:

  1. Visual Learners
    These learners turn words into pictures to retain information, and tend to excel with writing assignments and textbook readings. However, they can struggle with information that is only audio-based, such as a lectures or audio-recordings.
     
  2. Logical Learners
    Logical learners thrive on processes, statistics, and making connections between ideas. Puzzles, riddles, and word games engage them, as well as charts and diagrams.
     
  3. Aural/Auditory Learners
    These learners have great recall when hearing information be it a lecture, podcast, spoken directions, or even music.
     
  4. Verbal Learners
    Verbal learners are most easily identified as those that need to ‘talk through’ a problem, either through verbal or written communication. They excel at writing essays and class discussions or debates, but can struggle with math and science concepts.

Infographic: The Science of Classroom Design

There's been a lot of buzz lately regarding effective learning spaces—classroom layout, color, noise (or lack thereof) and a variety of other factors can all have an impact on students' learning experience. As the infographic below points out, simple changes, such as how desks are arranged, can help encourage collaboration and discussion.

Be sure to check out the infographic and resources below for insights on making the most of your space.

12 Ways to Energize Learning

Student engagement is always on the minds of educators, and, while it can feel overwhelming with all of the moving parts—student retention, test scores, and more—you have to start somewhere! To help, we’ve created a list of twelve ways you can shake up and energize learning with tried and true instructional strategies for increasing engagement with your students. Learn more about each of the topics below with resources from Atomic Learning.

The resources mentioned in this infographic are all available on Atomic Learning. Dive in:

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Are Students Fully Engaged in the Classroom?

Are you actively involving students in the learning process? How are you encouraging and supporting teachers to create a more engaging classroom experience?

Atomic Learning equips teachers with the skills needed to engage today's learners with 24/7 self-paced training. In addition to online PD resources focused on teaching strategies, Atomic Learning also offers how-to videos on 250+ applications and a variety of assessment tools.

Take a look at some of the resources aligned to addressing student engagement:
Integrating the 4 C’s
Cool & Fun Classroom Tech
Software-specific Skills Assessments