Happy Sunday, friends! Last week was the first full week of school for me and my daughters. I’m proud to say that we made it through, accomplished all the tasks, made lunches, had nightly reading time, and made it to every after school activity. I even worked out every day! While we’re all (except my husband who had to get up every day during the summer) still trying to adjust to waking up to an alarm and not having an afternoon resty rest – my girls FREAK out if you say nap, but resty rest is just peachy – we are killing it! I started something new this year in the hopes of increasing collaboration in my in-class flip – check out BOARD time!
Do you ever buy something for your classroom, or your house for that matter, and think, “yup, this is going to be awesome. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do with it, but it’s going to be fantastic!” That was 100% me when I bought 5 mini-whiteboards from Hobby Lobby this summer. I also bought small bins where I supply pencils, highlighters, pens, and “govern-mints” (aka peppermints) for my students at each of their table pods 🙂 Yes, I’m that teacher!
The way I run my in-class flip may be different from most: we use HyperDocs for every unit, and my students can basically accelerate at their own pace as we proceed through each unit. My students appreciate this format because they can pause and rewind their teacher (I’m a fast talker and the speed only increases when I’m geeking out about something!), they have all of their unit assignments and activities in one spot (our unit HyperDoc created with Google Sites), and they can extend their learning (and earn XP) whenever they want to do so. However, I worry sometimes that there’s too much individual work time, and not enough reflection and collaboration. We always play a Kahoot, Quizizz, Quizlet Live, or Heads Up game to make sure we’re all on the same page (and have fun!) before we move on, but I wanted to try something new.
Enter BOARD time!
BOARD is an acronym that represents what my students might do with the whiteboard at various times throughout our class period.
B = Brainstorm. I’m really excited to use this when we discuss current events. Brainstorm ideas that you would suggest to solve a problem. Think about what you would do if you were a legislator faced with passing this bill. If you were the president, how would you solve the crisis at the boarder?
O = “Oh, mylanta!” In addition to a phrase their dear teacher uses on an hourly basis, the “oh, mylanta!” option will give my students the opportunity to discuss and share with their classmates something they learned from the lesson, an idea they had while viewing a video, etc.
A = Analyze. After reading an excerpt from a primary or secondary source, my students will collaboratively analyze the text. What did the authors mean in the Federalist Papers when they discussed the “mischiefs of factions?”
R = Reflect & Review. My students did this last week after they had completed two instructional videos. I asked two questions toward the end of the class period: “Contrast the perspectives of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes concerning the nature of government.” “Contrast the Force and Divine Right theories of Government. What type of government would be associated with those theories?”
D = Discuss. The ‘R’ and ‘D’ components of this strategy will often overlap in my classroom. I encouraged my students last week, for example, to not only contrast the perspectives of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes concerning the nature of government, but also asked them to choose and defend a perspective, and come to a consensus as a group. It was AWESOME!
You need a handful of whiteboards to use this strategy in the classroom, as well as a few dry erase markers, which I also include in the bins in the center of the pods. (It’s hard to share my dry erase markers, but I do it lol)
How do you encourage collaboration in your classroom? I’d love to hear your thoughts!