No matter how you say it, teaching has changed. Experienced teachers have had to reinvent themselves, finding new ways to teach concepts that were once second nature. More than once this year I have heard, “I feel like this is my first year teaching,” and “Today was not my best teaching.”
While reading an Interactive Read Aloud with my students pre-pandemic, there were many authentic ways for students to share their thinking. From turn and talk to dry erase boards, student discourse was alive and well in my classroom. Not only did the students have a voice, but I had a window into their thinking. In my new role as a Digital Learning Integrationist, I have been looking for ways to recreate these classroom moments in the remote and hybrid environment.
One tool that allows teachers to see what their students are thinking is Pear Deck. “Pear Deck is an interactive presentation tool used to actively engage students in individual and social learning.” Teachers use presentations that have been created in Google Drive, and add the Pear Deck Add-On, which allows students to respond to questions posed during a lesson.
When using Pear Deck, both teacher and students will have access to a slide presentation. The student presentation includes a space for students to respond to questions, and the teacher presentation shows each student’s answers. A lesson may include predetermined questions, or this may be a way for students to respond to in the moment questions during a lesson. The teacher has the ability to respond to the student comments privately, or share the responses anonymously on the board to encourage discussion.
PUBLIC RESPONSE (Anonymous)
When the lesson is over, teachers and students receive a record of individual responses. In addition, teachers have the option to download a spreadsheet which would include the date and all of the students’ responses for that day.
If you’re looking for a way to get your students to participate, along with an easy way to gather information about their progress, you might want to try Pear Deck. Check out the video tutorial below.