Engaging Learners Using Nearpod and Hands-On Activities
“Is my lesson effective? Is my lesson engaging? Is my lesson meeting the needs of my students?” These questions are constantly on my mind when I’m planning and creating lessons. It truly is a balancing act that one embraces each day. After seven years of teaching young learners, I’ve come to the realization that finding the perfect blend of engagement and effectiveness is key for my students.
Here’s how I make it work….
I provide lessons that incorporate various modalities and opportunities for my students. Over the past seven years, I have learned very quickly that PreK and Kindergarten age students will be extremely honest on feedback. Sometimes they are far more honest than you’d like them to be! What I’ve learned from my student’s is they respond positively to lessons that blend technology and hands-on activities.
That’s where Nearpod and a Rhyming Rain Cloud comes in!
Over the past few weeks prior to Spring Break, my PreK students have been working on mastering rhyming. Before we left for break, my students were successfully distinguishing between words that rhyme and words that do not. After returning from the break, I wanted to revisit what had previously been taught. To incorporate our weekly theme of “Rainbows and Raindrops,” I created a lesson a Rain Cloud in my classroom and used an edited rhyming lesson by Danielle Redd.
First, the students watched the rhyming video that was planted in the Nearpod lesson. Next, we came together and had a discussion about rhyming words. Afterward, the students chose a “rhyming raindrop” balloon, walked to the Rhyming Rain Cloud and found the missing pair. After the students had completed a few raindrops, the finished the remainder of the lesson on Nearpod.
Not only was the Rhyming Rain Cloud engaging for my students, it also served as an assessment tool. By assessing their data using Nearpod, I was able to establish a small group of students needing reinforcement.
I’m truly amazed at the growth my students have made this year and I’m so thankful for a platform that helps me assess content without the students even knowing they are being assessed! Now, onto creating another lesson that’s effective and engaging.
We are Amy, Laura and Lisa. Two sisters and a cousin. Librarian, SLP and PK teacher. We love building relationships, communicating, literacy, technology and having fun. We are proud to be in the family business of education.