Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lunch & Learn: Fast-Food Takeout for the Classroom

Jennifer Brinson, SHS IT
Can learning be fun, engaging, and collaborative. Absolutely, especially when DEN STAR Jennifer Brinson explores engagement strategies with teachers--during lunch. If you are a coach looking for a new way to reach, teach and learn with teachers, Lunch & Learn is an innovative way to sandwich interactive instruction into 25 fun minutes. Remember to leave at least 5 minutes for the buffet. The concept behind Lunch & Learn is a fast-food takeout for the classroom--something quick and easy with grab and go resources. So enjoy, compliments of Salisbury Township School District's 2 IT girls: Jennifer Brinson and Lynn Fuini-Hetten.

SHS Principal Heather Morningstar
Focusing on the Socratic Circle, Brinson began with a whip-around on why we need to engage kids. Then she explored additional collaboration ideas including Pairs Compare, Gallery Walk, and Mix and Match. Brinson noted that engagement strategies put learning on the students and work well with learning on the block, because 97 percent of the dialogue is owned by the students. Ideally, as teachers we ask the questions and then the students take over. Begin by creating 2-3 open-ended questions and go over norms: listen carefully, avoid interruption; think and act like the Congress. No texting. Work in a circle to maintain eye contact. In a larger class, create 2 circles and fishbowl begins. Work with one circle, then switch.
Brinson & Fuini-Hetten Strategy Spotlight
Our job is to pose the question and let the discussion ensue. Remain teacher neutral and let the students engage each other. If the teacher needs to push the discussion, then stoker it with leading questions. Closing questions should be broad and apply to all students. Alternative strategies include asking outcome statements: I was surprised by, I never knew, I discovered, Now I know, I liked, .... Deal outcome cards to the students. You can print these outcomes on colored card stock; they were our take-out gift to go.
Brinson & Fuini-Hetten Deal an Outcome Cards
Spell with Flickr
Want the Web 2.0 engagement piece? Try Wallwisher, a digital sticky note for student responses that can be organized for students in groups. And there's  Edistorm, similar to Wallwisher, but this tool lets you vote. Use the same engagement strategies, just digitally.
Want rubrics? Click this link for top 10. Brinson graciously shared her Prezi.

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