- practice keyboarding for fifteen minutes
- visit inquiry-themed websites
Key PlacementWorking in teams of two, students fill out a blank template of key placement. Here’s how this goes:
- Divide class into pairs.
- Give groups five minutes to memorize key placement, then ask them to turn over all the classroom keyboards.
- Give groups 15-20 minutes to complete the sheet.
- Those who identify a pre-determined percentage of keys correctly can have the next fifteen minutes to visit websites you’ve selected as supportive of class inquiry. All other students will retake the quiz.
Play simulationsStudents play an online simulation on a topic that ties into class inquiry. The best simulations require critical thinking and problem solving so the sub should expect students to use those skills as they work through the simulation of their choice. Here’s how you do this:
- Point students either to an assigned simulation that ties into class inquiry or to a list of themed simulations such as this one. Be sure the list includes either choices they have registered for in the past or those that require no registration.
- Put required questions (if any) on Smartscreen for students to refer to during their play.
- Let students work in pairs as they select the website and get started.
Khan AcademyStudents continue Khan Academy lessons already begun as part of a class-wide or school-wide program. Your prep: Have student accounts set-up and introductory lessons completed. Make teacher dashboard available so Substitute can use as needed. If you haven’t set up student accounts, have the school IT folk there to assist. Substitute teacher knowledge: nominal tech knowledge; nominal math knowledge. Here’s a downloadable free lesson plan on using Khan Academy in your classroom.
The Digital CitizenDraw a student on the Smartscreen and have students add all the digital devices they use on a daily basis. Here’s how to play:
- Discuss the meaning of ‘digital’, ‘technology’, and similar concepts. Have students name digital devices they see in the classroom–iPads, phones, printer, computers, and more.
- Break class into groups. Ask them to take ten-fifteen minutes (or longer if you have time) to develop a list of digital devices they use on a daily basis.
- While students are discussing, draw a student on the Smartscreen with lots of space around him/her for adding words and pictures.
- As a class, discuss the devices student groups came up with and add them to your Smartscreen student.
Gameshow CompetitionStudents engage in a gameshow-style competition to assess student knowledge on a specific or general topic. Here’s how to do this:
- Prepare the gameshow assessment prior to the sub’s arrival by filling the template with appropriate questions and answers. You can use a variety of formats, including (click links for free templates):
- You might create several so the sub can select the one s/he is most comfortable using. This preparation will be time well-spent on your part: You can use them for other assessments.
- Break class into teams.
- Explain how the game works (each is slightly different).
- Display questions on the Smartscreen. Points for the first team to answer.
- Play will vary somewhat depending upon which game is selected.
ASCII ArtStudents create a drawing using ASCII art that supports class inquiry. Here is how that’s done:
- Working independently, search Google Images (or the appropriate image website used in your school) for a picture that ties in with the selected class inquiry (such as these of Abraham Lincoln and robotics). Single images work best.
- Open a word processing program and add the selected picture as a watermark.
- Type over it with appropriate letters. Color some or leave them black against white.
- Delete the watermark.
Problem Solving ChallengeStudents challenge their knowledge of common computer and technology problems they encounter daily. These may come from your classroom observations, student suggestions of what causes difficulties when they use technology, and core classroom teacher observations. You can also include shortkeys you want students to know. Here’s how you play:
- Divide class into teams. Pass out copies of common problems your student group faces. Give ten minutes to study list. Collect papers before beginning.
- Have students elect a group member who will answer for the group. While the group can confer on a problem’s solution, only this one person can provide the answer.
- Give Team One one of the problems from the list. They get five seconds to solve it. If they can’t, move onto the next team. Repeat until a solution is revealed or all teams have had a chance.
- Go to Team Two for the next question and repeat process from above.
- Each right answer gets one point.
- Continue until you run out of time.
- Team with the most points will get a school-appropriate prize.
Common Core Writing–Digital Quick Writes
Common Core Reading–What if Students Don’t Like Reading