Unit 4: Hands-on Activity
What happens at this station?
Unfortunately, some classes, and especially as students get older, mainly focus on lecture-driven instruction. The "Hands-On Activity" station provides a fun learning activity that students don't get to experience often in school. This could involve student creations like posters or mini catapults (see Lab below!) or movement games like charades or Pictionary to practice vocab in an entertaining way. I have also used matching activities, in the form of the Go Fish card game, at the "Hands-on Activity" station with my students.
- Learners will be able to create or select an activity that could be used for the "Hands-On Activity" station.
Although matching is a pretty straightforward activity, teachers could make it more fun by mimicking the card game of Go Fish. To do this, each student would start with a few question cards as well as a few answer cards. The students at the station will sit in a circle and attempt to solve the questions in their own hand. When they think they've solved a question correctly, they will ask the group if anyone has that answer card. If so, the group has made a match and will set it aside. The game continues until all questions have been matched with an answer!
Seen on the right is an example of a mini-poster project that my former Algebra II students made. Using anchor chart paper, students worked together in groups of two or three to identify the key features of a polynomial along with a sketch of the polynomial function they chose. I provided students with a list of criteria that must be included on their poster. Students were able to use this list of criteria as a checklist as they worked on the posters, crossing off each item as they completed it on their poster.
A mini-poster project could work well as a way for students to create their own timeline or graphic organizer. For example, students could create a timeline in an ELA class to outline the plot of a novel, or in social studies class when studying an important time period in history. Students could brainstorm together to create word webs as a mini-poster project as well.
The best part about using mini-poster projects as a part of a blended learning lesson is that teachers can hang the posters around the room for the next several classes as an extra resource for students to look back on!
Vocab Practice with Charades or Pictionary (or Both)
If teachers want students to study vocabulary, the "Hands-on Activity" station could be a game of charades or Pictionary! Or teachers could choose to make a game combining the two with both acting and drawing as options. Teachers would make a list of key vocabulary terms that students could act out or draw on a whiteboard for their groupmates to guess the word. The students could also create their own list of key vocabular words, like suggested in this YouTube video: Charades + Pictionary = Charadonary. Another suggestion from the YouTube video is to mix in some random words that do not relate to the content so that students aren't just listing every vocabulary term they can think of for any action or drawing.
Included on the left and right are two pictures of my Algebra II students working on a Quadratic Lab activity at the "Hands-on Activity" station during a blended learning lesson. Students were given instructions on how to create a mini catapult using a paper cup, popsicle sticks, and rubber bands. They flung small objects - like cap erasers and cotton balls - to model the shape of a quadratic equation. Using one of their cell phones to record the action, with a meter stick in the background, they were able to use the coordinates of their flung object (initial point, highest point, end point - see Quadratic Lab Assignment picture in center) and a graphing calculator to transform the quadratic motion into an estimated quadratic equation.
A lab activity like this is a great opportunity for teachers to relate content to real-world scenarios, like the quadratic motion seen in flying cotton balls.
Activity: Flashcards Check for Understanding
Check your understanding with these flashcards made on Quizlet: Unit 4 - Check for Understanding
Return to the course overview page here: Sarah Garber's Mini-Course on Blended Learning
Go back to Unit 3: Technology or move on to Unit 5: Designing your own Blended Learning Lesson