Would you like to encourage your students to be adventurous with their use of technology? All while encouraging them to be explorers, risk- takers, and to nurture their creative talents? You can do all of this and still teach the standards you need. This is an “Appy Meal”.
Teachers can create this to be a stand alone technology center or a whole class activity. Here is the box design and resources. See below for instructions on how to use the Appy Meal with your class.
Explore: Use this page to find suggestions of “Apps” (this term is used throughout to include websites) students can use to explore topics. The teacher can cut these out and fill the Appy Meal with them when it is time to engage students in new learning or have them research for deeper understanding. These apps can also be substituted with your favorites.
Create: Use this page to find suggestions of “Apps” students can use to create products. The teacher can cut these out and fill the Appy Meal with them when it is time for students to synthesize their learning by creating something new.
Resources: The SAMR image is thanks to Sylvia Duckworth. I made the Hello name tag on Canva.com, but you could use a real name tag. I suggest you use one side of the box to paste directions or a QR code that has directions recorded on a voice file that will play when students scan it. The 4 C’s image can be found here. Credit to http://runteacherrunriley.blogspot.com/ I added an old spinner from a game of Life to this image. You could also use a paperclip and a brad.
*Author’s Note- For the use of this box, I would suggest the Critical Thinking piece be used for students to question something they’ve learned during exploring or edit their neighbor’s work while creating. The activity already calls for creativity, so on the Creativity piece, students can create a question to ask another student about what they learned.
The teacher can choose to put the box in a learning center. The teacher would decide if the apps inside the box are “Explore” apps to explore a topic they are learning about or “Create” apps to create a product about something they have already learned. There is a die in the box for students to decide who gets a turn to draw an app out of the box first. The student rolls the die and then draws an app out of the box. Students then spin the spinner on the “4 C’s” and make sure they incorporate one of the “C’s” into their center work. By each student having the additional challenge of trying to figure out a new app while still needing to achieve an objective, students are learning to become risk-takers in an environment that is supportive.
Variations on Center Work:
- Have 2 boxes (explore and create) in the center. Students draw from each and “smash” their apps together.
- When doing explore pieces, each group that comes to the center could add to the knowledge of the group before. This could be digitally or on paper.
- If creations are posted, students could list the positives and negatives of the app they used to aid others.
The teacher decides to put either explore apps or create apps into the box. Then every student in the class chooses an app out of the box. Once everyone draws out of the box, all students will have different apps, but the same intent. For whole class, the teacher could choose one of the “4 C’s” for the whole class to do or each student could spin for a choice of one as they draw an app. Think of this like speed dating an app for one class period. Have students stick with the app they chose, even if they dislike it.* The knowledge they gain from this experience can help themselves and others in the future, not to mention it builds tenacity.
Variations on the whole class:
- While exploring, students can add their gained knowledge to a class poster or shared document. Teachers can make the No Repeats rule if desired.
- Students can spend half the class exploring. Then the teacher can reload the box with create apps and students draw from the box again. Students spend the other half the class creating with the knowledge they gained exploring.
- SAMR Challenge: Once a student has created a product with their app, they pass their creation to the next student who is challenged to create a product on the same topic, but one level up on the SAMR model. If redefinition was originally reached, then the challenged student tries to reach redefinition with a different app.
*Teachers should keep in mind the objective of the lesson when choosing the apps to put in the box so that the apps are related to the content when necessary.
The Appy Meal was created to offer the classroom teacher an easy way to integrate technology without a lot of prior planning. There are many ways to adapt these ideas to fit your classroom. Feel free to email me your idea at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to present this make and take technology PD to your staff.