Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Responding with the Backchannel

I absolutely love reading Kristi Meeuwse's blog and getting ideas from her 1:1 kindergarten classroom.  Basically, anything she posts, I will try!  So when she wrote about using the backchannel in kindergarten, I was interested.  I had no idea what a backchannel is (to be honest, I'm still not 100% sure, LOL) but I loved the concept of giving all students a voice by letting them contribute and respond to a question using this tool.

So, I called (okay, texted) my BFF Mrs. Bishop and asked if she'd mind letting me into her classroom to come try this.  How could she say "no"?!  :)

I decided to begin using this tool by "interactive typing" (This is a thing.  I'm sure of it.)  the question together, and making sure it had a "yes" or "no" answer.  In kindergarten, many times we would take surveys, where we would interactive write a question on chart paper, and the kids would then share the pen to record their answers.  In my mind, this backchannel could be used in the same way, but would allow students to respond digitally, as well as free up that class time taken when each student has to take a turn with the pen. They could respond all at once using 1:1 devices or a lab, or respond throughout the day when there was time.  I would not do this ALL the time - I am not saying don't EVER write these on chart paper ever again.  Just saying, it could be a good way to "switch it up" and introduce a new way of doing something every now and then.

I also love the potential toward moving to "meatier" questions as students can write and type more, as well as letting students create their own surveys (they write the questions) that their friends can answer.

I used the tool Mrs. Meeuwse used in her classroom, Today's Meet.  It's free and really easy to use. Once I created the room, I used the URL to make a QR code.  When we used it in Mrs. Bishop's class, I reflected my iPad, and together we typed the question "Do you like pumpkin pie?"  The students then scanned the QR code to enter the room, then all they had to type was their names and their answer ("yes" or "no").  Super easy and cool!  Let me know what you think and how you could see using this tool in your own classroom!

No comments:

Post a Comment