So, this post is about a Jam session, although not your usual one, with musicians. This was a Jam session organized impeccably by Myles Klynhout, Rachel Tsateri, and Lina Gordyshevskaya with the aim of bringing educators together to share their lesson ideas.
The hosts had prepared slides for the participants with the steps and instructions: split in breakout rooms of 3, 6 minutes for each teacher to share their idea, 3 minutes of written feedback using Google Jamboard (a pre-created template for this purpose), and finally 6 minutes to discuss implementation and improvement. Cool, right?
I use this activity to practise any structures or functions or lexis I wish. I sometimes use it to spark conversation or as an informal assessment tool. The students roll the dice and (hopefully) produce the desired language.
Simple as that but highly versatile. You see, you can ‘gamify’ it more according to your teaching context. For example, in large classes with groups, you can keep a score of correct utterances. Engage all your students simultaneously, even the ones whose turn is not, by giving extra points to the student/group who finds and corrects any mistakes made. In a traditional classroom, just write the categories on the board and provide your students with actual dice to play. Well, I’m sure you’re already thinking of all the ways you can adapt this to your situation!
Now, what’s this tool? This is Classroomscreen and it’s free !!!
It’s an online whiteboard but so much more than that: it has dice, timer, stopwatch, draw tool, text tool and more, integrated. You can change the background- customize your board anyway you want.
Extra tip: When you share your screen on Zoom, you can give temporary remote control to your students. This way they can roll the dice themselves. And there’s a rolling sound that comes with it that makes it so realistic!
Myles’s hosting skills, so calm and prepared to face all challenges thrown at him; Lina’s straightforward, step-by-step instructions (a skill I’d like to improve).
A special huge hug to Rachel for pointing out to me that every teacher has something to say and share and whose tireless mind is a constant inspiration.
Shout-out to Chanchal from India, my fellow jammer, who graciously reminded me by sharing her lesson idea that there are diverse teaching communities that deserve our respect and awe.
And last but not least, thank you to all the teachers that participated and showed how much they care for students and fellow teachers alike.