Try Interacting Instead With Peardeck
I am so fortunate that in my job I get to see many different teachers teach many different students. I love it! You can feel the vibe of a class just by hanging out for a few minutes. Teachers still seem to primarily rely on lecture/presentation style teaching when doing whole class instruction. The overhead projectors are gone and in their place are powerpoint and Google slides presentations. As a student, I often struggled with this type of teaching because I just couldn't sustain attention for long unless I was very interested in the topic. If there was a way for the teacher to have us do something, besides taking notes, that would often help redirect my focus and increase my learning.
There is a fantastic tool, called PearDeck, that works with Google slides, that allows you to input interactive activities within your presentation. I used PearDeck with my class today. They loved it! They said that it would work especially well for social studies, in their opinion. I tried about 4 different question types and was very pleased with the students' level of interaction. I also really liked how simple it was to use for both me and my students.
Here's how it works:
When you create a Google slides presentation, go ahead and add the PearDeck add on. Once you do that, a sidebar will open up with options for interaction. For example, there is a whole deck dedicated to critical thinking. There are also options for beginning class, during class, or ending class such as bell ringers and exit tickets. Once you create your presentation, including the PearDeck slides, you can click to present in PearDeck. The students will see the access code that you project on the screen and then they can see what you are presenting. You control the presentation, both being projected on the room and on your students' individual screens. When you get to one of the interactive slides, the students can go ahead and type, draw, or whatever you set up for them to do. You can see all of their responses on the teacher dashboard. You can choose to present the responses or just keep them on your laptop screen.
The simple, 3-step process is:
*Images from PearDeck.com
1. Open PearDeck through the Add Ons menu in Google slides. If you don't already have it, you can click Get Add Ons and search for Pear Deck. You will be prompted to allow PearDeck to run.
2. Add interactive slides from the PearDeck library and customize the questions to make them your own.
3. Click Present With PearDeck to open the interactive lesson.
You also have the option of adding a question that you can create yourself:
Do you want to give PearDeck and try but aren't sure how to get started? You can check out the PearDeck website. Or, give me a call. I'm happy to work with you on this. Do you have other tools or tricks that you love for getting kids engaged during direct instruction? Post in the comments below.