Monday, September 21, 2015

From Plan A to...Plan Z

Teachers monitor and adjust. It's just what we do. Second nature. Something goes wrong? That's ok...we can just fly by the seat of our pants like nobody's business! I saw an e-card a few days ago that reminded me of all teachers.

Last week, during our Input Technology classes, students were supposed to create an info graphic. Fifth grade would use to create their digital footprint (five rules of internet safety and social media sites they frequently use). Sixth graders were to create an info graphic in Microsoft Word.

During the first class of the week, we discovered that despite checking tagxedo the previous week, it was not working. An update occurred over the weekend and had not yet been pushed through the district network. While students sat idly in their chairs, Miss Denise and I both got to work on figuring out a way to continue the assignment. Quickly, I searched clip art on Microsoft Word for footprints; it was saved to the U-drive and students could then access it. Our easy lesson using a website students had used several times turned into a much more complicated lesson on inserting clip art and word art; arranging both by either selecting to place in front of text or behind text; and how to change shape fills to no fill.

Talk about MONITOR and ADJUST. We completely reworked a lesson in a matter of minutes. That doesn't include the one student computer that did have Microsoft Office loaded. That student logged into her Google account and began working in Docs. When I asked her why she had chosen to do that, she replied, "you guys figured out how to keep us working, so I figured I could try using Docs to do the same thing."

Students watch teacher reactions during a lesson fail...I'm glad we were able to use that opportunity to set the atmosphere to one where students weren't afraid to try something on their own.

When plan A doesn't work, there are still 25 more letters of the alphabet left to try.

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