Starters and Plenaries Facilitated by iPads

I had a request this week to focus our New Tech’ Breakfast meeting at St Wilfrid’s on Starters and Plenaries. iPads can help to facilitate engaging activities at the start a lesson and consolidatory activities at the end. Most of the ideas noted are to be used in a 1:1 mobile device school.Ideas for Starters

Padlet is a great tool to start instant collaborative discussion at the start of a lesson. By putting your Padlet’s QR code on the whiteboard as students enter the classroom, they are thrown into a discussion created by teacher. A discussion can be based around a question or a picture, using Padlet’s media tools.

QR Codes are brilliant for reavealing information to students with a great sense of discovery to engage. I used these on the reverse of a card sort activity to give students extra facts to inform their decision making. An example would be to ask students to rate countries on their quality of life. After their initial ranking, they could flip over the country cards, scan a QR code and get some additional facts about the average life span for people on that country. They could then rank again, with the teacher asking how the information changed their decision making.

The Socrative student response system is a great hook into the start of a lesson. By starting a quiz before students enter and displaying log in instructions on the classroom’s whiteboard, students can get on with a quiz straight away, focussed on the topic of the lesson that day. Should you have classes that come into your classroom in dribs and drabs, Socrative’s self paced feature is great to get students on board whenever they enter the room. By adding an open ended question at the end, those who come into class earlier and whiz through the quiz are kept occupied until others have finished and are being stretched.

Ideas for Plenaries 

Socrative’s ad hoc question feature is a good way to gauge student understanding at the end of a lesson. If students are asked to provide a short written answer, these answers can then be shared with the entire class on their mobile devices. The voting feature allows students to read each other’s answers and vote on the best one, helping them to learn from each other.

Plickers is a fun AFL tool to see where your class is, in terms of their understanding. Setting up questions on the app is easy and students find it straight forward to hold up their Plicker voting card to be scanned. Multiple choice answers can be based on levels of understanding and the need for more support.



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