Today was the first day back from Spring Break and it was so exciting seeing all of my students! I knew they would have so many stories to share and possibly new stuffed friends and pictures to show, so I decided to be proactive and create an assignment centered around their sharing.
Spring Break Cause and Effect Web
We are learning different types of text structures in 3rd grade, so I decided to make their Spring Break events the "effects" and start the morning working on a cause and effect web. At first, I was going to just give them a template to use via Google Classroom, but instead I decided to have them create the shapes to make their own cause and effect diagrams.
A Major F.A.I.L.
This turned out to be a true lesson in perseverance because to my surprise, I found out that only 2 out of 25 had ever created shapes on a computer before! Wow this still surprises me even as I'm typing. Given this information, I knew that the web completion was going to take a little longer than expected, but I knew it would be worth it.
After demonstrating how to create rectangle and arrow shapes in Google slides, my students went back to their Chromebooks to try it out for themselves, and had a major F.A.I.L. (First Attempt in Learning).
Students were struggling but this was the best kind of teacher as I could their brains working and their focus narrowing to figure out how to complete the tasks. What I began to notice is that my students are truly still consumers of technology. Not giving them the template, but instead requiring them to create for themselves and to use precision in their work. I was incorporating standards for math practices without even planning on it! I even got in a little real-world fraction talk with "the rectangle should take only 1/2 of your slide."
A Lesson in Perseverance
After several tries with the shapes tools, some students were successful and others began to get frustrated, which is when the standard about perseverance came into play. We talked about other strategies to use in terms of our finger placement on the track pad and about just getting something onto the slide so that we could adjust it later. It's not about being perfect; it's about not being afraid to get it wrong. Trial and error is so easily modeled with the Google Suite and mistakes are so easily erased with a simple click of the mouse or press of the backspace key.
Once students realized how easy it is to undo mistakes, they were much more willing to keep trying and trying. Eventually we were able to get the majority of the students to completely draw and type into their web independently. Some even made it to the point of creating additional slides to expand their writing.
A Work in Progress
Because the creation of the webs took almost 30 minutes, we were unable to publish our writing today. We will finish our writing tomorrow and share with the rest of the class.
Share your story in the comments below.
What major F.A.I.L. has turned into a win for you?