I have seen so many educators on twitter, facebook, and instagram working on and sharing bitmoji classrooms. I love this! Teachers know that at least some of their students and families will choose to learn online this year due to the pandemic and they are working to make their online learning spaces just as warm, welcoming, and easy to navigate as their real-life classrooms! This is such a great place to start – but we can’t stop there. We’ve got to plan for great, engaging, research-proven strategies for learning – and we’ve got to come up with new ways for our content to be delivered ONLINE.
One strategy I love using to get students to think about ANY content at high levels and really explain their thinking is the Rank & Justify strategy. This is when you provide students with parts of your content and ask them to rank them in order of preference or importance and then justify their choices with a written explanation. Following this up with partner or group discussions is even MORE powerful as students explain their reasoning to one another. The truth is – (ususally) there is no right answer of what is most important, but students will show HUGE engagement as they passionately defend THEIR choices and ranks.
How can we incorporate this strategy into online only, hybrid, or face-to-face learning? A Google Slides template, of course!!!
Ideas for use:
- Math: Rank different strategies that can be used to solve a given math problem – rank which you think is most useful/your favorite way and why
- Science: Rank which science safety rules are most important and justify your thinking
- Reading: Rank which character you personally like the best, or rank which supporting character most impacts the main character
- Writing: Rank which “hook” is best to use draw readers in
- Social Studies: Rank which event had the greatest impact on culture
- Staff: Rank which teaching strategy you are most excited to try out in your classroom
Want to edit the directions and/or how many items students should rank? (More or less than the 3 I have?) READ ON for more info!
In order to make this template EASY for students to use and NOT accidentally mess up I’ve utilized the SLIDE MASTER. It is almost as if there are TWO LAYERS — one for only the TEACHER to edit (on the Slide Master), and one on top for STUDENTS to edit and add their answers.
This template utilizes the Slide Master so that everything on the main part of the slide is immovable – it seems that it is all just a picture in the background, but if you go to View, Master, those background items may be edited!! EVERYTHING is EDITABLE, but only if you go to View, Master. Think of everything on the Slide Master as the bottom layer. The bottom layer (slide master) is editable by the teacher, but not the student.
The template on the main part of the slide (title, directions, numbers, placemarkers for the answers, and rectangles for students to put their justification) is all in the background as part of the Slide Master – and can only be edited by going to View, Master.
The items on the sides (the answer choices) and text boxes for students to type their justification are ON TOP (on the regular part of the slide – not the Slide Master) so students can drag, drop, and type their answers!
Check out the full template below – with the TEACHER INSTRUCTIONS to learn more:
How will you utilize the Rank & Justify Template? What content will you use? Please share your implementation ideas in the comments so we all benefit!
Ready to plan more online instructional activities? Another research-proven strategy that yields great results (according to John Hattie’s research) is the Jigsaw Method. Check out THIS BLOG POST for an online template you can adapt to have students use the jigsaw method to teach each other and retain more information! You can also utilize this Brain Dump template to help students stretch to remember as much as they can about a topic.