September 4, 2017

I had so much fun today that I just have to share it with you. Creating you own worksheet is on one of my favourite Google Slides activities. Unlike most online activities, it is as easy as pie to set up and take almost none of your time. 

It is a well-known fact that setting up a question make you think about the work in a different way. But we seldom give learners the opportunity to create their own questions. We rather give them boring worksheets and claim that we do not have enough time to make cool worksheet ourselves. Teachers don’t have time, that is true, but you do not need to do everything yourself. 

We finished the chapter on financial maths today, and I want to do a mixed consolidation exercise tomorrow. But the textbook does not have sufficient exercises. So I quickly created a Google Slide deck. When I say fast, that is what I mean. All I did was type “Design your own question” on the first slide, and then I added a bunch of empty slides. 

I shared this in Google Classroom, setting it so that “Students can edit the file”. In class, I asked them to open the document, choose a slide and type their name on it. For homework, they had to design their own question based on the work we did. Each question has to include a picture, and if they use something like an exchange rate, they have to research the correct price. They also had to work out the answer to their problem, take a photo and send that to me. Working out the answer to the question force them to check that all the relevant information is included. 

Every time I do this activity I am blown away with what the learners come up with. 
In class, the next day, the all had to answer their friend’s questions. (In the end, I felt sorry for them, 27 items is a lot of work, so we decided they could choose 20 to do) 

As we worked through them, we found some ambiguous questions or missing information, which gave me the opportunity to talk to those girls individually about what they had in mind. What is usually a tedious revision lesson with passive learners, was lively and full of discussion. Everybody left the class feeling that they learnt something. 

Here is a copy of the worksheet my class created. I just changed their names to protect them. 

Instant worksheet – Financial Maths

Of course, not all topics and subjects lend themselves to this type of activity. But it can be tweaked and adapted according to your subject. I thought if you do a novel, each learner can copy and paste their favourite quote from the book and the rest of the class have to identify who said it. Or if you do WWII you can put the name of a country or leader on each slide (slightly more work for you), and each learner picks a slide and makes a summary of that country/person’s role in the war. 

Try some variations in how you use your instant worksheets as well. Instead of making the learners answer all the questions, each learner can choose one question to answer and maybe take a photo of their answer and put it on the next slide. So that everybody end up with a set of questions and answers. 

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