Today’s activity is an extension of Activity 3. After much modelling and shared practice, I felt it was time to give students the opportunity to practice in a small group setting. Like I have said in previous posts, it is my goal to get my students speaking as much as possible.
I take the Smart Board activities and try to adapt them for the iPads as much as possible so students have the chance to work in small settings to practice their speaking and listening skills.
In activity 3, we used the Smart Notebook photo dice to work on ‘Est-ce que tu aimes…’ questions. In this activity, we would roll a dice with photos of the different activities that students participate in after school. When the dice stopped, students would ask a preference question related to the image. I.e. if a basketball showed up, they could ask their partner ‘est-ce que tu aimes jouer au basket-ball?’ and their partner would respond in one of the various ways we had been practicing.
On the iPads, we use an app called ‘Photo Dice‘. Based on the same premise, we put different pictures on the dice. The students then take turns rolling the dice, asking questions and answering them in their group.
Once the dice were made, I uploaded them to a Google Drive folder where I allowed ‘anyone with the link’ to access the folder. When the folder is opened, it looks like this.
Students have a variety of different ‘dice’ to choose from and can change dice in the middle of the activity if they have successfully asked and answered questions based on their die already. The link to access this folder is at the bottom of the page.
I then took the link to this folder and posted it to our google classroom stream for the students to be able to easily access.
As we start this type of activity in the small groups, I leave the question and sentence starters up on the smartboard as a visual prompt (the smart notebook file is also attached in my ‘Activity 3 – Picture Dice‘ post as a link to Google drive – it will not allow a preview, you will have to download and open the file on a computer that has Smart Notebook installed). Gradually we move away from having them posted front and center, to accessing it from their duotangs or from the charts around the room only if they need to.
When we are at this point, I limit the activity to quick rounds (about 5-7 minutes) before we move on to another task. I like that it gets them interacting and that it is spontaneous, in that they gradually gain independence with their communication as prompts are removed. I also like that students are speaking purposefully and confidently. I find they remain on task because of the fact that they know exactly what is expected and the way the previous activities prepared them.
I like this activity, because it gives me an opportunity to circulate and listen to each group. I can stop and interact with the students as well. There is much opportunity for differentiated instruction and I have a variety of options for how I want to make my groups. I.e. students who are excelling with others who are excelling, students who are excelling with those that need some assistance, etc.
Interested in seeing the photo dice in action on the iPad? Click here to see some of our videos from class.
Once downloaded, you can access these photo dice that we have been using in class. On an iPad, click on the file and then click ‘open in’. Finally choose the app that you downloaded. titled ‘Photo Dice’.