I got a phone call from a teacher in the Maths department on Friday saying that their class had been studying direction and their latest piece of work involved making a direction treasure hunt around the school. The class had asked if I would be available to follow their clues and to find the treasure. As this seemed like a lot more fun than looking through some attendance statistics, I agreed!
What transpired has to be one of the most innovative, collaborative, off-the-cuff lessons that I have ever taken part in!
I was going to be accompanied on the trail by two members of the class. But I was also keen to try and keep the other members of the class involved as well. Then I thought about using Twitter. Twitter is a micro blogging tool and a key part of my personal learning network.
My idea was that as I followed the clues I would ‘tweet’ back to the class Interactive Board so they would see how I was getting on.
Then I thought it might be quite good fun for the class to be joined by some of my other Twitter followers. As the idea progressed I decided it might be quite good idea if the rest of the class could be asked some maths questions by some of my Twitter followers at the same time that I was tweeting back with my progress on finding the treasure!
Anyway, everything worked fantastically well. First of all I set up a ‘hash tag’ for the lesson #mgsmaths.
Then I sent out a couple of tweets explaining what was going to happen:
I also asked other twitter’s to ask the class questions:
The class were in S1 and are low ability. But they are always keen to learn and try new ideas – I was really sure that this idea would be engaging for them. I just new that by having people from around the country asking them questions live would make them feel really valued.
I went to
the maths room and introduced the class to Twitter and asked any followers to
introduce themselves. I think the teacher was quite shocked at the amount of
responses we got.
Here are some of them:
asked anyone to send in questions for the class to answer. The buzz of excitement
in the class was described by the classroom teacher as, ‘heart-warming and amazing’.
As the children ran to get calculators to answer questions that were being beamed into their classroom from all over the UK.
Here are some of the questions below:
We had intended to try and get the class to tweet the responses back and we succeeded with one of the first ones.
But we had a few technical problems as I was running around the school. So the class just answered the questions in their jotters – there was no stopping them!
Meanwhile as all of this was going on I was following detailed clues around the school in search of the hidden treasure. The carful planned out clues based around direction led me all over the school, up-stairs and down-stairs.
Eventually I ended up in the PE department and had to find the clue on the South wall. I struggled with this until I looked up and found the ‘virtual’ chocolate bar (we are a health promoting school!) attached to a basketball hoop (who knows how they got it up there). I ‘tweeted’ my success back to the class and headed back up to the maths room.
Back in the class – they were still working on the puzzles that had been ‘tweeted’ form various other people around the UK and then seemed very surprised when the bell rang for the end of the day and realised it was time to go home!
Back in my office I still had Twitter Search up on the screen. During the lesson I was aware of lots of ‘tweets’ coming in but I wasn’t really sure how many there had been. The screen said it all. 47 in just under 20 minutes. No wonder the class were so engaged.
This was a great collaborative lesson which left the children inspired and motivated for the weekend! As I have said before, for me, making sure that children have a positive experience of school is the most important thing and if this can be combined with a productive learning experience then we are on to a winner.
So, from Val (the classroom teacher), all of class A2 and me a huge thank you to everyone who took part in yesterdays lesson! It made my week!