In my future classroom, I see myself using response cards the most out of the active engagement and learning tools we discussed this past week. I think that response cards are a great way to formatively assess students on any subject matter and they work effectively for just about any age. Response cards are great for not only post assessments, but pre-assessments as well; pre-assessing students is something I see as essential in an
elementary-aged classroom to help further guide instruction, and response cards are a great and easy way to access that information. I also believe that response cards are very engaging because they are so different than the ordinary paper and pencil quiz. Students have to pay careful attention to how they hold the card to get the answer they want, which is a good way to make sure they are focusing and attending to the quiz.
Response cards definitely have a relative advantage seeing as the pros to this tool heavily outweigh the cons. Some of the benefits of response cards are that all students have access to them, meaning they do not need a smart phone or device to complete the quiz, they are free of cost up to a certain amount, they are engaging and not distracting, and the teacher, and only the teacher, receives immediate feedback of student’s responses. Some of the drawbacks to this tool however, are that younger students may be confused and need direction on how to properly hold the card to show their answer, and the teacher is limited to providing only multiple choice questions, so he or she would need to use a different method of assessment if they wanted a different type of response. I would definitely use a tool like Plickers to pre-assess students on a certain topic, lets say, on their knowledge of a quarter. I could create a multiple choice quiz and question students about their previous knowledge of how much a quarter is, what it looks like, etc. to get a general sense of where I should begin instruction. I would simply display the Plickers quiz on the projector or interactive whiteboard, hand students their assigned and laminated card, and scan their answers when they are ready to answer. This way, I can quickly assess which students can begin practicing with quarters, and which will need more direct instruction.
The active learning tool I least see myself using in my future classroom would have to be student’s mobile devices. First, most elementary aged students do not have cell phones of their own (but you never know these days) so there will be students who could
not participate. Second, I envision this tool to be a huge distraction to the whole class. Students would be so excited to use their phones in class that they might not focus on what they should be doing, or get distracted by a game or app they downloaded. Third, most schools have a school-wide no cell phone policy rule, so I would not want to encourage students to break the rules and disrespect authority. Overall, trying to use mobile devices to actively engage elementary aged students would probably do just the opposite: disengage them from focusing and learning, and encourage them to use their devices for other purposes.