I finished my first day at the conference today. The first talk I went to was on creating a flipped classroom in which the presenter had four steps to ensuring your students come prepared to work after watching the video.
First, you find the tool to create the video and the presenter recommended screen-o-matic because it is easy to make. She said she doesn't even edit it, just makes it and uploads it. It is good to upload it to a place that can provide records of who has watched the content. The important thing is to design an activity to follow the video that could be done in class. She also suggested that you throw in a few questions for the students to answer while watching the video so you know they paid attention to the content. The presenter also stated she only assigns work like this twice a week because she also puts time aside to work on other things.
I still have an issue where I am with trying to flip the classroom. Not all of my students have access to an internet connection and the signal may or may not be up and running. So if I choose to try a flipped classroom, I need to arrange it on a day that those students without internet can come in and do the assignment after school. That way, I know students have had a chance to watch the video.
The other talk I attended was on using short team building exercises in class to build an atmosphere where students feel safe. All of the activities take two or three minutes and can be used as team building while using it to revitalize students. The first game they used was simply having people stand in a circle. The first person looks into the eyes of the second person and they clap hands at the same time. The second person then looks into the eyes of the third person and they clap hands at the same time. This is repeated until the clap makes it all the way around the circle.
Another one is a nice affirmation activity called Yes, let's do it! The leader says "Hey everyone, lets march in place" Everyone responds "Yes, lets do it" and they all march in place until someone else says "Hey everyone, let's ___________. Anyone can change the activity at anytime. The people who did this, had so much fun.
When most people are not able to concentrate for more than about 10 minutes at anyone time, we need to include activities which help wake up the student and their brain so they can attack their work with renewed vigor.