10 routines for teaching online – #5 student shoe box

by / Thursday, 12 November 2020 / Published in Instruction, Routines

shoeboxforblogsixDuring your course, it’s always good to get to know your students. In a class of 24 students, you can do this activity to start your first 50-minute session and end your second 50-minute session. It’s quite simple.

For each of these sessions, one student shows two to three artifacts that are personally important to him or her. They should NOT be related to the topic you are teaching in your class. These artifacts can be objects, photos, certificates or awards, or anything that is personally meaningful to them. In a physical class, it might be things they bring in that they’ve kept in a ‘shoebox’ or a drawer or some storage space that they’ve kept mostly for sentimental value. The idea of showing these things and talking about them humanizes your student, and helps him or her relate to others in the class. Everyone gets to know everyone else a little better, and each student gets five minutes to do this. This is a good bridge-in or summary activity in your BOPPPS-structured class time.

The best way to get this started, of course, is to model it yourself the first time. Your students are interested in you, and here’s your chance to pull away the ‘teacher curtain’ and show that you, too, do ordinary things, and have a life outside of the classroom. Since most faculty are from countries outside of the UAE, this is an ideal activity to teach just a little bit of culture or something about your family from your home country, and is a great advantage to Emerati students who might have little to no exposure to the outside world. Everyone wins!

This is a new series of tips for teaching online. This series focuses on the small things, in this case, small routines that you can, and should, easily incorporate into your every day instruction online. These routines address student motivationparticipation, and metacognitive training leading to higher order thinking skills that focus on the conceptual and metacognitive knowledge dimensions from Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001).

Previous posts in this series include:

#10 Reflection

#9 A language pause

#8 Kahoot! ‘Did you know or did you guess?’

#7 Cooperative learning group roles

#6 Listen for the lie