Quickfire challenges were a fun way that we started off class for the day. Every quickfire challenge was different and taught us a different technology tool, how to think outside the box, and about failure. They were designed with us failing in mind as a part of the learning process. The goal was to push us as educators to think about the concepts were are learning in a different way and how we can apply them in our practice. Below I've included a couple of the quickfire challenges that had the most impact on me.
GOAL: Use Paper Circuits to illuminate your understandings of a course concept.
I created this to show how we want students to be able to transfer the knowledge we teach them in the classroom to their lives outside of class.
I really like this quickfire because it encompassed STEAM rather than just STEM. We were allowed creative freedom to showcase our knowledge and understanding of any course concept using circuits. There were no instructions, meaning we had to play to learn, we had creative freedom, and we were introduced to failure and how to recover from it. This quickfire had the most impact on me because we have to teach our students that failure is an important and vital part of the learning process. (You can read more about my thoughts on failure here.)
Lego Car Challenge
GOAL: To create a car with Lego pieces
I started with a basic frame of a car, making sure it had 4 wheels. I then began to add things like seats, headlights, and a bumper.
This quickfire was in the context of the equity of educational technology. As we did the quickfire, one person got instruction from the beginning and another got instructions midway through while the rest of us had to figure it out on our own. This stuck with me because not all students have equal access to technology and that can impact their learning if we assume they can complete it easily. This had a huge impact on me because a lot of my students do not have access to technology like the Internet. The biggest takeaway I got from this assignment is we need to be mindful of our students' technology access and modify as necessary so they can still learn without the technology if it is not available at home.
Cooking with TPACK
GOAL: To create a secret food dish with a randomly chosen plate, bowl, and utensil.
The dish I was given was a parfait. I was given honey, yogurt, and granola to complete my meal. Luckily, I chose a glass bowl, a big plate, and an ice cream scoop.
The goal of Cooking with TPACK was to think about repurposing what you already have, using your background knowledge, to complete the task. There are many different ways to approach a lesson, especially since students all come with varying background knowledge. We as educators have to use that and the tools that we have to best meet our needs to educate our students to the best of our ability. Even though we may not have the exact technology we want to use, there are many other options that we do have available that can be repurposed.
Special Learning Needs Screencast
GOAL: To find a tech tool that would support a student with a specific learning need.
I chose ADHD since many of my students who have an IEP are diagnosed with ADHD. I chose 42 Goals because it allowed me to track and log measurable goals.
This quickfire challenged me to think about how I can help students with ADHD be successful in my classroom. This tool allows the student and I to create measurable goals and routines that we can track over time to aid their success in my class. ***
There have been many more quickfire challenges that I've completed over the course of six weeks during my first year in the MAET program. These were the ones that had a great impact on my teaching philosophy and my practice as an educator. As a whole, I learned a lot from these challenges and would love to incorporate this into my classroom to push students to think critically and differently about the math topics I teach them. Quickfires challenged my thinking and helped me grow as an educator.