Engage Student Thinking with a Response System

Teachers everywhere strive to make classes more engaging –learning environments where students can reflect and share their thinking. This year, a pilot project in Oregon’s Klamath County School District is using TurningPoint student response systems to help teachers achieve that goal.

I have used a TurningPoint response system in my workshops for two years, and with the right questions, I’ve used it transform to a 300-seat auditorium into a “Socratic seminar.” The team at Klamath County attended a few of my workshops and decided to bring the technology back into their classrooms. They’ve asked me to serve as a project advisor to help teachers learn to utilize the system to create greater rigor and relevance for their students. The district is providing ten teachers with presentation stations which include a 30-seat TurningPoint Student Response Systems.

This past week I helped kick off the year-long pilot with a full day introduction to the systems and its full instructional power. I was joined by Mike Venrose of TurningTechnologies. Together we trained the teachers in creating TurningPoint presentations, and using a variety of programs tools to create interactive lessons for their students.

I asked the teachers to share some of their ideas for using TurningPoint.

Krista Nieraeth: 7 – 12 Science and 7th Grade Math
My goal for using TP is to keep all of the students on their toes so I don’t lose any to cognitive wanderings during class.  I want to have the ability to make the lessons fresh and exciting at all times and to ensure that all of my students have the ability to participate in the discussion!!!

Scott Preston: 6th grade teacher – all subjects
I want to get all students actively participating in discussions, thinking deeper than yes/no.

Niki Kuykendall: 6th Grade – inclusive
I hope to introduce my students to this system on day one.  I plan to incorporate this into daily lessons in Math or Language Arts.  I want to use this for discussion prompting for reading, pre-assessment for Math and Spelling.  Review games occasionally.  I also would be open to letting my students create a PPT and then add in the TurningPoint questions to present to the class.  I will have some tests that will be done using the remotes, the ease for putting into the grade book is an incentive!

I’ll be headed back to Klamath Falls next month to help teachers to reflect on their progress and set new goals for use in the classroom. I’ll post some observations to share with readers. For more information on the pilot contact project coordinator – Michelle Smith, Klamath County Schools Staff Development Coordinator.

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