The following is a guest post by Education Associate Sean Farnum. Check out his bio below!
Like most of my students, as a teacher I disliked using worksheets in my classroom. I felt like so many of them weren’t meeting their objective. They don’t connect to higher order thinking, they’re not especially fun, they’re easy to cheat on, and they’re not fun to correct. To top it all off, half the time, the copy machine is out of toner again!
For years, after we would engage with the content, whether it was in a book, an interactive version online, or through videos that we took notes on, I would ask them to spend time creating based on what they’d learned. Originally, it was all construction paper and crayons. I loved it, they made cute work, and it was more memorable to them than if they’d filled out a worksheet. As time has gone on, though, and we’ve had better online tools, the kids increasingly asked to create digitally. During my last year of teaching, Buncee was the hit. “You can use any tools you want,” I’d say, “Just create something sharable that shows what we learned about Photosynthesis.” Invariably the request came back in several voices, “Can we use Buncee?” The answer was always the same – of course!
Having my students create examples of what they learned in Buncee had so many benefits. Their work was charming, memorable for them, and easy to check for me. As they created, the act of choosing how to represent what was in their brain made the learning stick. Our test scores got better in Science. Because Buncee saves everything automatically and stores students’ work in an online portfolio, I never had to send home a study guide. One of the best things, though is that it was easy to see – and correct – their misconceptions. Think of it, if you spent 20 minutes drawing a beautiful poster, and then found out that your information is incorrect, you’re going to be upset! Not so with Buncee. If you make a mistake, you can change that element without having to scrap the whole project!
The last things that really sealed the Buncee deal for me were the audio and video recording features. You know that your struggling readers and writers get frustrated when asked to give a written explanation. That goes away when they’re using Buncee. The fun of digital creation is an easy sell to many of these same children, and when they know that they can use their voice or make a video instead of having to write, it’s like they’ve been unchained!
If you haven’t yet, consider using Buncee to curate what your students are learning in an interactive notebook. You’ll be amazed at how connected they become to the content!
Sean Farnum is a teacher, troublemaker, the host of the #2PencilChat, and the producer of The #BestClass Podcast. He is an Education Associate at Buncee and runs the Buncee Ambassador Program. He thinks you’re pretty great.