Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Using @IdeaPaint In The Classroom

I've long been a fan of IdeaPaint. Covering my desks with this paint has been great in allowing me to look at lessons in a different way. I've come up with a few fun ways to use the desks for class that I wanted to share with you.

1. Note-taking - This is a simple one to start. I allow my students to use the desk to take notes and then just take pictures using their iPad or phone to add to their Evernote account. For some, it is way easier to write out their notes and draw arrows to connect ideas to one another. Kids love to take their notes and doodle on the desk. Some might say that this can all be done in a notebook, but this helps save paper and the kids can keep all of their notes safe in a digital space. Kids sitting at tables will sometimes collaborate on note-taking and share notes they have written on the desks. It can create a nice collaborative environment for students in class.

2. Creative Writing - This has been a fun lesson I have done with my students from time to time. I would have students draw on there desks. Anything they want. It doesn't have to be anything specific. I can just be random shapes or images. I then have students change seats and then add to the drawing. I will do this a few times until the final student gets to the seat. They are instructed to take a picture of the image on the desk and create a one paragraph short story based on this image. The stress for the lesson is imagery. Kids get a kick out of the lesson and students like to read the story based on the image they created. It's great for sharing and getting kids thinking about imagery in a way that is right in from of their face instead of in a story that are trying to understand.

3. Group Planning - IdeaPaint has been huge when it comes to project planning for my students. I'm a big PBL guy and I really want to see my students plan out their projects. IdeaPaint covered desks all the group to bring their desks together and draw out their plans. I've tried having them use Google Docs in the past, but this is much better when they are all together in class. They can take pictures and add it to the GDoc when they are at home. There is something powerful about a group hunkered down over a desk and collaboratively working on a project.

4. Essay Writing - I have found it much easier to help students work on essays since I have covered their desks with IdeaPaint. Google Docs is nice to use to help students with their writing, but sometimes, you just need to sit next to them and rewrite a sentence together. I will have students write a thesis statement or a topic sentence on their desk and I will come around and review their work. I can take my marker and eraser and make edits to their work with them. This allows them to see the corrections on their desk and then they can snap pictures of it and add them to their Evernote account. It's much better for the students to sit and work with the teacher at their desk than just having a note placed on a Google Doc. I have found that this approach has really helped my struggling writers.

There are so many other ways that teaches can use IdeaPaint in the classroom. Math teachers love having students work out problems on their desks and foreign language teachers have students conjugate different forms of words on their desks. Teachers can quickly come around and check the work and make any corrections as needed. This helps create a paperless environment that allows students to make mistakes and erase them.

I highly recommend all teachers to check out IdeaPaint and consider adding it to your classroom. It's a great way to engage students in a different way and open up some creativity in your lesson planning.

As a special Back to School Special from IdeaPaint, use the code "NERDYTEACHER" to receive 20% off your purchase! The offer is good through August 31st. Give them a shoutout of thanks on Twitter at @IdeaPaint.