As you plan the lessons that you’ll teach in the flexible classrooms, consider some of the ideas below from other FYW instructors who have taught in T126. If you have lesson ideas you’d like to share based on teaching in one of the flex spaces, please feel free to “leave a reply” at the bottom of the page.
Utilizing the LCD Screens
- For group writing/peer review: Students read a piece of student work and compose a joint peer review letter using the LCD screen instead of huddling around one student’s laptop. Using Google Docs is also helpful for group review and co-authoring.
- For group activities: Any kind of “reveal” on the LCD screens (e.g. group attempts at summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, documentation “competitions” with later discussion of differences, strengths, weakness, etc.).
- For a de-centered rhetorical situation/analysis activity: In groups of four or five, students are given a link to a piece of digital media (i.e. Chris Rock’s Twitter feed). They then brainstorm about the five parts of that media’s rhetorical situation using the mobile whiteboards. Reconvene as a class, and instead of showing the media on the main projector, have the class move over to each group’s LCD screen to discuss/share/present what they found.
Utilizing the Whiteboards
- Group activities: Use the whiteboards for any kind of activity where you normally ask students to work as a group such as brainstorming (any invention exercises), answering discussion questions, analyzing assignments, and doing grammar/style/documentation lessons (they love flipping them around for their reveals).
- For peer review: Analysis of sample student papers using whiteboards to document strengths/weaknesses.
- For discussion: Any kind of group activity/inquiry to document conversations and start broader discussions.
- For thesis “galleries”: Position the mobile whiteboards (in T126 only) around the room or in a long row in the middle of the room. Have each student write his/her thesis on a section of the whiteboard. Then ask students to walk around the space and offer feedback with dry erase markers on where they might expand or elaborate their central argument.
- Mini poster sessions for fieldwork: Working in groups, ask students to collect primary data from the field (via observations, interviews, and report their findings on their whiteboards in an IMRAD format (paying particular attention to “methods” and “results”). Have students arrange their boards around the room (for T126, this could be around the walls; for G121, boards can be placed upright on the table stands or on the wall rail systems) so that their peers can go around the space and review their work. Give students Post-It notes for them to record feedback on each group’s “methods” and “results” and leave the note on the group’s board. Ask students to comment specifically on how the methods might be improved and how the results might be interpreted.
Utilizing the Furniture
- Conference Room Layout: Set up the tables/desks down the center of the room so that students are facing each other. Not every piece of furniture fits together with the others, but it works to get students to engage with others.
- Circle with the Instructor: Set up the room with the furniture in a circle configuration and you, as the instructor, in one chair rather than at the lectern. This layout has the potential to facilitate more of a conversation with your students than a lecture. This layout is especially useful for those using G121, which has been equipped with a remote that the instructor can use to control the lectern computer.