One of my favorite tools in the classroom is the Discovery Education #SpotlightOnStrategies (SOS) series of digital media integration ideas. This collection of research based, tried and true, fun ways to integrate digital media into the classroom experience saved my teaching at one point. Shortly after I had really gotten involved with the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) and the opportunities to build digital media learning in my classroom, I was introduced to SOS. I tucked these integration ideas into my back pocket and saved them for a rainy day. That year, it POURED. We had three teachers in one grade level out on maternity leave, another leave due to a military transfer, and another who had major surgery. In addition, some of our long term subs weren’t working out. Simply put, our building was strapped for substitutes. As a specials block/rotation teacher, I was routinely pulled to help cover classrooms that were in varying degrees of learning and learning readiness.
In order to meet the needs, I started grabbing the PDFs that are available to help explain how to use the SOS strategies. My go-to strategy at the time was A-E-I-O-U but over the years, some of my favorites include Four to One, Six Word Story, and Three Questions (a new strategy introduced in November 2016). There are lots of others (more than 100 as I previously mentioned) and they can be found by logging in to Discovery Education (if you haven’t set up your log in which is campus specific or can’t remember it, contact your LT to assist you), choose Professional Learning, then choose Strategies and Resources, and scroll down to SOS.
The same day that I wrote this blog, I saw something come through my email. So glad that teachers like Brandy Haynes (Taylor Elementary) who are willing to share what they are doing.