TeacherMade Helps Increase Student Engagement Through Multimedia Projects

We spoke with May Yang, a high school English teacher, about how she uses TeacherMade to increase student engagement, participation, and creativity. 

How Do You Use TeacherMade in Your Classroom?

I teach tenth and eleventh grade English in Minnesota. Although we are back in the classroom, some students still like the convenience of having digital assignments since they all have their own personal computers provided by the district. TeacherMade allows me to make digital versions of the lessons, which are more engaging for my students. Most of the time, my students have the option to complete a paper or digital assignment. I find this especially useful when students are absent. They can easily complete the assignment from home.

Which TeacherMade Features Do You Use When Creating Assignments?

TeacherMade has greatly helped me as a teacher. In some lessons, students use the annotation tools, such as draw and highlight, to mark examples of literary elements and then write about them in an Open Answer box. But what I really enjoy doing is using TeacherMade to create lessons that allow my students to link music, images, videos, and research articles as a way to "curate" information about a book or topic. For example, after reading the novel The House on Mango Street, I used TeacherMade to create an assignment in which my students could share information about themselves and show a connection to the novel. 

How Do You Use TeacherMade to Modify Other Assignments You Find Online?

I could have created a graphic organizer from scratch, but why reinvent the wheel? I took a graphic organizer about countries that I found online and used the Color Block and Teacher Text tools to modify the assignment for my purpose. With the Color Block, I covered all the existing directions. With the Teacher Text, I typed in my own directions. As far as my students were concerned, this was not a modified assignment at all. 

Which TeacherMade Features Do You Use Regularly?

By the way, the Color Block and Teacher Text tools are amazing. I can use them to modify one assignment into multiple uses. For example, I liked the graphic organizer but did not like the directions, so I changed the directions. I can continue to use that same graphic organizer for future assignments by modifying it and adding new directions.

Because The House on Mango Street is told in vignettes, I used the Open Answer box to have students write a vignette in response to a prompt. I also created two additional Open Answer boxes for students to write about a hope and a theme statement. Then I had the students link a song and insert an image that was meaningful to them. Finally, I had the students record themselves at home reading their favorite vignette from the book and link the recording to the assignment.

After I finished grading, I asked a few students in advance if I could show their assignments to the class. With their permission, I projected their assignments onto the large screen in the front of the classroom. Then the student or I read aloud the vignettes, showed the images, and played the songs and recordings. My students found this assignment engaging because it allowed them to showcase their understanding of the book in multiple ways. 

How Has Using TeacherMade Increased Student Engagement?

It was great for students to see how their classmates tackled an assignment and the creativity that shined. It helped them to better understand and appreciate one another. Not only that, after seeing other students' work displayed on the large screen, some other students emerged from their shyness. After I showed a few examples, several other students asked if I could show theirs, too, ultimately boosting participation. I find the assignment highly beneficial. It gives me insights into my students and how they take meaning from a story. My students have introduced me to cool and interesting music. The assignment is also great because I get to hear my students read, even the shy ones. 

How Has TeacherMade Helped You Connect With Your Students?

TeacherMade goes beyond auto-grading and writing. It allows students to showcase their learning and understanding using multimedia. As a teacher, whenever I grade these types of assignments, I always feel like I have a much better understanding of my students.

Click Here to View the Assignment in TeacherMade

TeacherMade helps Teachers create engaging online activities by providing interactive and multimedia features to let students show off their creativity.

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