Introduction

Across the country and throughout our great state, classrooms are transforming in an effort to engage students in meaningful learning. Teachers are revamping their teaching styles and lessons to reach students in a way that is fun and memorable.

Using the "Speed Dating" Model to Enhance Student Learning

As a secondary social studies teacher, I had to become extra creative in order to find ways to make learning historical content and skills fun and exciting. I knew lectures and workbooks would keep the learner in a sedated state. So how could I bring learning to life and get students to learn without even realizing it?

In this blog, I will share out my speed dating activity and how I used in my 11th grade social studies classroom. Speed Dating The great thing about this activity is that it allows your students to explore a large amount of content in a 45 or minute class period and can be used in any subject area. Students work individually, in pairs, and then collaboratively. Initially, I thought I was a genius but after researching, I realized it was not some new, unheard of idea. I introduced this activity in my Progressive Era unit. To better understand how it works, here is my breakdown for the period.

Speed dating activity

This is explained with 24 students, and 12 different people being showcased. This leads to a discussion by groups and then as a whole class to introduce the lesson.

In the graphic below, these students shared the same letter. Together, the duo is assigned a person during the Progressive Era that was either a muckraker or reformer. A formatted version of this activity should print from your browser omitting this support section. This activity does not conform to any of the models listed in the 'Activities by Model' section so it's included in a miscellaneous group. For other miscellaneous activities click here. The dates in our case come from the subject-matter of our Study in Development on Medicine through Time.

The objectives of the activity are to revise and reinforce key facts and concepts from the MHT Study in Development by means of a fast-paced but with time for reflection , fun activity involving discussion. This description assumes a class of 30 pupils, so scale down by judicious withdrawal of the sheets below if appropriate. Be sure to take out ones that match! Each sheet has a scoring record for pupils to keep and make brief notes as they go along — useful for the debriefing.


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We are concerned with match-making, but provision of chocolates and romantic mood-music is entirely optional! You will find the instructions set out on the attached PowerPoint. A card with a number on each desk helps.

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Each pair of pupils has one minute to share information orally they are not allowed to swap or show sheets and decide how well Date and Treatment match. They can go and sit with their Match once it is agreed they are the best match. The PowerPoint takes the Treatments first in the debriefing, finding Dates to match. With comments, these are:. Pare died but proved stone no cure-all for poisons. Use of Bezoar lasted cf.

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Note rich person going to doctor. Who was the god? Why did such treatments work? It is important to pay attention to time during the activity. Each round has to be long enough for the students to gather some information and short enough to get to each panelist during the activity. A stopwatch and a whistle are essential equipment. Most important is to leave time for reflection for the students.

Using “Speed Dating” to share facts and opinions in the classroom | Tarr's Toolbox

At the end of the experience, have students work in their pairs to discuss what they learned. Ask them to synthesize their learning and report to the group their general conclusions. Then, create an opportunity for each student, or pair of students, to share what they learned with the rest of the class.

This sharing can be done in class or in a written format, which can be compiled and distributed to the entire class. The feedback in my class following this activity confirmed for me that this format was a richer learning experience than a traditional panel discussion.

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One student remarked that she felt they were getting a special backstage pass to connect with professionals in their field. The activity allowed for deep learning and sparked inquiry into the profession that carried throughout the semester. Contemporary pedagogical theory put into practice.