Team TLAC has written a lot about different uses of the chat function, especially different types of chat and their purposes and we’re excited to share more insights with you today. This clip from Nashville Classical’s Hasan Clayton teaching a lesson on the novel Freak the Mighty shows how Hasan uses the chat function to build community, keep momentum and ensure academic rigor. Here’s the Clip:
Building a classroom community is one of the most important aspects of in-person teaching, and is made more difficult by the online setting. From the beginning of the clip, however, you’ll notice Hasan gives students two opening questions for the Do Now– a Chat to Me question and a Chat to Everyone. Hassan uses the Chat to Me as an academic Check for Understanding to review key on the content knowledge—what’s the difference between nature and nurture– while the Chat to Everyone creates an opportunity for a playful moment in which students can connect- the sort of thing that’s often present in in-person classrooms, but difficult to build into the online setting.
As he does this Hasan also gives students a time constraint- four minutes. This is great for pacing and attention. It gives students enough time to complete their answers, but not so much time that it allows students’ focus to wane or negatively impacts momentum—instruction that’s too slow is especially troublesome online because a there’s always an alternative just a click away.
While students are writing, Hasan playfully narrates a few responses to the Chat to Everyone question—Students have to say whether they’d choose having one eye or two noses—but just enough to avoid having it compete with the Chat to Me question.
When it’s time to synthesize student responses to the Nature versus Nurture prompt, Hassan Show Calls a few of the answers students chatted. He is thoughtful about which student answers to lift up in order further the learning and his naming of the work of individual students further supports a strong classroom culture in which students are actively encouraged to participate and are praised for their contributions. This is all just within the first few minutes of class during a Do Now.
Thanks to Hassan for sharing his classroom with us.