Hyperdocs making Group Projects: Accountable and Creative

If you don’t know what a Hyperdoc is.. Hi, STOP! Go read Karly Moura’s blog because it’s pure gold on Hyperdocs. Then go look at my Hyperdoc home page and read some ideas of what could go into Hyperdocs.

Now, you may have thought, Hyperdocs are great individually paced differentiated learning tools, you would be correct. But they are also WONDERFULLY packaged group  projects that hold students accountable for completing work before they meet with the group and track student progress throughout the time. Let me show you what I mean…

For a longer group project Hyperdoc I always start out students with an individual section they must complete before they get into their groups. This ensures that students are not taking advantage of what the group has to offer and no one is exploited into doing all of the work from the beginning. This forces students to bring content and knowledge into their group and has resulted in MUCH better conversation and ideas from the get go. So here is an example of what an individual section of a Hyperdoc may appear as…

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(images would link to sites and Reform Movements would link to a pdf on some major reformers)

While this may appear very simple, many teachers want to get students started SO quickly in group work and activities that they skip students forming knowledge for themselves at their own pace. This is SUCH an important part of the process and students need this time to develop their own understanding before they can get into a group and start taking it into deeper levels of thinking forming opinions and creating with that content.

Step two of many of my group Hyperdocs is to get students into groups based on choice. I often will create a Google Form that is linked to the Hyperdoc that asks them to focus on one topic that they would like to study further and students are grouped that way. In the example below students are already put into groups/partners and are just selecting their choices on the form.

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Now that students have had some choice in the matter it’s time to use group time effectively. Students already have a foundation from their individual content or research done, but as a group they will build upon that knowledge now that they have a specific topic chosen. I always provide new group directions in a Hyperdoc that group members will go over before they divvy up work so that they have clear direction of what to do as a group. I will usually post this as a link to a Google Doc embedded into the Hyperdoc.

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Just because students are in a group doesn’t mean that they don’t still need individual responsibilities still. In those group directions or new group document I always make sure students have their own copy and must complete and turn in that document to make sure every student is accountable! This is especially during the planning process if students are creating something. 

Now this is the time in the project where students have researched as a group and have all of the content down and need to take it to a higher Bloom’s Taxonomy Level of learning. Students will then work as a group to create something (in this lesson it is a Public Service Announcement on a reformer, in another lesson it may be a timeline of a war in story format). Whatever it is, this is the time where you need to give the group choice in how they create what they create. Examples are DEFINITELY necessary, so make or borrow some already created ones and have the whole group watch and critique those. 

List LOTS of different applications or websites groups can use to create what they would like. I usually give them 5 options as to not overwhelm and have one option be other so if they would like to explore further they may. Usually I do it in this format so that students can just click on the pictures that are embedded links to try it all out before they create!

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Then they create something amazing and they work forever long at school and home and ta-da amazing group project. Anywho, hope this helped. I love Hyperdocs, I love ditching the textbook and designing authentic learning activities like this! Hope this helps.

Technology and Interactive Notebooks

This is 100% inspired by Ditch the Book writer Matt Miller using sketch notes and incorporation of technology. Go check him out if you haven’t already.

Now, on to what has worked in my room..

computer-and-pencil1Student’s need to use both the PENCIL and the COMPUTER. Interactive notebooks work SO SO well with full GAFE implementation.

What are Sketch Notes?

Sketch notes are awesome if taught correctly. To start students out I show them this video that kind of teaches them the difference between doodling and sketching with a purpose.

Now, since I have ditched the textbook I would have them take Sketch Notes using the technology. For example, as an introductory unit to Industrial Revolution students are reading a poem on the Industrial Revolution and annotating that as a whole class. After completing that it would go in the left side of their interactive notebook, because left side is kind of like whole class left brained stuff while right side tends to be individual student created stuff. If you need help here..


What technology goes with the Sketch Notes?

My two favorite technology tools to have students do Sketch Notes with are Hyperdocs (as maybe a culminating activity at the end of the Hyperdoc) OR Slidebooks. Not all of my Hyperdocs are like this, but say a Hyperdoc with some reading, activities, and videos ask students to take notes on the side. They could choose to do that OR they could take sketch notes in their interactive notebook. Choices! Here’s an introductory Slidebook to the Industrial Revolution by the awesome Matt MacFarlane (I have a few posted on my site, more to come.) You could have students use this at the beginning of the unit to take sketch notes to preview what is going to come. My students LOVE the freedom of their notes and the ability to work at their own time on each slide.

Can students really use both at once?

You might think, too much multi-tasking come on. I have found that students remember much more for some reason and perform higher on task when using both the notebook and the computer in comparison with just Google Drive notes or just the interactive notebook and a worksheet or textbook. While this is just the very beginning of students starting their sketch notes look how well they work and flow from computer to text.