Friday, August 17, 2012

Favorite Find Friday: Wiffiti

We are finishing our first full week of the school year and it has been wonderful!  My new students are just delightful.  I have 18 in person and 18 on TV.  This is my first year to teach students in both north and south Louisiana at the same time, so it was important to me to foster a sense of community from the first day.  Typically, I would do just one "get to know you" activity and then move straight into content for the rest of the year, but a colleague said that she was doing a team building exercise everyday for the first week, because she found it helped her Calculus and Physics to establish collaborative relationships through the ice breaker games.  I figured if she was investing the time with students who probably knew at least a few other students in the class, I should do at least that much to cultivate relationships with students whom I had never met and between students from two different ends of the state.
As this week's bell ringer activities, we began the Time Capsule Project, completed an Interest Inventory, Mapped the Classroom (students in both schools created a diagram to keep in their notebooks to show where classmates at the other school were sitting), took a Faculty Facts quiz, and did #MyFavFriday activity, "About Me in a Tweet" via Wiffiti.
Let me just start by saying that this is by far the coolest thing we did all week to connect with one another!  The idea was adapted from Sarah's Math = Love "First Days" post in which students were to finish the sentence "Math is..." in 140 characters.  Sarah had a fantastic graphic for students to complete, but rather than have the students submit paper "tweets" (a challenge when EVERYTHING has to be faxed between schools), I used Wiffiti, an online message board.  The activity's' directions, "Using only 140 characters, tell us about yourself.  Post your response to Wiffiti."  I had created a Wiffiti board prior to class time and uploaded a first day class picture along with a message with the directions.
With Wiffiti, students did not need a Twitter account, because the website had a space for them to type their response, but those with Twitter or Instagram were able to upload their pictures using the class #hashtag.  As the responses began rolling in, the students in both locations went crazy as they saw classmates from 250 miles away communicating in real time through the use of their cell phones and computers.  Why was this so exciting when kids do this daily via texting and email?  It had to be that their messages were displayed jumbo-tron style through the class projector and on every computer screen in the room.  The squeals of delight said it all!


Sarah said...

I love it! This is why I love the power of the mathblogosphere. I read a post about writing a tweet about what trig is. Then, I decided to have my students write a tweet about what math is and blogged about it. Then, you read my post, and decided to have your students write a tweet about who they were.

Cindy said...

Sarah - it was you! Your post definitely saved me the other night when I was in a panic about what to do. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the inspiration:) I would never have thought of it had I not read what you were doing.

Ms. Laster said...

I'm so glad to read about your great experience with Wiffiti. I tried it last week with our new teacher orientation, and it was a fail. :( But after your positive experience, I'm willing to try it again! Thanks for sharing!

Cindy said...

Oh definitely try again. Did the participants just not know how to upload comments or was it something else? The students loved it so much that we are adding more pictures of classroom activities to share with parents at Back to School night.

Ms. Laster said...

Their responses weren't appearing. I finally got 2 texts & 2 tweets to appear. One of our new teachers had used it in his previous school, and he said it sometimes takes a while for responses to show on the screen...but since you've had such success, I'll give it another go! :)