Recap Activities by Dr. Bryan Drost

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In May of last year, I became really excited after I saw a Facebook post about using the Recap tool. It was the first time in a while that I had truly seen a tech-tool that I could setup on the fly—and, it has truly been proven to be no-prep. Since then, I have incorporated it into professional learning for adults, activities for students, and have even found ways to sneak it into an online book study that I am leading.

Even though I’m engrossed with the tool, it’s not enough for you to take my word for it. I encourage you to try out some of the following activities—activities that not only get at the intent of standards, but also encourage students to function from a 21st Century standpoint.

Setup your recap by following the instructions here:

Then try one of these:

Math: Give students several math problems related to the major work of the grade; students solve the problem and then explain how they did it on Recap. The classroom teacher then shares the videos for students to see the different approaches to problem-solving. Students can even discuss which video is the most efficient or most accurate. The teacher has a list of artifacts to support whether or not students are developing appropriate conceptual understandings.

Social Studies: Determine a central theme: perhaps causes of the American Revolution. Students jigsaw several readings (using a close format) that share different perspectives on the causes of the American Revolution; students discuss these perspectives in small groups; each student creates a Recap articulating and supporting his opinion regarding which cause was most significant.

Language Arts: In early elementary grades, point of view and perspective are important topics for students to really understand. Have students start by reading a story with several characters in it (Try Dear Mrs. LaRue) Have students adopt one of these characters’ personas. Then, have the two students have a video-conversation, dialoguing about a topic from the perspectives of the two characters. This can then easily turn into a written composition once students have fleshed out their understandings of the text.

Science: Before mixing two chemicals during a lab, the teacher asks students to predict what will happen by answering a Recap; similar responses are grouped; students within those groups investigate the possible options before completing the experiment.

Physical Education: The teacher starts by modelling a task in Recap, perhaps: throwing stance; students then Recap themselves doing the same stance. Students then self-assess using a rubric and the teacher follows-up with additional feedback in the Recap tool to see if students’ self-assessments match the teacher’s interpretation in this formative assessment.

World Languages: Management of interpersonal conversations in the target language is one of the most challenging tasks that world language teachers do. Why not try using recap to get around this? Set the recap up between two students or a small group. Provide students with an interpersonal conversation topic, such as the following: after researching recipes, menus, short descriptions of foods, etc., students will exchange information about how the traditional foods of their region are prepared and served.

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