1. Rules & Procedures
Starting off the school year with a list of what not to do, or a rules lecture creates a culture of compliance. I want out of the box thinking, risk-taking, boundaries being pushed with innovative ideas. So how do I set the tone for what my classroom is all about?
While I do feel the need to go over some classroom expectations, I try doing it a memorable way. I have created a slide show of memes that illustrates behaviors that I don't like in a very humorous way. This lets kids know that while I do have expectations about how they conduct themselves in my class, learning can be fun...even when learning about rules.
At the end of the slides, I give them the chance to create memes about teacher behaviors that annoy them. It's only fair, right?
- Communicating my expectations for how students conduct themselves in my classroom.
- Learning what students like/dislike about teacher behaviors.
- Students learn to create slide memes in a task that has a low cognitive load, developing familiarity with the task so that when we use this skill later with academic content, they are not overwhelmed.
2. Daily (or weekly) Current Events Protocol
Explore: Students go to https://www.cnn.com/cnn10 to watch a ten minute video that highlights several top news events.
Explain: Students spend five minutes creating a meme in a shared slide deck. It takes less than one minute to make a meme, and it can be made on a slide. The first few times will take longer if your students are new to meme making-if you don’t know how this is done see the video tutorial below. The other four minutes are for thinking of the idea for the meme.
Share: The ten-minute news videos explain multiple current events which allow for a fun way to check for understanding. Students can choose the news story that they find intriguing and create their meme for the chosen story. When the meme making task is complete, spend five minutes (or less) going through the slide show in presentation format and allow students to guess which news story each meme reaction is from.
3. Lit Memes
4. What Does It Meme?
My friend, Kevin Feramisco, was creating a Grammar Hyperdoc and looking for ideas...I sent him a MEME:
5. History Memes: What if I told you...
Write a post on the History page of your website that responds to the following prompt: Do you think it’s important that we still teach ancient Greek philosophy? Why or why not? Use your meme as an image to enhance your post.
How do you make a meme using Google Slides?
The video is super "cringy," and my students would spend the rest of the year playing the "Hey guys... it's your guide on the slide" part at random just to shame me for my terrible intro. I compared it with them starting an essay with "I'm gonna tell you about…" so I guess we are even.
Click HERE to get a meme template slide deck. Remember to click on "file" and then click "make a copy" so that it will be yours.