10 Dec Teacher Resources: 15 Ways to Use Verso App
Guest post by Kevin Zahner
My first impression of Verso was that it would be a great way to introduce a lesson cycle. But as my students and I worked with the app, I realized that it can do so much more.
Here’s a list of activities that support building authentic literacy skills. But first, a quick note on establishing expectations for responses and comments.
1. Visual Analysis
2. Text Summarization
3. Inquiry-Based Learning
4. Plus / Delta
5. Jig Saw
This is another commentary routine – as opposed to “Yes, but …” When learners use this stem, they end up building the conversation regardless of the discrepancies.
This high-yield strategy has been proven many times over from Sesame Street to Marzano. It’s how we situate new knowledge in relation to what we already know.It’s important to make the response debatable. If the activity is to compare the interests of two characters, respondents will complete that part before including which interest was most critical to the development of each character.
In a sense, Verso app is a simulation that allows us to train learners to respond to problems with an audience in wait, not unlike social media or an open discussion during a business meeting.Everyone has made a post or two that they regret, right? What if our kids and colleagues develop a decorum that transfers to reading critically, writing responses to emails, and making useful and respectful social media contributions?In the hands of a good teacher, Verso app can facilitate awareness of ethical behavior, which is something we all want for our kids.
15. Revisiting Activities
Looking back at activities that were completed at the beginning of a lesson cycle, or even months ago, allows learners to see how much they’ve improved. We did this at the end of the year to reflect on the semester.My students found a lot of unanswered questions in the commentary, so that was our mission: answer the questions. They got right to work – searching google, asking neighbors, and reviewing other work they completed in class.
When we learn in an environment that allows us to document our thoughts in an atmosphere devoid of personal judgement, we can see the strength of our work in a social context. Verso points learners to the quality responses, allowing them to find their voice and grow more confident as contributors.