Here's a fun App "icardsort" I've been using on my iPad for small group activities and processing sessions. (I'm not sure if this App is available on other operating systems.) You make your own word or number cards - one-word cards have been working out well for me - creating decks for all sorts of applications.
To the right is a screen shot of a Word Circle Puzzle from WCP 18s Decks. (Don't know about Word Circle Puzzles? Check out this previous post.) Here's the "sort" part. Once you make your decks you can then touch on a card and move it around the screen. Notice up in the left hand corner of the screen. Cards can be different colors and you can also change the font. Using pinch gestures you can even make the cards bigger of smaller. Great for Word Circle Puzzles!!
I've also started making decks of Debrief Cards. Shown here are some of the cards in my Feelings Deck (notice these cards are much bigger on the screen - again, pinch gestures to resize cards). I originally created this deck for a group specifically working on feelings literacy - navigating their way through understanding the feelings and emotions they've been experiencing in their lives.
With one of my recent groups I creating one-word cards as I progressed through activities. Words came from one-word Whip Arounds we did, words I heard them say during activities, and words they shared during processing sessions. (I did let the group know at the start of the program what I was doing with the iPad.) Then, for a closing we reviewed the words and were able to reflect on specific experiences. The group also had time to pick out their three most "powerful" words - words they wanted to remember about their program.
As with anything, the right prop at the right time. So far pulling out the iPad with the right group has been a positive experience for me. I certainly hooked the "Apples" in the crowd and brought in a piece of tech to engage the tech-savey youth.
Give this one a try - lots of fun! Let me know about your Decks!! Share in the comments below.
All the best,
The other day, for one of my classes, I pulled out one of my favorite puzzles that helps me to emphasize making assumptions (and being stuck in them). When I first started using this puzzle, I presented it in the way I learned it. I wrote the following letters on a white board or a large flip chart paper: D, O, N, W, O, E, R. I then challenged the group (or several small groups) with this task: "Using all the letters provided, spell one word."
Recently, I picked up a few sets of these letters at a craft store - small wooden letters - thinking a more hands-on approach to the puzzle might be more engaging (also eliminating the need for something to write on). However, with this recent class it turned out to be less engaging for most of the small groups. When they poured the letters out of the bag some of the letters seemed to "fall into" words which quickly lead to the answer of the puzzle - so, even before the directions could put them into the typical assumption, the answer was revealed. SPOILER ALERT - Answer on the way......the answer to the challenge is "one word." After this experience I came up with a way to change my delivery when using the small wooden letters to see if this would keep the assumption alive:
Step One: Each group is given the letters - N, D, E. The challenge: Using all the letters provided, spell one word. (Possible Answers: Den, End, Ned - if you accept proper nouns). Easy Enough. Also a nice way to talk about how identical resources can be used in different ways, often more than one answer to a challenge.
Step Two: Have someone pick up the letter "O" from me (or I can go hand them out). Same challenge. (Possible Answers: Done, Node)
'Okay, nice work. Let's keep increasing the challenge!"
Step Three: Add in the "R" (Answer: Drone) [Words in other languages??]
Step Four: Add in the "W" (Answers: Wonder, Downer)
"Okay, one final challenge!"
Step Five: Add in the second "O" to the same challenge. (Answer: ONE WORD)
Here is where your facilitation style comes in as you move your group through to the end of this challenge. Will groups collaborate? Share their answer? Hide their answer? How do people react to the answer? What if there is a word in another language using all the letters? Diversity? All possible answers have yet to be found? How does resilience fit into this activity?
Now, I'm not sure if this sequential process will keep the groups(s) within the assumption of a single word answer, but I'm going to give this version a try next time. (Of course, don't forget to bring up all the wonderful learning that presents itself through the process.)
Let me know how it goes for you. Leave a comment below.
All the best,
On Sale Now!
Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.