Creating Controversy with Classtime
In this video, Mr Ridgway explains how he uses Classtime to create controversy and engage all students in his lessons.
Learn how to set up your own controversial prompts on Classtime, and find all of the resources that were mentioned at the end of the video.
Keys to Setting Up A Good Prompt for Controversy
1. Make sure that your prompt doesn’t have a definitive answer. It could eventually end in a right/wrong answer after you expose your students to the content of your class, but initially, it should be ambiguous.
2. Make clear to students that there is no right/wrong answer to the prompt for now.
3. You want to return to your prompt multiple times during the class (such as on Classtime or independently) in order to have your students reflect, update, or discuss their answers.
Hint: Avoid extremes: Doing a “one-and-done” prompt doesn’t help your students; returning to it more than a couple of times becomes too repetitive.
Making The Most of Classtime
1. Once students have the link to the prompt, make sure that you provide the appropriate amount of scaffolding for them, such as examples to think about. Depending on their age or how difficult the content is, they might need more/less support.
Hint: You can even provide them an external link on Classtime to more content for examples, such as Google Images, YouTube videos, and more.
2. Be sure to NOT validate or invalidate students’ answers. No answer is right or wrong, at least so far (see my example on a math prompt, for instance).
3. Make sure your session allows students to return to Classtime to modify their answers. See how to do this:
Resources from the Video
– Question Set: https://www.classtime.com/share/885b8…
– Controversy Prompts: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j…
– Slides: ‘The Salubrious Social Gospel & Wondrous Women’ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kqPQ…
This is a guest post written by Nate Ridgway, a tech-loving history teacher in Indianapolis, Indiana. He specializes in lesson design and differentiation, and also is licensed in Special Education Mild Interventions. He’s taught in both middle school and high school settings, but currently is enjoying teaching World History & Dual Credit U.S. History. He currently is working on finishing a Masters degree in History at the University of Indianapolis and serves on Classtime’s Pedagogical Advisory Board.
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