Back to the Future: More Low-Tech Activities for a
High-Tech Classroom

2013_Heyer_SandraSandra Heyer

In a previous newsletter, I described my state-of-the-art classroom and its hidden drawback: It was making my students and me a little lazy. I was glued to a high-tech console, and my students were glued to the seats of their sleek gliding desks. Concerned that our sedentary class-style might have a detrimental effect on our health, I looked for a remedy.

Fortunately, the problem caused by technology had an easy low-tech solution: simple interactive activities that got us out of our seats and moving around. We took a look at two activities, the Moving Line and Conversation Stations. In this article, let’s consider the Walking Dictation and Find Your Match.

Activity 3: Walking Dictation (also called Messenger and Scribe)
Levels: All

Almost any text suitable for dictation can be the basis of a walking dictation. Because students do this activity independently, it is best to choose a text that is a little less challenging than one you might dictate yourself. During a walking dictation, half of the students are out of their seats at any given time.

  1. Number each sentence in the text to be dictated. Then post the text on a wall in the classroom or outside in the hallway. (If you have a large class, you will need to post more than one copy.) Alternately, you could scatter single numbered sentences on walls around the room.SH_5
  2. Students pair up. Student A stays seated. Student B walks to where the text is posted and memorizes a sentence.
  3. Student B returns to Student A and recites the sentence. Student A writes it down.SH_6.
  4. Halfway through the activity, students switch roles.
  5. Write the text on the board or project it on a screen so that students can check their writing. Continue reading