Stealth Teaching

homework cartoonStudents hate homework. I did. I do my best not to overwhelm my students with homework; unfortunately, it is sometimes a necessary evil. The axiom “Practice makes perfect” is around for a good reason. The key to successful homework is creating practice that will engage students. I am delving more and more into the world of technology in learning, and I have discovered what I have called “stealth teaching.”

Teens and Technology

social media treeStudents have a natural affinity for technology. According to statistics reported by PEW Research Center, self-labeled as “a non-partisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world” technology is inextricably entrenched in teens’ lives. They report that

92% of American teens go online daily, including 24% who go online ‘almost constantly.'”

Given how much time teens spend online, it is even more important for educators to help them to see the Internet not just as a toy, but as a tool. , a high school student said on the Huffington Post , “The youth of today have a voice like we never have before. Social media can be an awesome environment to encourage each other, communicate with people and share our stories.” As a teacher, I have found that tapping into that excitement about online communication has allowed me to make practice enjoyable for my students.

Technology as a Tool

cartoon ninja typingAn example on my classroom website, Logophiles Unleashed, is an extra credit opportunity I have given my students. In less than one week, more of my students have already completed this work than typically do such an assignment overall. The quality of the writing also indicates that the students were mindful of vocabulary and mechanics as they wrote. This work is directly in line with my state’s TNReady standards and Common Core, but far more enjoyable for my students. Ninja Teaching!

I have also created study aids on Quizlet for some of my tests. I am new to Quizlet, so I took it for a test drive with one of my classes to see what they thought of it. It was a hit! I only required that they review the flashcards once and take one review, but they started competing with each other for the best times and scores and tried all of the reviews. They spent far more time than I had anticipated. They used the next set to review themselves at home. Again, because this is technically a social media platform, they were able to see how their classmates had done, and were attempting to “one-up” each other, never realizing that they were learning. To them, they were playing an on-line game. To me, I had made them study for a test. Ninja teacher strikes again!

stern ninja cartoon
Ninja teacher strikes again!

 

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7 thoughts on “Stealth Teaching

  1. Very cool site. I went into one of the quizzes, and have to admit that i would not be getting an A in your class. There were 457 types of nouns (it seemed), never heard of a few of them. I salute the kids who learn all that.
    Like the idea of the site letting kids recommend books, as I assume that increases the number of books they read, as well as give them practice writing about their ideas.

    Like

  2. Love your site! I taught English for seventeen years (just quit this year to pursue a less frenetic life, but I do miss my students!). I used Quizlet these past few years with great success. One of the great things about Quizlet is that for a fee of (I forget exactly how much) a small amount, you can not only set up the quizlet, but also load pictures that go with the vocabulary you’ve posted. Kids loved it. Oh, I love your term, “Stealth Teaching.”
    Keep on keepin’ on! And kudos to you for doing what you love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I know I will miss my kids when I eventually retire or move on to something else. I have looked at the Quizlet paid program, and it is very affordable! I’m using Socrative (how serendipitous is that?) as well for actual testing, and even for free I can put pictures on the tests. The kids are loving all the tech! I’m just wish I had used more even earlier!

      Liked by 1 person

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