Warm-Ups Should Be Replaced With Student-Led Investigation and Problem Solving

Growing up, almost every class I had started with a warm-up. I will start by saying, there are benefits to using warm-ups in the classroom. They are great ways for students to practice what they know and they help with classroom management by getting students started as soon as they sit down. But, are our students engaged? Are some of your students not working out the problems because they know you will go over them anyway?

For the past year, I have been trying to come up with a way to get rid of warm-ups in my classroom. My first concern was that I wouldn’t have time to go over the mistakes I was seeing in class. I think a lot of teachers, like me, are scared to let go of some control in their classroom.

By using Google drawings, you can get students captivated by problem solving. Just start by creating one for this year! Do not feel like you have to make one every day. Just start with one and watch the difference it makes for your students.

Steps on Creating a Google Drawing Problem With a Hidden Answer Gif

Step 1: Work out the problem on several slides on PowerPoint or Google Slides!

Step 2: Now we will make a gif from using Google slides. Use Screencastify, a screen video recorder, to record a presentation of your slides! Turn on your screen recorder, present the slides that work out the problem, then turn off your screen recorder. Find your recorded video in your Screencastify library, then click the save to disk (down arrow) button. Click on export animated gif and wait for your gif to save. Once your gif is downloaded, save it to your desktop.

Step 3: Go to Google Drawing and design your problem. Make sure to include images that capture your students attention and inspire curiosity. Click insert, image, and find the gif you created on your desktop. Then, put a shape over your gif to “hide” the secret answer. Tell your students where it is after they have spent time investigating and problem solving.

Here is a free template of this activity if you want to use it or alter it for your own investigation problem! Sign on to your Google account, click on the link below, make a copy, and it will appear on your Google Drive!

The Chocolate Problem Template

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