Mr. Kamrowski

"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children." –Sitting Bull

App Tested: Stick Around

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Description

Stick Around  is a unique app that “allows individuals to play, design, and share sorting and labeling puzzles.”  Co-created by Tony Vincent from Learning Hand and the makers of Explain Everything, Morris Cooke–it is an intriguing app that I recently tried in my American History Class as a review activity.  Below is a video summary of the app.

Price

Regular=$2.99.  Students in our school can get it for free if they are logged into the App Store with their school email (We “purchased” hundreds of copies when it was offered for free on a special sale).

Lesson Objective

A simple review of content and concepts from the 1920’s.  Topics included the Red Scare, National Security vs. Civil Liberties, Politics of the 1920s, Culture Clash, Technology of the 1920s, and Popular Culture.

Procedures

  1. Have students download the app and allow them to play one of the preloaded games to understand what the app can do.  Ask students if they would like to learn how to create their own games/puzzles (I purposely did not make an example out of fear that they would all stick to my template.)
  2. Direct instruction of how to make a simple puzzle.  For our first go at it we stuck to the templates provided and kept it quite simple.
  3. Introduce students to the requirements for the task and place students in groups of two.  Assign each group a topic from the time period studied  Allow for time to work.Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 9.20.15 PM
  4. The next day, select four games and hold a tournament.

Reflections

The activity made it easy for me to spot who knew the material and who did not.  I had some good conversations with students about how they could organize their puzzles.  Indeed, if organized correctly, the design of the games itself could be used as a sort of higher order thinking assessment.

I also observed frustration with the app.  Many students, judging from the activity, have little patience and persistence when it comes to working with design software such as stick around.  Students dismissed the app quickly when they struggled.  Students certainly seem to be savvy in using technology to consume information but not so skilled when it comes to content creation.

I will certainly use the app in the future.  Indeed, I have created some puzzles for students to play with in the next unit.  I envision using this in my Advanced Placement History course to have students practice making groupings of documents for document based questions they will write.  Any type of sorting, labeling, and compare/contrast activities would fit in well with the stick around app.

Resources

My Students Created Puzzles–Block 1  Block 4

A puzzle I created about the Causes of the Great Depression

Stick Around Wiki–Any assortment of puzzles created by teachers

Stick Around Video Tutorials

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Author: Rob Kamrowski

My name is Rob Kamrowski and I have been a high school social study teacher of some years. Recently, I have accepted a position as an 8th grade American History teacher. I have taught a range of subjects from American History to Personal Finance to AP European History. I earned my Bachelor Degree in 2003, my Masters Degree in 2008, and strive to earn the respect of my students, colleagues and family every day of every year

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