Sometimes All You Need is a Good Jam


“We did it!”  I leaned back in my chair and clapped my hands in celebration.

“Yeah!  We did it!”  T echoed the excitement of discovery!

“Tell your mom.  Just yell to mom to tell her we did it!”

Twenty four hours earlier, I learned of Jamboard.  A google feature that could be used as a white board, with cool post-it’s, and the ability to insert google images!  Once I figured it out, I could share link with child/parent ahead of our scheduled google meet and the child could work on their own board, right in front of me!  I was going to be able to watch a child work – actually see what they were doing.  Yes, the introduction of Jamboard and it’s possibilities had my mind buzzing with ideas.

I started playing, on my own to learn first hand. I played and I began to imagine each child using the board. I imagined Maria building words with tiles prior to writing.  I thought, “This might just provide the visual scaffold and manipulation work she needs during her meets.”  I imagined Vicky pulling down the snap words to build phrases on her own.  I imagined a frame with images of words that followed a particular pattern.  I imagined all the second graders building and writing and creating from those pictures.  I began to imagine more interactive meets!

The next day, my hopes were I high, I was excited.  I had learned and was ready to test it out by teaching.

My first Jamboard meet was a complete flop.  I had failed to turn on link sharing and in order to keep Maria engaged, I had to make the most of what we had in front of us.

Later that day, my excitement still bubbling, I got on with another second grader and after a few directions, “OK, Tom, click the present, click share a window, click my picture, click the blue share button.  Good.  Now, look at the top, and click the tab at the top that has the orange J.  So far so good, Tom.  Now, try to move one of the tiles.”  “OH, I did it!  I can move them, Mrs. Sherriff!”  I watched on my screen as he manipulated the tiles and then before I knew it, we were sharing the screen.

Our meet then became less about reading and more about playing with the Jamboard together.  We played with the eraser and the writing pen.  I made post-it’s.  He made post-its.  We were discovering the Jamboard and how we could use it to both teach and learn.

About half way through our time together, Tom accidentally bumped himself off the meet. Out of our google meet, but on the Jamboard together, I couldn’t talk to Tom but I could write him a message –


There are a lot of things I miss about school, about my school.  What I miss most is the energy that comes from teaching and learning together.  I think last week, I got a taste of that delicious energy.  Lucky for me, that same energy was there again today.

Sometimes, it’s our own learning that becomes contagious and spreads to others.  Even in the midst of distance learning and with the world swirling with uncertainty, we’ve got to keep learning.  We’ve got to keep striving to learn, to do and be better, so we can create that energy that matters most in teaching and learning and pass it on the children.


5 thoughts on “Sometimes All You Need is a Good Jam”

  1. Of course you are finding new ways to connect with students and to find joy in your teaching. That is how you are built! Your students are SO lucky! I’ve been playing with Jamboard this week too. I’m planning to try it with Book Clubs. You’ve given me a vision of how it can work in other settings.


  2. I just learned about Jamboard and am so excited about the possibilities. I feel like the learning now is becoming about more authentic ways to teach and this makes me hopeful. Thanks for capturing this possibility!


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