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August 9, 2023

How Teachers Use Pear Deck to Engage Learners of All Ages

With each new school year comes an opportunity for teachers to use Pear Deck to engage learners of all ages in a way that excites and encourages them to fearlessly dive into every subject and lesson. Pear Deck makes this even easier by enabling them to answer questions, provide feedback, and engage with content directly from their devices.

We spoke to some current and former educators who use Pear Deck regularly to provide fellow teachers with their tips for grabbing students’ attention and helping them remain engaged throughout the year.

What are teachers saying?

"I incorporate attendance questions, brain breaks, and temperature checks to break up content, engage SEL conversations, and build relationships with students. In addition to this, I use Giant Steps [Pear Deck’s gamified digital learning sister product] to allow students to practice their newly learned skills in a fun, non-threatening environment. I love that my students are paired with teammates to practice and engage with the lecture content delivered with Pear Deck. My students build relationships and trust, making my classroom a place to safely take risks.” 

Nicole DeGidio (@nicoleshaw880), English, ESL, Instructional and Technology Coach, Grades 6-12, Clayton Ridge Community School District, Iowa

"My favorite way to use Pear Deck is to be intentional with planning when it comes to SEL check-ins and brain breaks. Allowing students to do this at the beginning of a lesson provides such great insight to either check in with them or track that information for a referral to the guidance counselor or prompt a phone call home. 

In addition to this, students NEED time to get up and move in order to increase their engagement and attention. Many times as a classroom teacher, I found myself wanting to do these more, but struggled to find the time. When I planned my lessons out with Pear Deck, I was able to arrange for these ahead of time and make it happen!"

Stevie Frank (@steviefrank23), Technology Integration, Zionsville Community Schools, Indiana

"My students love using Pear Deck to share thoughts, make connections, and illustrate their ideas. The use of the draw feature allows them to express themselves and showcase their understanding in creative ways. The anonymity of Pear Deck makes them feel comfortable to take risks, show mistakes, and gain insights into what their peers are thinking. Every voice gets heard, which allows me as an instructor, to celebrate their success!”

Steph Sukow (@Steph_Sukow), English, Grades 9-12, Crystal Lake South High School, Illinois

“I like to start my Pear Deck lessons with a ‘Think Outside the Box’ drawing where I ask students to turn a simple drawing into something else. They often try to think of something different that their other classmates might not have drawn. Then I share all of the drawings with the class to see what everyone else drew. The students love this and always ask for more!”

Megan Park (@Ms_Park7), Language, Science, Health, Dance, Drama, Grades K-6, Charles Bowman PS, Ontario, Canada

"Using Pear Deck to incorporate diverse spelling activities keeps learners engaged, accommodates different learning styles, and keeps the learning experience fresh and exciting.

Some ideas include:

  • Text Slide - Add customized audio to this interactive slide to allow students to type the word they hear. 
  • Choice Slide - Use this slide in the traditional way by adding words, phrases, or sentences to the options. 
  • Number Slide - Create a word search and ask students to enter the number of words they found in the puzzle. 
  • Website Slide - App smash with Pear Deck by including a video for students to view that reinforces the spelling pattern or rule. Be sure to embed your video on the slide to preserve one-tab learning. 
  • Draw Slide - Display spelling words with missing letters. Students can use the drawing tool in Pear Deck to write the missing letters directly on the slide. 
  • Draggable - Get creative! Scramble the letters of the word then assign a number to each letter. Students arrange the draggable number items to unscramble the spelling word.

Remember to incorporate other interactive features like drawing tools, Immersive Reader features, Pear Deck Power-Up, or Flashcard Factory to actively engage students.”

Tanisha Robinson (@truelephantlove), Digital learning specialist supporting PreK - Early College educators, Fort Worth Independent School District, Texas

“I use Pear Deck for every math lesson. It allows students to follow along on their own devices, interact during the lesson, and provides me instant feedback of each student anonymously so I can make sure I’m helping everyone (even the quiet ones!). I also recently started using Giant Steps to help review concepts before tests and quizzes. Students absolutely LOVE creating their own unique avatars to play with, working together in teams, and the different ways to answer questions (drawing, specifically).”

Brandie Schroeder (@MrsSchroeder3), Science, Social Studies, Math, ELA, Grade 5, Central Elementary School, Indiana

“I have students use the draw tool in Pear Deck to annotate a short text, then use the overlay view to highlight similarities and differences in ideas and annotations.”

Conchetta Carbone (@mscarboneisloud), Science, Grade 6, South Middle School, New York

As you can see, there are an unlimited number of ways to use Pear Deck to bring learning to life for your students! Remember to get creative, and be sure to share some of your own engagement practices with us on Twitter (@PearDeck).


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