**Using Playing Cards to Support a Dynamic Learning Environment**

**Playing Cards for the Photo Classroom**

__Randomly Generate Critique Pairs__

First, the teacher counts the number of pairs they want to create. If there are 20 students, or 10 pairs, then the teacher separates out two suits of cards, Ace through 10 and shuffles. Each student picks a card and finds the person with his or her matching number. If there are an odd number of students in the class, like 21, then the teacher chooses 2 suits from Ace to 10, but includes an additional Ace. This will create one group of three, which will critique round robin style. In other words, when all three students are facing each other, each critiques the work of the person on his or her right.

__Who Will Speak for the Team?__

Whoever draws the highest card wins (because it is an honor to speak for one’s team).

__Random Student Selector__

Distribute a series of one suit, like from 8-King, and tell students to not reveal their card. The teacher holds the same series in a different suit and draws from his series to pick students.

__Who Goes First?__

This card trick is helpful when playing games. Whoever draws the highest card wins because it is an honor to first.

__What Order Do We Go In?__

Each student draws from a series of cards, all from one suit, to determine the order. If there are more than 14 people, then designate another suit to represent 15-28.

__Extra Credit__

Have a list of 13 important questions posted in the classroom. Each class one person is chosen (could be from the alphabetical listing on the roster) and they pick a card to choose which extra credit question they must answer for the extra credit. Questions may change over time.

__Apertures__

Using the ace-10 cards, black cards represent 1-10 and red cards represent 11-20 (add 10 to each card). When a student draws a card they must name the next whole aperture number. For example, if they draw a 5, the answer would be 5.6. Or if they draw an 8, the answer would be 11.

__Application Exercises__

Application Exercises are designed to encourage critical thinking among students.

To begin, put students into groups of 3-5 and give each group cards from Ace to 5.

Come up with hypothetical situations where photography students have to make choices and think critically as part of their image making. For each scenario, offer students 5 realistic options for choices they can make. For example:

If you were going to photograph a football game, what shutter speed would you most like to use to capture the action. Why?

1. 1/15th

2. 1/60th

3. 1/125th

4. 1/250th

5. 1/500th

Questions allow students within groups to discuss and choose a single group answer for how they would express the motion in the football game. They must also justify why they chose the answer they did and why they didn’t choose the other answers.

When all groups are ready the teacher calls on all the groups to simultaneously raise the card with the number they chose. Each group justifies its answer and can discuss with other teams why they chose the answers they did. Some groups will want to freeze action, some may choose to pan, and some may choose to express motion with a slower shutter speed. The topic brings up a great discussion on the effects of shutter speed in a photo.