Friday, August 2, 2013

How I would run an independent study in school

During a training the other day a teacher was ruminating on the possibility of creating learning stations in math class. Of course it stuck in my head until I wrote it out. So here is my first thoughts on the concept.


There are a lot of math programs out that that allow a student to learn or supplement learning online. I’ll talk about implementing two of them. Khan Academy, because it is the 800 pound gorilla and Manga High because it seems to take an almost complete opposite approach to teaching math. Both are free for US educators.


Both have a full curriculum, both allow you to assign work to students, and both allow the teacher to monitor student progress.


What does the classroom look like?

Students are given the curriculum at the beginning of the year. Using an LMS I create learning modules. Students are given a choice each day.
  1. Learn what I am teaching
  2. Work a lesson in Khan Academy
  3. Work a lesson in Manga High
  4. Conference with me


Students who work on their own sit around the walls with the computers facing out so I can easily see if they are on task.


Every evening or during break I quickly check to see the progress of each student. I can add assignments to students as I see fit.


The assessment for each module consists of one or more of the following. Common assessment created on the LMS. reflection by student of standards learned, including their interpretation of the math concepts involved. Paper and pencil assessment.


Students should share their reflections on the general discussion board in the LMS so that later students can read if they get stuck.


Students who find themselves stuck, or in need of assistance can schedule a conference with me. (Even when teaching the later part of the period should be open for impromptu conferences). They can also check the discussion board for each unit. The answer might already be there or they can ask a question.


I wonder how you might do it?

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