Classroom ActionThe school year is coming quickly to an end. I’m trying to get some summer thoughts moving. One of the things I want to do is get an idea of how comfortable teachers are with the actual tech skills you need as a classroom teacher. I’ll probably send out a survey soon, I’m waiting for the boss to approve it.
The other thing I need to do is get an idea of what sort of PD you might want to come to over the summer and when best to present them. Please let me know in the comments or via email, but I also have this on my survey.
I was watching some students take a practice test earlier this week. They were using technology (phones mostly because they were juniors and seniors and didn’t have Chromebooks). What if we combined Padlet (Middle school teachers had a lot of fun learning and playing with this tool, 6th grade, 7th grade, Exploratory) with a phone or screen capture tools on a computer, to solve the practice problems and post them to a Padlet for discussion.
The discussion should not be about who is right, but how elegant is the solution? Why would you choose one method of solving the problem over an other? Etc…. A lot of the stuff I saw on the internet this week had this theme of a debate or discussion. For an example, using math debate in classroom
I remember a blog post years ago about using bell ringers to create a debate. The teacher would collect bell ringers on index cards and grab one that was wrong (not telling who it was of course) and put it on the overhead and discuss why or what thinking could have led to the wrong answer and how to correct it.
Today without an overhead I might ask students to put the answer on a Padlet or document camera anonymously and then pick one to discuss. I’m seeing more and more centers, maybe I just wasn’t paying attention before. The devices are one of the centers. See this one girl. She is concentrating intensely. This activity is writing practice so no you can’t substitute with technology.
These other kids, not so much.
This is a good lesson, that is why I choose to feature it. It is great to bring in leveled work for practice, but we can do intense creation on the computer as well. Yes there is a tech hurdle. We can work through it, we should work through it. If we never ask our students to do intense creative work on the computer we are short-changing our students and ourselves as teachers.
From the WebWe think we know how we learn, but there is a lot of undiscovered territory out there.
One thing we do is attempt to find patterns so we can do things automatically, without thinking. Like riding a bike.
What if you changed what it means to ride a bike?
As I was watching this a 3rd grader says, “I saw you watching Smarter Everyday. … I’m subscribed” Be warned you'll have to be smart if she's in your classroom next year.
It turns out that there is an #etcoaches chat. I’ll have to try to participate next month. here is the storify from last week. https://storify.com/ruckus2/etcoaches-april-2015-chat I really wanted to point out a few highlights.
- Most coaches estimate that only 5% to 15% of our teachers actually implement what we introduce.
- While superficially introducing a lot of apps in a short period of time is popular, no one thinks it is a good strategy. Instead we need to carve out time to let teachers play and practice using apps in actual lessons. Then we need time for the coach to follow-up, and create individual goals for each teacher.
- Trudacot is a great way to look at your current lesson and determine how well technology (or learning) is integrated.