Friday, August 12, 2016

Creating a Voice

I have finally done it. I am actually sitting down and forcing myself to write. I am very good at delaying this part of my reflection process. I am constantly thinking about ways to improve my craft. How to deliver a better lesson. How to have my students more engaged. How to put the learning back on them. I absolutely drag my heels when it comes to this part, but I am here. I am trying to work through a change I would like to implement for this school year.

I have spent the summer reading things from Mark Barnes (@markbarnes19) and his #hacklearning community, George Couros' (@gcouros) book: "The Innovator's Mindset", Drew Frank's (@ugafrank) #blogamonth community, and Jonathon Wennstrom's (@jon_wennstrom) #compelledtribe community. Needless to say, my head is always spinning from these great leaders and the information they share and create.

The last word here is what I would like to focus on for this year: creating. I am looking to implement a quarterly activity where I am asking my students to create something to show their learning for the marking period. I am envisioning a self-evaluation process for the marking period. This would give them a constant essential question to ponder: How can I relate (insert learning topic here) to my world? What connections can I make between what I am learning and what I am passionate about?

This is a very early concept that I am still rattling around in my brain, but I am hoping to work through some of it before the start of the school year. I am expecting my students to have a majority of their own voice in the process. I will be available to guide them in their thinking and learning processes.

Some early "hurdles"...
1. We will need to create a list of ways students can show they are learning. See this "list" as an ever evolving Google Doc we can share in Google Classroom.
2. Providing time for students who do not have access at home. This can be solved with lunch time help in my classroom.
3. Reaching out to colleagues to help with technology questions. Or, sitting down with the student myself so we both learn along the way.
4. Guiding students to help them answer their own often used question: "Why do I have to know this?"
5. Managing my time so I can provide quality feedback to students when needed.
6. Not really sure how this is going to end up. I really do not know what kind of final product I am getting.

I really want to have my students creating more in my math classes. I am always looking for ways to not be the hardest working person in the room. I think this will be a nice addition to our classroom this year. Stay tuned for updates on this process...

After reading the list above, am I missing anything? Please share...



1 comment:

Jonathon Wennstrom said...

Jim,

What a great role model you are to your students and other educators! Creating is the ultimate form of empowering students and as George Couros says, we must move beyond engagement to empowerment. I especially liked your sixth point..."Not really sure how this is going to end up" That's exactly what risk taking is all about. Thanks for living this concept as an educator and as a blogger!

Jon