Wednesday, November 9, 2011

@stumpteacher Rocked My World!

I went into the profession to be the best teacher a student could have.

I've done pretty good through innovations in classroom management, data-based decisions, flip-teaching, and Standards-based grading.  I feel like I'm on the cutting edge of educational pedagogy.  Then Josh came along.

I interact often with Josh Stumpenhorst often via twitter.  I watch what he does from afar and support his efforts with questions, praise and support from 500+ miles away.  His blog post changed my thinking process and really ROCKED my world.

First he created a day of innovation then he resigned from teaching.  These two posts started me thinking, why does every kid have to do the labs or activities I choose, on the day I choose them?  Why do they all have to take the same quiz, on the same day.  Were these constructs I put in place for me, or is this truly what is best for students?

So I started infusing choice into my classroom more and more.  I started the year allowing students to choose how they did their homework.  Since I flip-teach there's videos involved.  I also allowed students who don't like that style for learning, I gave them access to my google docs I use for my presentations and linked the assignments to the section of either the online or checked-out textbook.  Basically giving students choice over how they learned the new material.  I called it "acquiring new information."

Since the start of the year I have been including choice in every class and allowing students within my parameters to choose what they do, but not when they do it.  It's time to change that.

Because Josh ROCKED my world I'm worked with my 6th graders to develop a personalized learning plan.  I spent last class helping them set up the plan.

First I helped them set up a plan of action:
We walked through the steps together and answered each of these scenarios.

Then we planned out the calendar:
Students recognized we had 12 classes until the end of the quarter, and they had 4 goals they needed to learn about.

We then looked at a specific goal, in yesterday's case that was Goal 6:

Students used their Goal planning sheet below to plan out how they were going to Acquire new learning, Practice what they learned, and then a time to show me what they learned in the form of a formative assessment.

They then planned that by putting their plans on their calendar.

This whole process of planning took about an hour of class time to set them up with a plan for Goals 6, 7, 8, and 9.

I'm hoping this will increase student performance and free me up to meet and work with those that need my attention the most.  I will need Josh's help, and I'm sure the Illinois Teacher of the year will once again ROCK MY WORLD!

Image adapted from: