There are several things this year that I am working on making new and better than they were before. Our school has a one to one program and this change gives students autonomy in how they process and master content. It is changing the way I think about everything. Here is a couple of examples of how I believe I am changing the way content is delivered into something better and new in my science 8 classroom!
I decided to take the interactive notebooks that we use in my science classroom from a paper notebook into a digital format. The notebook creates easy access to resources that we use in class much like a website. It creates a space for students to link how they are processing content in their own unique way and they can’t lose it or forget to save using Google apps for education! I’m finding that it is easy and more efficient to communicate with students! Both better and new because it truly does allow for individualized education and access for all students! The first step….
Digital Late/Missing Assignment Turn in Form
I have always had a physical space in my classroom where students turn in paper assignments. However, with the change that I’ve made moving to a digital interactive notebook and the google classroom, I found that I was unable to keep up with each google classroom, each assignment, and resubmitted assignments. To solve the problem I created a Google form that students use to share a link to missing or resubmitted assignments so that I am able to quickly process these assignments. This makes it easier for students to communicate when they have turned in an assignment and makes for a quicker return as I am able to do it from anywhere with an app on my phone and don’t have to remember to check the turn in box. New and better!
The Cornell notes student take now have links to videos and resources students can use to help them if they choose to use it. Because the notes are in a google document students are able to use the “Research Tool” to insert images, find videos, data and cite it as they go! It makes it so much richer as we are able to share so many different examples visually in an instant.
This year I decided to introduce expectations and the course topics for my science 8 class using a Breakout EDU activity that I created based on what I wanted students discussing to solve the puzzles! I created my own box out of a cooler with a lock, a chain and eight different lock boxes to get out of! I hid the 27 clues all over the room with a green dot sticker on each so they knew it was an actual clue! The activity created a movement around the room allowing students to get to know where things were in the classroom. Students naturally were curious about the locked box and worked together to solve the puzzles, working on one then moving to another when no good ideas came. It allowed my students to start to build trust with one another and also sent a message that I believed they could do it and “breakout”. Several of the class periods counted down as the timer approached 0 seconds!
Asking Students what they think
I really loved the idea presented during the youtube live session two of asking students that aren’t meeting the standards, why they think they aren’t. This seems so simple yet I’m imagining how powerful it could be. Give students a say in their education! Just makes sense. I am going to work with my team around this question and how we can get our students thoughts about the things that affect their educational experience and their learning!
As I reflect on what I have created this year I realize there is still so much more to do and what has been done is not great, yet. It is the beginning of a new mindset! I move forward one foot in front of the other!
As I move into this new week I am inspired and excited to continuing to create opportunities for students to learn by creating! Opportunities continue to be created for innovation if we continue to ask questions. So here is mine for the week:
I need to continue to ask what other parts of instruction can be changed to make them new and better?
How can I use our field trip to the dairy to create an opportunity for students to create something authentic to share what they learn there?
What does a class meeting look like?