In my post yesterday, Motivation, I said that I’d report back on making a change of direction we were going to take in the class. It wasn’t a big change, more like a course correction but I am hoping it will lead to a bigger change down the road.
Let Them Lead
Each morning we have a morning meeting. Being online, it is the way we do our morning organization – Oh Canada, Daily Quote, Gratitude Journal Prompt, attendance and our motivational song of the day. So, as I was contemplating my students motivation, or lack there of, I thought I’d begin with turning this part of the day over to them. So this morning I introduced them to this idea.
Overwhelmingly positive with a little bit of trepidation tossed in. I have been fielding questions all day through the chat as students are thinking about what they will do. I used a random spinner to choose who will present next week and students who haven’t even been selected are sending me requests about what they might do. I’ve even had to put a time limit on the length. Not everyone is excited. I’ve had a few “Do I have to?” questions. My response was they did but I would help them and they could pre-record all the information so all they had to do is present that morning. I believe that, together, I can find a way to have each students share their uniqueness.
I’ve been working on different ways to allow students to lead more in what we are doing. I try to give them as much choice and voice as I can in the work we are doing. Some subjects I’ve been more successful, mostly because of my familiarity with the content. One subject I’ve really struggled with this year is math and finding ways to provide students with more control and giving them options for showing me what they are thinking. I’ve been able to find using whitboard.fi for a couple months to get them to demonstrate how they are thinking about what we are doing and I’m trying to find different ways to get them to work in groups so they can share their thinking. I’m still in the process of figuring out how to do some of the Thinking Classroom ideas within an online environment but things are progressing. But I still l felt there was something missing.
Online PD – Just When I Needed It
So just as I was rethinking how I might get students more involved in math, a PD event for math came across my twitter feed being offered by one of the teachers in my PLN.
Last night I had to opportunity to take in a short PD session focused on math that was provided by the educational math group from my province – Saskatchewan Math Teachers Association – SMTA and led by an amazing math teacher Kirsten Dyck, @KirsDy on twitter. It was about using games in the classroom. It was just what the students in my grade 7/8 class ordered. As were are going through the different ideas and example, I started to formulate another plan. That’s right, another plan is being hatched.
We’ll see how this one goes.
Remember, wherever you are, Every Day is a PD Day.