VisioningPosted: August 7, 2012
We worked on a visioning exercise today to figure out what our inquiry-based classroom goals are for this year. I decided to write a reflective blog as if this was the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Next June I hope my blog reads something like this.
So it’s the last week of school and time to reflect on the year that was.
There was a lot that went right this year, and a few speed bumps along the way.
All of the students were able to identify their strengths and areas of need in terms of learning skills, multiple intelligences and learning styles. They could independently group themselves by homogeneous learning style and heterogeneous learning style. They knew the strengths of grouping them selves with like-minded learners as well as in heterogeneous groups. I guess best of all the students knew how to advocate for their own learning style based on their MI strengths.
Our BYOD initiative was successful with almost all of the students participating. Those who could’t or chose not to we supplemented by the technology that the school had available. Students were very responsible in managing their digital footprint, and were able to speak eloquently and knowledgeably to both peers and adults on the subject. Students had developed great “habitudes”.
I think parents really understood classroom assessment better by June. They understood that it’s not just test scores and projects make up a grade, but it is the combination of conversations, observations and products. Students understood that too. Fewer students each month asked, “What did I get on that?” and more were focused on how they could improve their work. Some students used class generated criteria that was posted and others used strong and weak work samples to gauge their improvement.
Students were able to better talk and listen to each other. When we moved to our “Say Something” phase of a lesson all students were on point with what they were talking about. Listeners knew how to listen patiently and objectively with out interrupting and offer useful prompts to help their partners get more out of what they were talking about.
Flipping the day was a success as well. We started with teacher generated lessons on the class wiki and then moved to ones that students were able to generate themselves. Even other grades began asking if our class could make math video lessons for them. Our class wiki grew to become our textbook for the year with many other teachers from around Ontario and Canada contributing to our learning. We skyped with many classes from other schools and even with classes in other school boards.
Our class timetable was almost ignored by the end of the year as all subjects seemed to flow into one another. Really big projects were embarked on and these were largely recognized beyond our classroom. I think based on the student reflection journals and videos that a larger sense of our place in the global scheme of things was realized.
Finally I was pleased that I was able to keep a daily journal of my practice and reflect on it regularly. This will provide guidance for years to come as it gets modified to meet the needs of each years learners.