Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that winter break left you refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of 2017! With the busyness that was December, I did not get a chance to blog about our December LEAD and LEARN meetings. So, to catch up…
Our LEARN teams met to focus again on student engagement, student ownership, and formative assessments. These completely teacher-led and teacher-attended teams have been awesome to be a part of this semester! Here were some of my main take-aways from this meeting:
- COMPETITION in the classroom works! How can I re-think some of my activities to make them into a friendly competition? When I am getting kids into groups, can I think of ways to have groups “compete” that doesn’t involve speed? What fun and interesting ways can I reward kids that doesn’t end up breaking the my personal bank account?
- Creating flexible time in your classroom and allowing students to CHOOSE what they want to work on during that time is a way to increase both engagement and ownership! As I plan for Term 3, how can I clear up some space in our class schedule to allow for this flexible time?
- GROUPING is so important. When we are spending times intentionally creating groups, there is a direct pay-off for that. What are some of the ways you have found intentional grouping successful? As I look to group in the future, I know I will consider carefully how and why I am forming the groups I am forming.
I really enjoyed these teams and hope you will consider LEARNing with us in terms 3 and 4!
As I was unable to attend the December LEAD meeting, John Kritek is our guest blogger for LEAD this month:
The Wheeling 360 December 6th Lead Team meeting focused on leveled assessments. The Lead Team group was broken into grade levels, where they shared and evaluated their assessments. Next, they took their leveled assessments through the “Assessment for Learning” framework to determine the effectiveness of each assessment. This framework includes seven questions, which answer “Where am I going?”, “Where am I now?”, and “How can I close this gap?”. Finally, each small group shared two examples of assessments with the entire Lead Team.
The leveled assessment that I shared with my small group was based on the marketing essential skill that is part of my Introduction to Business class. To complete this assessment, the students work in cooperative groups on a project to create and promote a cruise vacation. When introducing this assessment, I thoroughly explained what is required to achieve a level 4 for this essential skill. I also showed and explained examples of level 2, level 3, and level 4 work.
Throughout this assessment process, I regularly gave the students descriptive feedback on their progress and asked them questions to help them determine on their own if they were achieving level 4 on this essential skill. The students then had the opportunity to self-reflect on their projects and revise them if needed. Finally, the students shared their projects with the class and received constructive feedback from the audience.
Thanks for sharing, John! What I have really enjoyed about being on the LEAD team this year is learning form others outside my own discipline. John broke down a project from his business class, but I think it is easy to see how that can be applied to many other disciplines as well. In fact, I was doing something very similar to that this morning in World Lit!
Wheeling 360 starts up again next week after some time off to relax and regroup. Chris probably has made no less than a dozen google docs for our LEAD meeting next week since he has had so much time to prepare! Stay tuned….
Thanks for reading!