Tag Archives: classroom

Please Share: How Do School and System Leaders Use Google Apps in Their Practice?

We are collecting the different ways School and System Leaders use Google Apps in their practice.  

The OSSEMOOC team will be sharing this at the GAFE Summit in Kitchener, and then we will share back with Ontario Educators.  

Please take a moment to share how Google Apps are used in your practice.

If nobody shares, nobody learns!

 

Day 24: Learning About Feedback

Written and shared by Michelle Parrish

I’m learning about feedback, and the intense process involved with it. Yes, I said “intense” – you’ll see why. 🙂

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 Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Comprehension Test

 

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Lyrics

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Interview

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Comic

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Collage

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Learning Goal, Success Criteria; Planner for Journal Entry

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 6.58.19 AM Bulletin Board – Back Wall of Classroom

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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 Bulletin Board – Student Samples

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

 

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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 Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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Bulletin Board – Student Samples

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Individual Google Docs, with Hyperlinked Feedback

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 Individual Google Docs, with Hyperlinked Reminders & Feedback

It’s all of 15 seconds – certainly a VERY SMALL PART of the 100 hours of video that is uploaded to youtube every hour!

But it’s a lot more than 15 seconds to the Grade 8s. To them, it’s a reminder of the steps involved in using teacher feedback. Steps? Yes, there are several steps actually. And sometimes they don’t remember them – which totally disheartens me because I know I was late getting home for a supper my hubby made last week! Late – because I was recording audio feedback to guide my students in their next day’s assignment.

So, it’s really, REALLY important to me that they use their feedback – important because I know they need the feedback to do their best job, and important because I was late for supper when my husband was cooking (a rare event indeed!). So, if I’m going to take the time to give feedback, I need to make sure they are using it for their learning.

In the flowchart (which was actually recorded on a whim for a friend, and not at all intended for its 15 second spot on youtube!), there are 7 steps.

1. Pick a book you like.
2. Read what other people did to be amazing (see bulletin board photos in slideshow).
3. Listen to the reminders for that task (audio recordings for each task were embedded in the google doc)
4. Listen to the feedback given on previous tasks (audio recordings were hyperlinked in each student’s google doc)
5. Use the planner, set goals to show what you know (see planner photos in slideshow)
6. Monitor your brain’s activity – check on what you’re doing (we talk about metacognition whenever I remember to!)
7. Hand in your best work!

The Grade 8s were advised that they needed to follow the chart as they prepared for their work. It was fabulous to see them moving around the room. Some were reading the bulletin board and some were conferencing with their peers (sometimes my feedback directs them to a peer who can provide a specific example of a particular skill). Others were listening to feedback and writing down their goals. A few were grabbing the planners and success criteria handouts. I was circulating, providing some one-to-one support where it was needed. I was able to focus my time on some key issues and struggling learners because every student already had some feedback to guide them in their next steps.

Now if only I could figure out how to remove the nasally tone from my recorded feedback – whose voice is that anyway?

Michelle Parrish is a learner and teacher in Northwestern Ontario, and she is most happy when working alongside her grade 8 students.

Follow her on Twitter – @mproom31

Day 9: The Power of Support in Sharing

What I Learned Today: The Power of Support in Sharing #OSSEMOOC

Written and Shared by Jaclyn Calder

Last week Donna Fry challenged us to share. Through this #OSSEMOOC post, she asked us to write a blog post about what we learned today.

The day that Donna sent out this challenge I had spent the day working with a TLLP team in my school around the next steps of our project. The first order of the day was to share what we had learned already. Each teacher wrote a blog post while we were all in the same physical room. For many of us, this was one of our first blog posts. Our goal was to share at least one good thing that had happened in our classroom as part of our journey towards 1:1 BYOD Blended Learning.

Teachers shared posts about the following classroom activities on our TLLP blog http://personalizinglearning.ca/.

What I learned from the process was the power of support in sharing. As we all sat together in the workroom and people learned how to work the blog platform, embed samples of student work and write up their learning in an engaging manner, teachers talked and chatted. Many felt that they didn’t have anything exciting to share, but once we started talking, others in the group jumped on board and started encouraging each other. Pointing out the great practices that were embedded in their classroom activities and how they may adapt the activities to fit other subject area and classes. Teachers even commented on each others blog posts. The atmosphere was amazing, supportive and critical.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/78597264@N00/3264112407/

What really resonated with me during the process was the importance of support (moral and technical) to start sharing. We talk about the importance of sharing the good things happening in our classrooms, and becoming connected educators – but how often do we embed the time and support to do the actual sharing as part of our professional development?

This morning of sharing and supporting one another has to be one of my favourite days working with colleagues.

You can find me  and my work online at:

Twitter: @jaccalder www.twitter.com/jaccalder

Skype: jacjaccalder

http://about.me/jaccalder

Photo Credit: Funchye via Compfight cc 

Day 8: Feeling Off-Balance is Okay

Written and shared by
Julie Balen

Last week, we were asked as a staff to once again articulate what technology needs we  have. Like many schools and school districts, we are working hard to upgrade our infrastructure and our hardware. This is necessary work, to be sure. But as I listened to the ‘wish list’ that teachers have, I reflected on how this conversation about tools did not stem from the need to change practice.

And maybe it can’t. Maybe the process of the integration of technology and shifting practice has to happen at the individual level.

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 Photo Credit: Mark Hunter via Compfight

I have a class set of Chromebooks, and the impetus for acquiring them was not pedagogical. In the fall of 2013, I was asked to teach grade 10 communications technology, and the Chromebooks were purchased to support that course. But I had them, so why not use them in all of my classes? This could be a bit of a pilot program, we (the principal and I) told ourselves. Let’s see how these devices work out in the non-tech classroom.

The Chromebooks worked marvelously.

I didn’t.

Sure, I knew how to use the machines and the apps. I knew how to set up student blogs and wikis. I knew how to organize documents and folders, to comment, and to share. What I didn’t know how to do was to integrate the devices into the teaching that I do.  Let me try that again. What I didn’t know was that I needed to see the curriculum (English) in a completely different way. What I didn’t know was that ‘changing my practice’ meant reconsidering every aspect of my practice from how I structured the course (traditionally thematically) to what essential skills I believed my students needed to have and how they would/could demonstrate them.

Here’s an example: Senior students need to demonstrate their ability to research, organize ideas, write, revise, format for publication, and cite sources appropriately. For many teachers, this translates into a research report or essay that is produced in Word or Google documents and that is printed or shared. Is that traditional research report/essay format still valid? Do I need to teach them how to produce their thinking in this manner because that’s the format required or expected in higher ed? Or can students research, curate, embed, link, write, and cite in a wiki? Or is the conversation really about choice?

This past February, I had a conversation with Steve Anderson (@Web20Classroom ) about content curation, in which I raised these same questions. His response? We need to understand that “there is no final solution when it comes to [student] learning.”

No final solution. No one way. No program. No script.

What I learn a bit more each day is to be okay with feeling off balance as I figure out what to hang on to from how I taught before and what to let go of. And this, I think, is not something that anyone else can do for me.

Julie Balen has worked for the Wikwemikong Board of Education on Manitoulin Island for the past 13 years, mostly as a high school English teacher, but also as a system-wide literacy coach.

Julie Balen

Blog: http://connectingtolearn.edublogs.org/

Twitter: @jacbalen

About Me: http://about.me/julie.balen

Day 5: It’s the Little Things!

Shared by: Heather Theijsmeijer

Secondary Math/Physics/BYOD teacher at Manitoulin Secondary School (Rainbow District School Board).

http://byodasap.blogspot.ca

Twitter Handle: @HTheijsmeijer

 The other day, I was handing back assignments to my grade 12 Data Management class, when I was asked a surprising question by one of my students.

“Hey Miss,” he said, “do you still give out stickers when we do well on tests?”

Yes, an 18-year old, grade 12 boy.

I had forgotten about that. For years, I would place little star stickers – sparkly, colourful ones – next to students’ marks on assignments and tests when they got over 90%. I would try and do it on every item handed in for evaluation – from large projects right down to the smallest 5-mark task. There were some assignments on which no one received stars, and some where pretty much the entire class got 90% or higher, but regardless of the “importance” of the assignment, my rule stuck.starsticker.jpg

Photo Credit: Enokson via Compfight cc

 

I wasn’t sure it was making any kind of a difference in terms of motivation. I had seen a few students, over the years, carefully peel the stars off their work and stick them in rows on their binder. Others would compare stickers (“I got a blue one – what colour did you get?”), and some would ask why they didn’t get one. But I hadn’t heard anyone ever say, “I’m going to work harder so that I can get a star!”

And the majority of the students never did or said anything about the stickers, at least that I could see. Sure it was fun (from my point of view), but was it making any kind of a difference in the classroom?

I stopped doing it earlier this year when I went to mark a bunch of assignments at home and had inadvertently left my star stickers at school. It was such a little thing, that I didn’t think it would be noticed. And it wasn’t. I handed back the assignments and not a single student asked why there were no stars.

So the practice fell to the wayside. It’s funny how quickly you can fall out of a little habit like that when there are a dozen things on the go at once. And over time, like I said, I had forgotten that I had even done it in the first place.

Until the other day, when one of my students asked out of the blue if I still gave out star stickers.

“Do you remember that?” he said to another one of the boys at the table.

“I loved those stickers! They were the best!” the second boy replied.

“Wait, you guys used to get stickers? I want stickers too!” said a third, who had never had me as a teacher. “Why don’t we get stickers?”

(Aside: who knew grade 12 boys were so into stickers?)

This made me realize something important – no matter what we do in the classroom, the students notice. Every little act, gesture, comment; even if they don’t acknowledge that you do it, they notice. This can be a good thing – those little star stickers ended up being something they enjoyed, just as I’m sure little comments and tidbits of motivation are, a smile, or a nod of encouragement. But it can also be a negative experience they notice – every eye roll, unhappy face beside a poor mark, every time we neglect to make time for them and their questions.

Anything I can do to make my classroom a happier place for my students, no matter how trivial, I will try. Effective immediately, not only will I go back to using stickers to celebrate success, but I’ll also try harder to deliver as many smiles and messages of encouragement as I can. Because even if they don’t respond, they’ll notice.