What is the purpose of our Google Sites Portfolios?
1. To house finished work and reflect on it
2. To see growth over the months
3. To house ongoing data
4. To help students make choices about their learning
We just finished up our "Window A" unit, so I took this last week to help kids get items into their portfolio. Here are two things we discovered last week (I love learning new things with my students!):
Embedding a Book Creator Book
My students have one page on their site devoted to data. My next goal is for them to add some of their goals on this page as well. Last week we figured out how to put our reading data onto our data page. It was a disaster at first (I hadn't made a copy for each student, so you can imagine how that went down.), but then we figured it out.
I'm committed to not panicking about this. It is my first year and I will set my intentions and follow through. I will keep reflecting. But I'm not going to feel an urgency to get more, do more, document more, etc. I welcome feed back on my journey!
Daily Reflection Exit and Entrance Ticket
I have been using a reflection ticket (Google Form) nearly every day with my students as part of my VL adventure. One student said the other day (as he was filling out the form, "I learned it because I believed in myself." I think it is awesome (I love reading over their responses.) and something I've never done before BUT I am struggling to figure out how I measure how effective it is.
The other day I taught a whole lesson on summarizing and when they took the low stakes quiz a lot of them asked, "What is summarizing?" Well, I don't need a magic wand to figure THAT one out. That particular lesson was NOT effective!
Here's what I'm thinking. This unit wraps up in one week. I think for the next unit I will give them all a pretest similar to the post test and use that as my benchmark. Then I will have concrete data on how they grew or did not grow! I am open to suggestions.
What metacognition methods do you use in your classroom? How do you help students reflect on the content AND their work/attitude? This is the form I am currently using:
Low Stakes Testing
aI have been giving several low stakes quizzes every week as a learning strategy. So yay for that...BUT here's what I need to do to improve (my goals, if you will):
Truly Believing in Each Child
The other day we were in a meeting and someone said, "Oh, ______ could never do that." I'm not judging. My thinking in the past has not been totally different than that teachers' comment.
I am kinda appalled at MYSELF for not truly believing that each child can excel. I THOUGHT I did, for sure. But now that I am really conscience of it, I am seeing that this is a growth area for me. To really and truly believe that each student can achieve. Last year if a child was struggling too much because things were truly too hard, I'd lower my expectations. This year I'm like, "Nope. You have to write more because you CAN." In the past I would care more about their feelings than pushing them to excel. This is QUITE the eyeopener for me and it is a true pleasure to make the shift.
It is so helpful to put all of this into a blog post. It helps me organize my thoughts and hold myself accountable for future actions. If you got all the way down to this line, thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts. #bettertogether
One of the hardest things about going back to school is putting my learning and reflecting on pause so that I can get my school legs back and get all my ducks in a row. But I feel like I am steady on my feet and eager to jump back into blogging, sharing, learning, growing, and being better together!
A few things I am excited about....
A colleague helped me with Google Classroom the other day (Thanks, Joni!). I said, "Thanks, I'm not sure I would have figured that out on my own." She replied, "Oh, you wouldn't have slept until you did." True story. I love figuring things out and won't stop until I get to the bottom of things. Often it is my Twitter community to the rescue.
I became a Book Creator Ambassador and am having fun figuring out the ins and outs of BC. How do you share a book with colleagues? How do you set it so students can't see other students' books? How do you make a template that students can copy and make their own?
The other day a great teacher friend of my was reflecting on technology and said something to the effect of, "How do you add all of that in when we just need to teach the standards?" Part of me figuring out the ins and outs of tech platforms is to incorperate them into what I am learning about Visible Learning and Powerful Learning. I am hoping to add in the focus of VL and PL (not just platforms) now that I am settled into the school year.
My next steps with Book Creator?
I'd like to keep creating and sharing #onetinytip videos as I think of things that would be helpful to know in BC.
My next project with Book Creator is to create gratitude and reflection books that my students can add to on a regular basis. Still brainstorming with the best way to do that....
Learning and sharing new things keeps me energized and excited about my work. I can't not.
Jill A. Hostetler