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Showing posts from March, 2016

When is Work, Not Work?

When I first started thinking about running a blended learning classroom last year, I envisioned three stations running efficiently and effectively, while at the same time bringing in the 4C's (collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking) daily. For the most part, I finally feel like I am seeing what I envisioned a year ago. But I am also seeing things now that I never envisioned, and I don't think they would have been possible without me trying something new.
Probably the best thing that has come from running a blended learning classroom, that I did not envision, has been the relationships I have been able to build with my students. With having stations, and one being direct instruction, I have been able to meet with no more than nine students at a time. This small group setting allows us to cover the lesson effectively but also more informally, which allows for a more relaxed and social atmosphere. In this small, relaxed, and social atmosphere I have heard…

Never Say Never

Quick rundown of new ideas I have implemented in my teaching and shared with my colleagues after attending PETE&C 2016: Kahoot, Classcraft, Aurasma, Google Chrome, and Chromebooks. Plus, a more refined focus on blended learning, Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Slides, and not to mention building my PLN more. I'd say PETE&C was worth it.
Kahoot, the engaging formative assessment tool that students and teachers love, went over extremely well with my students as they used their Chromebooks to answer. Every day since using it, at least one student has asked me about when the next time we will be using it.
Classcraft, the classroom-based role-playing game, took off among the students, too. They were extremely excited to setup their avatars and start playing. They also showed me they knew a lot more than I did on the subject matter of XP (experience points), HP (health points), and AP (action points). I think I might have them design a Kahoot formative assessment on the Cla…

Continued Learning Quests

You get the grades, so you give the grades. That is what I told my students this past week. Needless to say, they were a bit shocked.
I have struggled with giving grades and giving homework for some time now. Many of my students just have focused on the letter grade, whether it was an "A" or a "F." They stopped becoming focused on what really matters most, the learning. They started having fixed mindsets, and that is not something I want 6th graders to have. Are those things their fault? No, I do not believe they are. I believe several parties are to blame, myself being one of them. However, things are changing. Grades will now have personal meaning to my students, and I hope that what I am attempting will bring the focus back to what matters most, the learning and having a growth mindset.
Attending PETE&C 2016, engaging in Twitter and Twitter chats like #paedchat, and also having a very supportive administration has allowed me to develop the "Continued Lea…