I’m attending the regional CEESA Conference in Vienna this weekend. The first day keynote was Dylan Wiliams. He was quite thought-provoking, showing statistics and engaging us with information about job statistics and the changing nature of our world and the world our students will be entering – and leading.
I attended three sessions, all focusing on technology. Two were related to using the iPad as a creation tool, and the third was on Google Presentation as a collaborative tool. I’m hoping to post more on that later.
I’m giving a presentation on Saturday about my work with Learning Catalytics and Whiteboarding as a means of engaging students in their learning and gathering formative assessment. I’ve created a simple Google Site as a resource for my presentation: http://sites.google.com/site/peerinstruction2014/.
Time for some sleep!
This year I’ve worked really hard at increasing my formative assessment so I can modify my teaching and utilize the class time more effectively. This has (until recently) mostly taken the form of exit polls that students complete. These exit polls (a.k.a. closure activies) have been invaluable. See a discussion here about my use of this data and how I have modified my teaching based on this data.
But I wanted to go further than exit polls, and create something along the lines of an entrance poll. Given that I utilize a flipped model, I decided to embed the formative assessment within my videos. I now include what I’ve called Checkpoint Questions. These currently take three forms: multiple choice, free response and calculation. I create notes handouts for students that act as graphic organizers. These notes handouts include the Checkpoint Questions, so students complete them as they go through my videos. Then when they are finished, they take a survey (through Google Forms, linked here) where they provide their answers, optional feedback on my video, and any questions they still have about the content.
In the morning before I set up for the day, I check the results. If quite a few students either don’t answer, or miss the answers to my questions I then start the lesson with the Checkpoint Questions in order to review. Then I create a slide in my daily PowerPoint where I simply copy-and-paste their questions from the video. I address them as needed. This has certainly proven beneficial to the daily routine of my classes.
It’s a bit early in the process for anything definitive in the way of results, but I’m collecting feedback on the method and will keep you updated as things develop.
Until next time.
I’ve got a new blog post up with Chem-Ed X about the book we’re reading in my grade 10 chemistry class, The Case of the Frozen Addicts. We’re reading about three chapters per week, and using our one-hour class on Wednesdays exclusively for work with the book. I have used this book a few times before but this is the first time I’ve focused on social media – specifically blogging and Twitter – to help students respond to the text.
If you’re interested in joining the discussion, we use #MT4P for the class hashtag and #FrozenAddicts for any tweet related to the book. The students have also started blogging – although we’re only one blog post into the project, with blog post number 2 currently in the works. If you’re interested in reading the blogs (and commenting too!) check out the “Student Blogs” page from our class blog.
I’ll be writing at least one – but likely two – more post for Chem-Ed X about the book, so check back for more. And let me know if you use any non-fiction books with your science classes. I’d love to know what learning activities you use.