This week Dani and I were able to give and receive some timely feedback on what we have built so far for an online unit on states of matter. The feedback feels as positive as I have felt with this entire process. I was already interested in the idea of building an online learning experience, but having been able to work with Dani on this has been a lot of fun.
The feedback we received was both comforting and helpful. It’s comforting by acknowledging the work we have put in as well as a recognition of the modules actually being implementable. The feedback is also helpful by offering us some concrete suggestions for how to take our module further! The feedback has come from some peers looking at the modules from the same perspective our students are seeing, and this is immensely helpful!
I have kind of chunked the feedback and responses into what I perceive as main areas.
The feedback we received commented on our structure being organized and easily accessible. This was music to my ears seeing as how Dani and I are building this with a young primary audience in mind. Google Classroom can be a pretty complicated Learning Management system, and we knew we’d have to introduce and scaffold it’s use very deliberately.
I appreciate that you took the time to teach how to use Google Classroom prior to your actual content with your grade 2/3s.
Although Google Classroom is a bit advanced, I think you are taking the
necessary steps to teach your students how to use it and be successful.
Totally agree! Being able to actually experience this with her grade twos and threes has been a life saver. After my original visit to see her class, it was clear how focused they could be in small spurts of time. But the spurts are small, as you would expect with the age group! This led us to being more pragmatic in the design of our lessons, really zeroing in on specific skills to tackle one at a time.
As Dani related in a post last week, we experienced a few hiccups when we introduced the learning platform to her students. When we had them all on a single project together, they didn’t quite get that they could all see what their peers were doing, as they were doing it. Live! When they did start to realize this in concept, all mayhem broke loose as they made a game of stealing each others slides.
I can relate with this being super frustrating, but in the long run it will benefit them a great
Again, this will absolutely be beneficial for these kids in the long run. By learning how to use these tools now, they can focus on using them as a catalyst for learning in later grades. The tools will feel all the more instinctive for having learned them in their early primary grades as well.
In another note, being able to put faces to the names of some of her struggling learners also made it easier to be pragmatic in our course design. We knew we’d need to design mini-lessons on how to use Google Read&Write to ensure her entire group is able to access our content and learning experiences with some degree of independence.
An area where Dani and I will need to turn focus towards is assessment. In our course outline, we had some ideas on how to provide formative assessment opportunities for our learners and ourselves as teachers. We had brought up potentially using Kahoot and her classroom Facebook as assessment tools. Feedback we received pointed out to some opportunities he already have in our modules to introduce these tools. You guys are absolutely right!
In the module you had students fill out a Google Form but IF you want to know the individual results of this to use as assessment then you need to add a question with their name as a response.
We figured this out as well as we played with it. Dani smartly just had a few try the form first and we perceived the limitation. We also found out you don’t even have to have a name field for a question. One setting you can check off as a teacher is is for emails to automatically be collected as students put responses in.
There are many creative ways for us to gather formative assessment data, and these tools are designed to be accessible by students as well as teachers as immediate feedback.
Alright guys, on it!
Our feedback made specific reference to our modules providing opportunities for meaningful interactions, and this made me glad. Some of our lessons encourage students engaging with learning at home with their parents. Dani has definitely been the main driver on this and embedded use of some interactive tools like Plickers. It’s been pretty cool to see some student responses and work coming back from home.
Something to consider is about how your students can show what they learned by “creating”
something instead of the “input/output” of the facts
Yes! Very much yes! Moving forward, our own plans mirror observations made by our feedback that it’d be nice if we have some more opportunities for experiential, hands on learning. Some opportunities for our kids to build something and show their learning in different ways. One thing we had thought of as to have some older grade 5 and 6 learners from my own school model and explain the steps of a scientific procedure to experiment with changes of state. Then our grade 2s and 3s in Dani’s class could run the experiment either at home or at school by watching some older peers from across the city! It would sure add an element of fun, and kids do learn so very well from their peers.
Thanks again for the feedback, and excited for the home stretch guys!