Part 6: When You Give a Kid a Choice…

Here are the things that stood out to us from the student survey:

  1. Students love being able to work at their own pace. Students who needed more time were able to slow down, while our more advanced students could work more quickly.
  2. As teachers, we always have a plan of how a unit should progress, but we don’t always provide this information to our students at the beginning of the unit. When we changed to the flexile-paced format, our students now have all of the information about a unit on the first day. They know when all assignments will be due and can now adapt their schedules accordingly.
  3. It was evident that our students noticed that they were able to get more 1:1 instruction (if necessary) when they needed it, not just at the end of class.
  4. Students really seemed to take more ownership of the class. When we asked for ways to improve our instruction, they really gave thoughtful answers with practical ways that we could implement some simple changes.

Bases on our student survey responses and our observations during the unit, we made some minor changes for the next unit. Here are some of our changes:

  1. We added a class calendar for the unit. We created the calendar using a Google doc, so that if we needed to make changes on the fly, the student link was updated immediately.                                                                                                                                                                                       We color-coded the days to make it easier to see what was happening in class each day. We posted the calendar on our Schoology pages, and we printed a hard-copy and posted it in our rooms. Our kids loved this change because it made it easy to know what was happening each day in class.
  2. Our students really preferred having lab days as a class instead of working on them individually. They wanted to be able to discuss the lab with other people during the lab. This was a really easy change to make and actually made it much easier on us.
  3. We changed the Optional Assignments to Supplemental Assignments. To the students, optional implied that you really didn’t need to do the assignments and that was not our intent. By changing the title to supplemental, our students understood that these weren’t just busy work.
  4. The types of assignments are changing from online worksheets to more authentic, student-created assignments (EX. Real world posters, online discussions, comics…)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *