Thursday, October 7, 2010
There's Tons Going On
The clickers have been an amazing asset for my classroom. I continue to use them on a daily basis, mainly for exit slips in math and reading (vocabulary questions) with the occasional science quiz. Due to the instant feedback provided by the SRS system, the students know exactly which questions they missed and are more inclined to listen when I review the answers. The class loves to see their collective percentage and we all celebrate the days (which are becoming more and more frequent) when they surpass the 80% plateau.
The SRS system also provides me with valuable feedback that determines my math groups on a daily basis. My digital exit slips establish my math small group instruction for the following day and are ever-changing depending on the students who had difficulty with a concept on the exit slip the previous lesson.
I love the clickers. My students love the clickers, and they’re improving my instruction and increasing my student’s engagement. What’s not to like.
I’m also venturing into cyberspace with Liz Springer’s class as we will be viewing and responding to a video representation of a StoryTown reader’s theater lesson. This will be my first experience assisting the students with blogging. I have to say it’s a little intimidating, but I’m glad that others have experienced success; it motivates me to try new avenues of engagement and communication.
In addition to the technology I’m using with my students, I have also set up a wiki for the teachers in my building to share ideas and concerns. It has not officially been rolled out, but I was reading a plethora of emails involving teachers who wanted information about the curriculum, their instruction, and good websites, but I had no idea if and how other teachers were responding. So, I figured it might be easier to start threaded discussions on a wiki so everyone could view responses and provide their own input. I’m hoping it’s utilized often and becomes an asset for our team.
My last initiative was inspired by a website called polleverywhere.com, which is a web-based program that sends a text message, multiple-choice question, to a specified cell phone. The site allows for up to 30 participants answering one question per day. I am still in the preliminary phase, but I hope to send a permission slip home soon. I realize that the message will have to be sent mostly to parents, but my goal is that parents will be encouraged to ask their child what the comprehension question is about, which will lead to more academic conversations at home. I will post an update regarding the effectiveness and success (or failure) of this idea in the near future. In the meantime, check out the site.
I hope everyone else is well and I look forward to seeing many of you in the near future.
Sorry for the obscenely long post.