Skip to main content

Reflections on Building a Student-Centered Learning Environment Part II

I am continuing to focus on facilitating a learner-centered classroom enhanced by technology.  I am also trying to limit the amount of  homework for my students. Homework falls in 1 of 2 categories: Optional enrichment and Stuff They Didn't Finish. I suggest they don't spend more than 15 minutes on either on a daily basis. The combination of these two factors has been a challenge for me. 

Recently,  I shared my experience with our first quiz in this post. Long story short, my students struggled on our first open note quiz. We decided to focus on the areas of struggle by narrowing our focus using another collaborative activity.  We retook the quiz a week later. The retakes results showed improvement. We did not see as much improvement across the board as I hoped, but I think it was a step in the right direction.

Here are a few takeaways from this experience. 
  • Students need more practice collaborating. The have a tendency to default to divide and conquer. This is not working for them. They improved on the concepts that they chose to work through. They did not improve much or at all connected to the concepts their partners focused on. 
  • Focusing on everything is too much. Some of the students tried to take on all the concepts without thinking about what they already knew. They admitted they were overwhelmed by the amount of information they needed to know in a reflection question connected to the quiz. 
  • Time becomes a serious concern. Many of the student-centered and collaborative activities have taken longer than even I anticipated. 
Next steps:
  • Checks for collaboration by having students stop and discuss what they learned during the activities. 
  • Formative assessments built by students to challenge and assess their partners' learning.
  • Solve the time issue? Still thinking about this one. 
We are working on a WeVideo collaborative activity connected to climate factors that will be our preparation for our next quiz. I built in the first two bullet points, but I have a feeling that time will still be an issue. 

Popular Posts

Developing a Future Ready Classroom With the 4 Cs - Free Flipped PD Opportunity

The skills connected to collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity are essential for all students. The best classroom activities engage students in content while providing opportunities to practice the 4Cs in learner-centered environments.

The best professional development also models the 4 Cs for staff. We've created a free flipped PD HyperDoc to connect educators to 4 Cs resources and experiences. Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

Developing a Future Ready Classroom with the 4 Cs HyperDoc

Share Your Learning Experience Learn something new? Have a resource to share? Maybe a question? Please engage in the conversation using one or more of these resources.
Padlet - CollaborationPadlet - CommunicationPadlet - CreativityPadlet - Critical ThinkingFlipgrid - Share Your Why

How Will You Welcome Back Students in 2018?

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something." Neil Gaiman
I hope everyone is enjoying their breaks and looking forward to reconnecting with your students in 2018?

How will you start the new year with your students?  Will you jump right into the content? Reflect on the break or 2017? Something fun? Something different?

Please share your thoughts and ideas for 2018 in the comments below?
I've decided to do something new to welcome my students back. This year we will be working through a HyperDoc to start 2018. HyperDocs are not new for my students, but most of them are connected to our content. My welcome back HyperDoc will include:

A review of events and stories from 2017.Student creation of an Avatar conne…

HyperDocs - Frameworks for the 4 Cs in Student-Centered Classrooms

HyperDocs are powerful digital activities that shift the focus of learning from the teacher to the students. The best HyperDocs support essential skills connected to collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.

Source: About HyperDocs HyperDoc Fundamentals
HyperDocs are powerful frameworks to support inquiry-based learning. HyperDocs allow students to explore interactive resources at their own pace. HyperDocs are digital frameworks that can support differentiated learning. HyperDocs don't just present the facts. HyperDocs use questions, problems, and scenarios to help students learn, explore, and create. HyperDocs provide options for student voice and give students choices in how to engage in the content. HyperDocs support individual, small group, and whole class opportunities.HyperDocs connected to Formative Assessments help students know what they know and explore what they don't know.
HyperDoc Resources
Want to learn more about using HyperDocs to support coll…