This week was filled with strong advances in one part of my GAME plan, and no appreciable movement for the other portion. The area where there was no significant progress was the digital citizenship of my students. The original plan was to insert a project that would incorporate the opportunity to stress these principles. I sat down with my peer Language Arts teachers, explained my intentions, and solicited their advice and direction. One admitted that she does a poor job of enforcing the proper citations, and the other lamented about how difficult it can be. They also referred me to the director of their curriculum to get more information, and asked that I not mention their situations. I reached out to get this information, but have not gotten a response. I am looking into a lesson where we will include simple items to start the process, like photographs.
The other goal is to incorporate more digital-age learning experiences into my classroom, and this is progressing right along where I would imagined it would. I incorporated responders into an existing lesson; specifically, a lesson on time management when taking a standardized test. The software not only records the responses of the students, but also records the response time for each student. I reduced the number of questions from the original lesson, which allows for the students to reflect upon their timing. The students became quite aware of the timing, particularly exceeding an average time per question. This typically occurs when the student gets stuck on a question, and obsesses on finding the answer. This stall on a single question robs time from other questions, and the result is typically a series of questions at the end of the exam being unanswered while the student rushes through to fill in the circles. I purposely included a tough question, and modeled the act of skipping the question. I was pleasantly surprised at the high number of students who almost immediately skipped to the next question, and they found it easy to complete the practice test. There were a few who stayed on the question too long, and it reflected in their responses on the final group of questions.
This adaptation of the lesson was not entirely difficult, so I feel that my original goal of one lesson per week through the end of the school year is realistic and achievable. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I intend to continue on this pace. I also posted this lesson to the three other teachers who utilize responders in their classrooms. It was met with mixed results; one wondered how I had the time to do it, one asking me to adapt a few more for them, but all were grateful. I hope the flow comes back to me. Thanks for the read.Todd