WHAT A YEAR!
CISD was challenged to Unlock their Digital Genius, and so many of our educators and administrators took on the challenge! The feedback from the Blogposts, Twitterchats, Webinars, and Implementation Challenges has been overwhelmingly positive, and it is with great excitement we share our final Implementation Challenge on this week's blogpost.
The final Implementation Challenge offered CISD educators and administrators different ways to focus on Responsive Teaching.
This week we highlight the hard work and reflections several educators submitted.
Take some time to survey your learners about their favorite project from this past year. Be sure to give them a list of the projects you are interested in getting feedback about. After reviewing the data, take the least favorite project and think about how you may redesign it for next year.
Heather Chambers, Denton Creek
Mrs. Chambers surveyed her learners on different projects they had worked on throughout this year. She asked about their favorite and least favorite projects. It was clear one project stood out as a favorite, but the reasons it was a favorite varied:
Design a new experience and decide what element of instruction you want to differentiate. Do you want to differentiate the Content (what they are learning), Process (how they are learning), or Product (share what they learned)? Pick one, and try something new.
Tim Wu, Austin
Mr. Wu chose to examine the PROCESS of how his learners experienced the concept of Density:
I taught a lesson about density with Nearpod. The learners were able to follow along on their I Touches as I presented the information. The presentation had pictures and captions. There were also times where learners could draw to reflect their learning and take a quiz. I was able to teach an abstract concept in a concrete way. Instead of sitting at the computer pulling up images and pictures, I was able to create the slides beforehand. It is also better than having learners sit on the floor and watch a PowerPoint because learners were more engaged by having their own device. They were also able to leverage our flexible learning spaces within our room. I like how Nearpod allows me to build in quick formative assessments into any part of the slide and not making me wait until the end of the slides. After using Nearpod for some other activities, I can play with the balance of when to have the presentation as whole group and when to allow learners to have an individual device to learn at their own pace.
Alicia Deranger, CMSE
Ms. Deranger elected to examine differentiation in the PRODUCT of her activity:
Learners chose a catastrophic event and used an app of their choice to create a presentation over how their catastrophic event impacted an ecosystem. They also filled in a research guide using google docs before they started creating their presentation. We had all learners turn in their presentations using google forms and created a website where our learners went to grade other presentations and learn about the different catastrophic events. This product made grading the project more efficient. It also allowed me to learn more about a variety of different apps. It also allowed me to see how my learners compared with other GT learners. The learners learned from each other. It also allowed them the freedom to learn more about natural disasters they were interested in. They also learned a new way to present their knowledge, and they also got feedback from a variety of different learners.
Natural Disaster Ports Google Form (This is where they turned in their presentations)
Zach Sherman, CHS
Mr. Sherman took on Option 2 as a Challenge to design something different for next year. His focus was on differentiating CONTENT:
This will be an independent research project and paper. It will span an entire semester, and it will be based on a totally open-ended research question. I have done this before but never for such an extended period of time. As such, the same content is not needed, though the same level of content. By that I mean each question should be academically researchable and something that can sustain extended research in an academic setting. The end product will be a 10 – 15 page paper and, possibly, a product to represent some aspect of the research. In this case, the question is entirely differentiated (something I need to do for GT kids).
Overall, my goal here is to challenge GT students with a sustained academic product, without wanting to quit my job as I lug huge paper stacks home. I think differentiating that process is absolutely vital and, I’ve found, as long as students have an initial interest they want to explore, I think that will be possible. As I reflect, the stations/ports seems, at this point, as a great way to manage work days along the way.
Maricela Garza, Denton Creek
Mrs. Garza reflected on PRODUCT through her learning experience:
We had a Writing Camp on campus with all 4th graders. Each learner was to write a letter, in Spanish, for learners in an Elementary School in Monterrey, Mexico. All learners not in the DLI program, experienced key concepts and worked with the learners of our DLI Program to finish their products. The letters were mailed and we had a Skype experience where learners in Mexico showed the letters they received and they had a conversation with their peer from another country. It help them to look at the choices of communication we had before and how we can relate to one another through technology now. This experience helped my learners expand their vocabulary, their view of school life in a different country, and learn how to connect with people in other parts of the world. Also, the benefit of working in teams to collaborate and create a unique product based in another language was beneficial for the learners outside the DLI program, as well as the learners in the program, who had the chance to be language mentors for their peers. We have plans to expand this activity to include other Spanish speaking countries in the future.
Kimberly Moore, CHS
Ms. Moore focused on ways to respond to learners through the PROCESS of their learning experience:
Last year, I designed Learning Stations for a unit on Victor Hugo's Les Miserables for my 3rd year French learners. This year, I decided to let the learners design the stations, based on criteria they created.
They determined that they would need background information in the following areas in order to effectively study the novel: Setting, Conflict, Characters, Author, and Versions of the Story. By having the learners help generate the criteria for the stations, and do the creation of the stations, it allowed me to see which tools they preferred to use, as well as they ways they preferred to see as a presentation. It helped the learner to take responsibility for their own learning, and participate in the creative process. They will have long-term comprehension of the information because they created the outcome for themselves. Moving forward, I will definitely have the learners design the stations, as opposed to designing them myself. Next time, I will help them fine tune the formative assessments they created to help them better gauge their peers' comprehension of the project.
Explore a design consideration (listed below) you have not addressed in the past (or very little) to focus on and make an effort to address it in an upcoming activity/experience.
- Learner Outcomes
- Future Ready Outcomes
- Interests and Passion
After the learning experience, gather learner feedback.
Jennifer Furnish, CHS
Ms. Furnish challenged herself to examine multiple design considerations through her activity:
My juniors always want their work to look "professional." They want assignments that result in products that could be seen in the business world. I had every learner create a Google Site and then discussed with them how to build their websites. In the end, they chose to embed S'More directly onto the Google Site tabs because they believe that S'More looks "professional." When I asked what they meant by "professional," they pointed out that there were specific categories, consistent formatting, organized layout, etc... S'More also gave them the option to embed videos, images, text, quotes, etc…
My learners really love this! They take pride in their sites and LOVE being able to go back and view all the work they have completed.
Looking ahead, I would give learners options on what web-based medium to use. It took so long to get everyone's Google Site up and there was some confusion over compatability that everyone just agreed to use S'More. If I had introduced other options earlier in the year, learners would have felt more comfortable.
Here are some examples from my freshman: