Power of Three

Step 1:

Now that November approaches and it is time for progress reports to be finalized I have had enough time to be able to know my students enough to reflect on their pressing needs.


  1. Science Collaboration – students need to take advantage of the time they have together. Having one or more lab partners is necessary to complete many of our experiments. Some groups of student can become engaged in conversation outside the realm of science discussions, this results in wasted time.


  1. Recognizing the need for math extra help – There is a wide range of student understanding within my classroom. Some concepts come easy for students while some students struggle. Those that need reinforcement beyond our class time have 3 extra math help opportunities to attend my math help sessions. Some have not taken the initiative to come in for one on one help to practice their skills. I am hoping that all students feel welcome and encouraged to drop in when concept are difficult.


  1. Encouraging perseverance among phys ed students who lack athletic confidence. Those students who have had limited access to sports equipment are often very tentative which makes skill development difficult.


Step 2:

These are the questions that I have asked particular students.

  1. Who do you work best with. What lab partner do you think you would get the most work completed with?


  1. Would you like to attend extra math help tomorrow morning or any morning?


  1. What is your favourite sport? What sports would you like to improve? What games would you like to play in gym class.


Step 3:

the outcomes

  1. Buy giving the chance to reflect on past lab partners and a choice to who they work best with I have found their reasoning mature and effective. The specific student who I questioned let me know that his partner was seldom on task and required constant redirection on his part to complete work. I moved him to a different partner and he appreciated it and his teamwork improved.
  2. Some students simply require more one on one help in order to consolidate concepts. Asking students to come in regularly for early morning extra math help does make a difference but parent communication is essential for consistent weekly help. The student group that I targeted for extra help was attending extra math help inconsistently until I reached out to the parents. After parent contact attendance improved which helped the group consolidate their learning together.
  3. Taking an extra moment to ask struggling phys. Ed. students what their favourite sport is seemed to get them to come out of there shells. I asked them for their favourite gym game and made sure to incorporate their game within a class or warm up. Making these students more comfortable in their class seems to increase participation.


The power of three process helped to better fulfill the needs of my students producing a better academic outcome while communicating with parents to ensure they are being help accountable for their learning.

3 thoughts on “The Power of Three

  1. Hi Bob,
    Thanks for sharing! I like how you’ve been methodical about uncovering challenges and finding opportunities to make changes.

    One thing that I would suggest is to perhaps ask your students to reflect on past experiences to better understand their motivations. Questions like “tell me about a time when you felt confident in phys ed. class?” or “Can you describe how you feel when you’re struggling in math?” and then a follow up like “what might be preventing you from coming to extra help?” might help you to uncover your student’s motivations more deeply.

    The goal of the questions isn’t necessarily to find an answer/solution to the problem right away, but to develop empathy for the students to better understand what motivates their behaviour. Then, when we get together on Saturday, we’ll be going through some activities to develop experiments to try to change that behaviour. Our first ideas are not always our best ideas, so coming into Saturday with a open mind to multiple possible solutions is a great start.

    Looking forward to seeing how you continue to innovate in these three areas!

  2. @bhayes Those are three worthy areas for your action plan energy

    Optimal collaboration conditions vs effective support/enrichment structures/systems vs Mindset building

    Which one will give you the most return on learning for your time and which one seems most urgent to your right now?

    Well im happy to say that Saturday will be all about answering that question.

    Looking forward to catching up!


  3. @bhayes, I enjoyed reading your journey through the ‘power of three’. Indeed, as @jmedved has indicated, Saturday will be about finding exactly where your urgency lies within the realm of what you are already working on. I like how you made small changes that resulted in a positive shift for your students’ engagement and learning.

    Looking at your three challenges, is there an overall theme that could define your urgency and thoughts around your action plan? It sounds like all of this surrounds a focus in student mindset but it could also be classroom innovation as you shift systems to better suit your students learning.

    Look forward to chatting more on Saturday!


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