21st Century Action Plan: “Teachers! Leave Us Kids Alone!”

Despite an emergency meeting at GCS with Mr. Nichols regarding my miserable progress on the action plan, I had difficulty putting into words what the central focus of my action plan would be. So, I will leave it to Pink Floyd to sum it up for me, in the immortal words of the song “Another Brick in the Wall”, from the album “The Wall”, so here it goes: “TEACHERS, LEAVE US KIDS ALONE!”.

Well, not exactly, but you get the idea. I’ve been inspired by the very basic concept that I can relate to myself: students are more engaged when they have a voice in the content selection, when they have a hand in how that content is being taught and discussed, and when they are a partner in the assessment and evaluation of their learning.

So, my action plan is going to be focused on student directed activities that are coupled with formative feedback and assessment. In addition, I will be incorporating and taking advantage of 21st century tools to enhance my ability to give students feedback and to encourage formative assessment. Ultimately, my goal is to create a plan that will tackle the following question:

“How can I use student directed activities and improved feedback to enhance the quality of learning in my English classroom?”

Here is my plan:

1. Students will create questions, evaluation tools, and rubrics for evaluations. These will be shared with the class using tools like padlet.

2. Students will have a choice in their final evaluation tools. For example, as the summative evaluation for Hamlet comes upon us, students will be able to write a largely ‘student-created’ final unit test OR they can take-on the role of a character and participate in an interview, in front of the class.

3. Students will use Google Docs to get feedback on their writing, from both their peers, their parents, and myself. I will track their progress using a common doc, and we will discuss progress in short teacher-student conferences.

4. Students will choose areas of specific focus in our remaining units this year.

5. I will use Google docs and Google Hangouts to provide personalized, efficient feedback.

Ok, so I have a five step action plan. Seems fairly daunting to achieve, but my main concern is this: what will success look like? I intend on making it a priority to get data from my students on this action plan, through informal conversations, Socrative, Google forms, etc. I also plan on showing them this blog in our class in the coming days.

Hopefully, by the end, my students won’t be searching for ‘another brick in the wall’ but rather become ‘comfortably numb’ by the assessment avalanche that will soon be upon them:) (too many metaphors there?)

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