One positive aspect of this new learning environment has been giving myself the opportunity to try new things. In past years, I'll admit I could easily get caught up in making sure I taught every single criteria in the curriculum. I wanted to make sure that I set my students up for success in the next course they took. I would often attend professional development conferences and come back to school with great ideas but they would quickly get brushed aside in lieu of the importance of curriculum.
This school year started with being asked to do a curriculum deep dive - identify what was most important in your course and what did you want to linger once your course was completed. In working through this process, the idea of slowing down in the classroom came about. I know it sounds obvious but focusing on deepening understanding of the concepts rather than covering as much as possible was a shift in my practice.
Now along with this shift in the pace of learning, I was also mindful of making sure each student's voice was heard regardless of where they were learning. In particular, I wanted each student to feel confident or given a platform to ask questions whether they were in person or learning remotely that day.
So with that in mind, a few things I've tried thus far have been in terms of exit tickets.
In a Google Form, I started by asking three quick questions:
- what did you learn today?
- what question do you have about today's lesson?
- do you further support in learning this content?
In doing this, not only did I get to see where the students are in their learning but I was also able to guide my next steps. It was quick for students to fill out and they appreciated when I acknowledged their questions in the following class. The bigger take away was this then moved to students asking during the lesson instead of waiting to fill out the form.