Any questions???

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.

4 thoughts on “Any questions???

  1. Hi Jen
    This sounds so great! Such a simple shift but I bet it's making a big difference for you. Have you thought of using DocAppender to gather and make a portfolio for each student? It's a way that will gather all their individual responses into one doc you can use!

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  2. Hi Jen
    This seems so small but is such an interesting shift! How have you been finding the responses? If you're interested you should check out DocAppender. It will let you gather each students individual responses from the form into their own document and you could use it almost as their own learner portfolio as they progress through the year. See you this Saturday!
    Robin

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  3. Thank you for sharing not just your general shifts but also specific strategies that anyone can use in their own class!

    Your post highlights the importance of not loosing sight of why personalization is so important and that it is still possible, even in the times that we are in. As you noted, your exit ticket helps you know exactly what each student needs but it also plays another role for your students. With these questions they know you not only care if they are learning, but you are INVESTED. You are ready and willing to walk beside them no matter where they are. The proof of this is something you have already observed, the shift from asking questions in your exit ticket to asking them in class and adding their learning to the entire community.

    Your post also bring gs out the importance on intentionality. This community that you have created in your classrooms has not happened by accident. It is a direct result of you knowing what was most important - not just from your curriculum, but how what wanted your learning environment to feel like. The vibe you knew you wanted to create. To connect back to something Grant talked to us about, you had a clear North Star for your class and your students feel it.

    Thank you Jen for such thoughtful post that is both practical and inspirational!

    Reply
  4. Jen, I love your use of real-time student feedback to inform what your next class will look like. It's that type of flexibility that we need right now when the only constant in life seems to be change!

    I resonate so strongly with this too: "I'll admit I could easily get caught up in making sure I taught every single criteria in the curriculum." I have also gotten SO caught up with content at times that I have pushed other, equally or more important, curriculum considerations to the backburner. So glad that you are leaning into this space (as @tfaucher put it, in her most recent post) to try new things.

    Esther

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