It’s hard to write an action plan when you are already busy putting the plan in action! (uh oh, I just saw a little connection to unit plans in that sentence – mental note: get your unit plans done!). And now that we’re on the topic of unit plans and backwards design, what are, in fact, the objectives of my Cohort21 adventure? I’ve mentioned them in previous posts but here they are again in case you weren’t following along in the back row:
- Foster independence and responsibility in my students
- Create flexibility in delivering lessons
- Make mathematics more accessible to my students
In part, these goals are a career-long journey, not to be checked off my to-do list at the end of one school year. On the other hand, making solid progress on any or all of them will (hopefully) profoundly affect both me as a teacher and my students as learners. As an added bonus, I expect the unexpected: new ideas and opportunities will arise as a result of the process. As the Germans say: “Der Weg ist das Ziel”, … the journey is the goal (ok, evidently they got that from Confucius).
The journey, therefore, will include the following in this school year:
- Build a mixed synchronous / asynchronous classroom model using flipped lessons, google hangouts, and cloud tools for collaboration
- Leverage existing tools for increasing student independence (lessons, resources & materials available online)
- Curate (!) a set of resources, including graphics, videos and articles that show mathematics as a way of thinking rather than just as a school subject
As I said above, the plan is already in action. I have been away from school for workshops and stayed home due to illness in the past few weeks. My smallest class is just 2 students, 12th graders who are highly motivated. They are my guinea pigs. I took a break in writing this post to attempt a google hangout from home in order to explain the solutions to their homework problems. The hangout was a failure, so we will have to practice with the technology. However, their lesson video for today awaits them on Youtube, they have extra practice problems waiting on Blackboard, and one student has posted solutions to some problems on a virtual whiteboard.
The journey is underway.