I’ve used whiteboards more and more this year and it’s been really interesting. The students automatically go for them, and enjoy working collaboratively. One thing we need to improve upon though is our whiteboard meetings or summary sessions. This is when we have completed some type of inquiry activity in small groups and now want to come together as a class to go over what happened. I try to have as many students as possible present their work, but it seems like this leaves a lot of idle time for students while they are not presenting.
I’m going to be hosting a short presentation on Standards Based Grading (SBG) at my school today. I’m not sure how many people will show up, but hopefully it kicks off some good discussion for future collaboration meetings. Standards Based Grading
In the past year or two I had heard quite a bit about teachers and classrooms that were using wikis. For me, at the time I saw “using a wiki” as being analogous to creating wikipedia-like entries. I wasn’t sure as to this was applicable to to all the scenarios I was hearing about. Then a few months ago I took over some Physics classes where the previous teacher was using a wikispaces.
During our last staff meeting at David Thompson we had some discussion on teacher collaboration time, what we liked about it, what we gained for it, and what some of the outputs of the collaboration are. Part of the discussion was at least partly instigated by curiosities from parents. In the Vancouver school district there is some head-stratching by parents around all of the days that their kids are missing. These days are a result of budget cuts (non-instructional days), professional development days, holidays and some time allocated for teacher allocation.
One of the best lessons I’ve done in Physics was an introduction/inquiry into friction. It was one of those classes where the students were doing something meaningful and were part of a process of discovery. Certainly the lesson wasn’t perfect but being able to reflect upon it will give me the chance to not only improve it, but also transfer ideas and methodologies to other lessons and contexts. I should definitely point out that the overall idea of the lesson was lifted from an article written by Campbell and Neilson (2009).
This week in ETEC 565 our class did an activity where we were to collaborate on a wiki entry. The topic was geared in using social media for learning and collaborating, with an eye towards identifying key challenges and strategies when dealing with social media. This was the first time that I have ever participated in using a Wiki, so the whole setting and editing environment was a bit strange. Furthermore, it became clear that the unwritten rules of how a person navigates and collaborates within a Wiki were also very foreign to me.