Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 30: Trying New Things in #flipclass

This weeks #FlashBlog for #flipclass is about innovation. We are supposed to share something new that we are trying that might be helpful for others in their classroom.

One thing that I am trying to be more mindful of is the use of conversation in class to help students process and talk through any confusion. There is a big push for numeracy in Ontario these days and one thing we have introduce (or really, reminded people of) at our school is Accountable Talk.

So I have been trying to create more opportunity for communication as a way to help kids work through their thinking and model for others. I cannot say I have gotten to the point where I am using these specific conversation prompts, but my plan for next year is to start the semesters off with them written on tent cards at each group so that we can create norms and start off on a good foot.

One thing I have been doing that has been pretty effective is recycling some work I did a couple of years ago and re-purposing it to create conversation. I used to hold twitterchats with my Physics class. usually about 3 per unit and I would use them to get students to give concise answers and to get them to focus on the concepts (the tendency is for them to focus on problem solving too much - I have blogged about this and will add the link to this later).

In the last couple of weeks I have been opening up the files that have my questions/prompts in them and using them to start class each day. I highlight 2-5 questions for them to discuss in their groups and then walk around to eavesdrop. It has been a great way to get them talking about the material and identifying points of confusion early on. And I will eventually make use of this to take conversation notes of what specific students understand to use for assessment practices (one day).

I don't necessarily look at this practice as being all that innovative, but it is a new thing for me - and so far I am finding it very useful.

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