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Showing posts from November, 2015

Make Progress on Progress Reporting

I've been looking to address some of the feedback students gave me about term 1.  Specifically in this post I'll address my first steps to try and do something about the lack of connection between standards and content and goals and progress monitoring.

The first step I'm taking is to revamp my student progress monitoring process.  Previously, I have had students record their progress in a unit on a single Google Doc.  I've explained the process in a previous post.  I found that process was good for some things, but the reporting of numbers didn't require true depth and the ability to revisit the student created goal.  So, I've ditched that model in favor of a document that asks students to report more in depth on each objective identify strengths, room for growth, and a plan for improvement.




The idea is to fill this out several times as the unit progresses so that students can reflect on their progress towards objective mastery.  This may be done after a quiz …

News Flash: Not All Students Like Tests

So, I've presented feedback on what students asked me to change.  Now it's time to present some feedback on what students appreciated in the first term and want to see continue.  I'm not putting this out there to make my parents proud.  They don't even know I have a blog.  The reason I'm putting it out there is to let teachers know that students are looking for more personalization in their education.

I'm going to post the picture of the feedback board again so that you can see the areas students said where strengths and wanted to continue as is.


The greatest strengths are in the areas of flexibility in space and pace, choice, and voice.  The other major area is technology.  Technology has allowed for students to express themselves in different assessment formats.  Our learning management system Canvas is what allows me to manage all of this voice and choice and provide the timely feedback.  






I have to thank the following people for their role in my ability to…

I Can Change

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
-Winston Churchill 
The first term of my 2015-16 school year has come to a close.  I have assessed my students. Now it is their time for them to assess me.  

My students need me to learn about physics. My feedback is intended to help them master the required skills and content.  But this is a two way street. My students are the ones who ultimately will give me the feedback that will make me a better teacher.  So, I asked my students for feedback on what the strengths of our classroom are and areas for change.  In order to guide the responses, I asked students to frame the discussion in terms of 15 elements from The Institute for Personalized Learning's Honeycomb Framework.

Goals: Personalized goals to provide benchmarks and add focus, clarity and commitment to learning.
Voice: Students have input in the classroom learning expe…

Passion + Physics + PBL = Personalization

As our first term of the year comes to an end, we have wrapped up our term long project.  There will be a lot more reflection to come.  I haven't gotten very far into the grading but had to take a moment to share one of the videos (I'll be sure to share others in future posts.) When I saw this one I had to share it out because it really struck me that it did more than we had intended for the project to do.

Our driving question was "How can I use physics to hack sports?"  So the intention was for students to make a connect between physics and a sport of their choice.  When given voice in the topic that they would cover, students gravitated to sports which played a major role in their lives, sports they were passionate about.

The result is a product which doesn't simply tie physics to sport.  It ties physics to something the student is passionate about.  So, although the video tells us about physics and sport, it tells us just as much about the student.  It's …

A Community of Practice: Day 2 #plconf2015

Today has been another great day at The Institute for Personalized Learning's annual convening.


Key Note: Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner
The theme of today'skeynote focused on the theme of Communities of Practice. A community of practice consists of individuals who are homogeneous in their goals and work together to achieve those goals in a variety of ways. Now, what was important to state was that to be effective, these communities must be intentionally created and formalized. The members of these communities need to come together and work for many different reasons:

Help each other solve problemsHear each other's stories across contextsReflect on practice and improve itBuild a shared understandingKeep up with changeCooperate or innovate
Communities can do this in a variety of ways

Bring in a challenge to peer consultDebate a key issueRole playModel a practicePlanning/producing a document on a large scale

These communities of practitioners can work and share together to …

Personalization starts with "Why?": #PLCon15 Day 1

Finished this before dinner, forgive typos.

Today marked day one of the Institute for Personalized Learning's 6th Annual Convening.  Last year was my first time attending and I was lucky enough to be allowed to share my experience in personalized learning at a breakout session.  After the first day this year, my head is spinning and I feel like I need somewhere to let what my senses picked up pour out and maybe take some shape.  So here we go.

Keynote - Allison Zmuda
This year's keynote address was by Allison Zmuda.  Here is a link to her presentation.  Save it, so much goodness within.  I just want to highlight some of my takeaways.

During her address, she encouraged us to engage in a backchannel.  In this case, it was Twitter.  I started to think of possible ways for students to engage in backchannels during my lectures.  Think of this as encouraging responsible use of technology.  The only way students will learn responsible use of technology is if we show them.  I just th…

Assessment, Grading and Personalization

I was privileged today to participate in a panel or assessment and grading in a personalized classroom as a part of the 2015 Personal Learning Convening facilitated by the Institute for Personalized Learning.   Jim Rickabaugh facilitated the panel which included Faith Lincicum, Frank Devereaux, and myself.  I'll discuss more of my takeaways in a future post.  But, I wanted to provide my prep notes from the panel discussion.