I recently attended another conference, the Online Teaching Conference. Held at the San Diego Convention Center, it covered a wide variety of topics from increasing participation in online classes to free tech tools to group work in distance education classes. I’m assuming that most teachers in America (of the world, for that matter) don’t teach courses exclusively online. However, many of the ideas presented there are applicable to any teaching arena.
The topic I found the most interesting was the conversation about group work. One of the suggestions was to encourage the group to not only do an “ice breaker” at the start of their team experience, but to also explore what roles each member would have in the group. After the students discuss roles, teachers can have the group decide on group rules and expectations. This is especially important for a long-term project.
One of the teachers presenting talked about how they have their students turn in a “group expectations” page detailing what the group expected of its members. The presenter said that while they give the group a grade for turning in the page, they don’t necessarily grade the group on how closely they actually stick to their original expectations. This is often because the students set unrealistic expectations for the group. On a number of assignments, the presenter said he asks his students to revise their expectations document part-way through the project so they can make their guidelines more realistic. The presenter indicated that the times when he provides this kind of group support to his students, the groups usually do better, produce higher quality projects and get along better.
This idea makes so much sense! But, I had never thought of it! Learning how to function in a group (that you can’t always choose) is an essential skill in today’s world, and we as teachers can do a lot to help teach our students how to be a good group members.
What have you learned about working with groups (in your experience as a student or as a teacher)? Comment below!
A few months ago, I attended the Digital Media Educator’s Conference in California. (Yes, it’s taken me forever to write about it!) There was a wide range of workshops focusing on everything from technology tools and tricks to business and industry-related topics. I learned a lot from the conference, but there’s one thing that stood out to me as a “must share” resource. Drum roll please…
Adobe Education Exchange! This is a collection of free resources, expertise, and opportunities for educators of all ages (early childhood – higher education). It’s got a variety of support for educators: everything from instructional resources, professional development, and peer-to-peer collaboration. I’ve poked around a bit and what I’ve found is pretty cool. I definitely need to spend more time exploring everything they’ve got.
What do you think? If you’ve explored Adobe Education Exchange, please comment below!
It’s that time of the year… time for end-of-the-year classroom awards! This time, I’ve chosen a social media theme . I call these “Hashtag Awards” (Follow me on Twitter!). There are 45 ready-to-go awards and a blank one for you to get creative with! They’d be perfect for upper graders, who think they’re too cool for the rest of the fun, cheesy elementary school stuff. (Also check out my other collection of end-of-the-year awards!) Here are a few awards from the collection:
I recently learned about a project launched by a Colorado teacher, Kyle Schwartz, called #WhatIWishMyTeacherKnew. The main ideas is that this third grade teacher didn’t feel like she knew them very well or how to support them. She asked her students to finish the sentence “I wish my teacher knew…”. The students’ responses were honest and highlight the struggles in their lives and the importance of truly connecting with our students. Here are some articles about the project:
I think this is a great idea! It’s important to know what your students are struggling with so you can find ways/resources to help them. If you do this exercise with your class, and are comfortable sharing the results, join other teachers on Twitter by using the hashtag #whatiwishmyteacherknew. Use this printable to collect your answers if you’d like: I wish my teacher knew
There are tons of ways to introduce fractions. But no matter how you do it, you need to help students understand that you’re looking at part of a whole. Here’s a page I’ve used with my class (focusing on the numerator). I do this type of activity before I ask kids to draw both parts (numerator and denominator). Hope you’re having a fabulous school year!
I’m so thrilled to be blogging over at We Are Teachers! They’ve got tons of great ideas over there. My third post was an onomatopoeia game for grades K-2. It’s a really simple idea, but your kids will love it!
Ready to introduce fractions to your class? Then you’ll need lots of practice identifying the parts of a fraction (numerator and denominator). Well,then consider this freebie! This page asks students to shade in the numerator of the collection. Simple, I know, but it’s a building block in the process of being able to illustrate a complete fraction. Enjoy!