Earlier this week, I published A Practical Example Of Trust, Self-Control & Choice In The Classroom. It described a process I used in my Theory of Knowledge classes where students volunteered if they would or would not have the self-control needed to just use their phones to work on an essay while I was gone for a couple of days. Fifteen students from the two classes said they would not and asked to be put on a list for the sub saying they could not use their phone and had to watch a movie. The rest said they could be trusted.
Well, I came back today and had students who said they had enough self-control to use their phone only on their essay respond anonymously if they were able to keep to their word.
The results: 70% said yes in one class; 90% said yes in the other one.
Now, it’s time for the really interesting part of the experiment. I’m going on another field trip next Thursday and, again, taking the following day to recover. I’m going to use the same process, and this time ask students to first reflect on their experience from this week. Will those who were not able to stick to their word learn from what happened this week and realize they should be put on the “no phone list” next week?
One of the units taught in our tenth-grade English classes is called “A Place Called School.” It was developed by the exceptional literacy consultant Kelly Young at his Pebblecreek Labs.
The above photo, from my colleague Lara Hoekstra’s classroom, shows students’ responses to a lesson in the unit where students finished the sentence: “In my ideal school, I would hire teachers who believe…”
Curriculet is is a site I’ve sometimes used for advanced ELLs and mainstream students. It provides higher level stories, books, and “units” in English and Social Studies, and ready-made exercises and quizzes. You have to choose which ones you want to add as assignments to a free virtual classroom One very nice advantage to this site is that they provide you a unique url address that students click on in order to register — it makes it very easy.
They recently added high-interest articles from USA Today, but you have to pay extra for them. However, they just announced a free Summer Reading Challenge that lets students read the USA Today articles for free during the summer, and lets teachers track their progress. They are also offering daily and weekly prizes to students, which I’m obviously not-too-thrilled about, but who am I to judge — after all, even with my deep belief in cultivating student intrinsic motivation, I still offer extra credit to my ELL students who read over the summer. I guess I’ll try just about anything to encourage teenage immigrant students who have so little time left in school, and who have little academic experience in their own country, to read during vacation.
I’ve previously posted about how I specifically apply this to my International Baccalaureate Theory Of Knowledge classes (though I do it in other courses, too). That post explains the process I use in detail but, simply, students read a chapter from from my first book on student motivation that’s about the key elements of a successful lesson and then teach a short one to a small group. The teaching group prepares a simple lesson plan; the “students” fill-out an evaluation; and the teaching group also completes a self-evaluation.
However, in that previous post, I did not include the chapter itself or the forms.
And, since they’ve done that, I figured I might as well make those three forms freely available, too. You can download them here. Though they are specifically geared toward TOK, they are easily adaptable to other classes.
Let me know what you think, including how I can make the forms better!
I’m a big fan of sites that let you create virtual private rooms where students can compete against each other in learning games and see their constantly changing results. Of course, for these to be successful learning experiences, you have to have helped create a culture that everyone feels like they’re winners. In my English Language Learner classes, I’m pretty confident that we have this kind of environment and students realize that much of people’s success in the classroom is primarily due to how long each person has been studying English — not because anyone is “smarter” than anyone else.
Quizizz, which is free, lets you access tons of previously-created learning “quizzes” and also lets you create your own. Once you as the teacher joins, which takes seconds, you pick a quiz; are given a code for a virtual room; then give the code to your students, who just log in with the code and a nickname (they don’t have to register with the site). When all your students are set, you click “start game.” You see the leader board as do the students as they’re progressing through the quiz.
In a number of ways, it’s similar to Kahoot. However, the key advantage that Quizizz seems to have over Kahoot is that with Quizizz, students see the questions, answers, and their leaderboard on their devise. With Kahoot (and please correct me if I’m wrong), students’ devices only show the answers and they have to look at an overhead to see the questions. In antiquated computer labs like the ones at our school (and, I suspect, at many others), we don’t have the capability of projecting a screen for students to see it.
I’m hoping that Quizizz is not blocked for students when I try it out tomorrow at school.