Learning Math From My Teachers While I am at Home...
Context for this unit is that we are currently teaching and learning from home. Because of this, we have adapted our Shape and Space math unit accordingly. We tried to involve ourselves in the teaching of concepts as much as we could.
Here is a video of me explaining a brief summary of the unit.
I chose to use our math Shape and Space unit for my final project because we needed to adapt our plans to suit home learning. We needed opportunities for weekly assessment and progress, so it seemed to fit nicely. I decided to use some of ISTE's Empowered Learner standards because we are really focusing on goalsetting, metacognition, and learning how to learn. This situation has given us the perfect opportunity to explore this even more than we would in the studio. Independence is valued and nurtured.
I feel like we have added an important element of agency to this unit. In the studio, we would normally create math groups for the week (with the opportunity to pivot or persevere at the end of 1-2 weeks), have some teacher time and some independent time. We tried to recreate this online but thought it would be more valuable if we made tutorials for ALL areas and let students progress at their own pace. They are still getting time with teachers, as we all created tutorial videos for them, but they can work at their own pace and progress. Students have 17 areas to choose to improve on instead of 5-6 as would be in the classroom, due to only 5-6 teachers being available. We designed something similar to this last year, but I feel that this actually lends itself to more individualised learning experiences. We also added explicit extension activities this year, since it is harder to react to these situations immediately when we are not in the same room as the students. Some extensions are set by our challenge and enrichment coordinator, and some are set by us (creating tutorials for other students).
Outcomes at the end of the unit I hope to see are that the students are a little more independent in learning how to learn. We have provided a lot of links, videos, worksheets, games, and activities for them, but I hope that they will realise what works best for them and what practice activities will aid them in a deeper understanding of the concept. I hope that their reflections will show this. Some have started to realise how valuable the slides are already, and I am hoping that as we progress this will help. I also hope that parents will clearly be able to see their child's progress from the beginning of the unit to the end (and even week to week), while learning at home. I hope the value of a video tutorial will be apparent.
We are going into week 3 of this experience this week. So far it is working well for most students. Some students took longer to complete the week 1 activities, but it is easy for them to catch up once they are there. Some students are rushing through and not using this as time to practice and experience, but rather check it off and be done with it. This week my focus for those students will be really to take time and keep going deeper. I am hoping that because it is a repeat of routine from last week, it might be more DOING and LEARNING this week and less trying to figure out the process of sorting through the slides and documenting their experiences.
I feel this unit reflects the learning of course 1 because the students are figuring out how to learn. They are connecting, creating, and using metacognitive skills to reflect on their learning. They are seeing clear progress, which at their age will hopefully show that their work and practice makes a difference, even if they are not within the walls of "school."
My biggest influences from course one was the learning process. I hope that students can see that practicing skills will help their knowledge grow. That being reflective and seeking feedback will also help them grow. And that persevering is important.
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