Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Plan! I Just Had to Write This All Down

Ok, so it's been a week.  Sorta on hiatus from blogging and Twitter a midst union negotiations, intern hours, grad school, and the occasional bit of shuteye.  But tonight I wanted to get some thoughts on paper... digital paper that is.  If only trees were followers...  sigh.

 I'm loved outdoors.

So I was thinking, I need to put together my plan for next year.  I talked with my admin about it yesterday and got the green light for most of the things I wanted to do.  Big win.  So I decided I better articulate it somewhere so I can execute it.  So here it goes:

First and foremost, I am flipping my classroom.  Instructional videos will be recorded for the unit that we are in ahead of time.  Students may choose to watch them in class or outside of class, depending on preference and access at home.  Students will be given a series of assignments for the unit, again all ahead of time.  Projects will be assigned every 9 weeks, staggered between 7th and 8th grade.  Projects will go up until midterm of the quarter or start at midterm until the end of the quarter.

Students will be divided into reading groups (more in a second) and project groups.  Students will choose their own project groups and will design a logo and create a team name.  This will be their company (military) so to speak for the year.

Students will be asked to take notes on the videos in something similar to a Cornell note style.  This way they can summarize the videos and indicate what questions they have.  On Edmodo they will take an assessment over each  video using a randomly generated set of questions.  

Students will also have reading assignments to complete.  These assignments will be differentiated using data taken from the MAP test.  This way certain skills can be keyed in on.  These assignments will most likely be more response-based to incorporate our newly designed routine writing techniques.  

For each assignment, the total points will be recorded.  Points will also convert into experience points, or XP.  This will be used in the leveling system that I have blogged about previously.  Students who level up will receive certain perks throughout the year.

For students who finish ahead of time, the "bounty board" will be used.  This will be a place for extra assignments to boost grades and boost XP.  This is not extra credit, because accepting a bounty from the board will then require the student to finish the assignment in the allotted time.  If members of the same project group finish early, they could utilize class time to work on their 9-weeks project.
For students who are struggling with content, there will be time set aside during class to meet with me for reinforcement.  I will require their notes to be completed on a video lesson prior to asking for the reinforcement.  These mini-lessons can then clear up misunderstandings with students and focus them on the key points they may not have totally understood.  It will also free up computers for students because we cannot all use them at once.  I may try to use my Bamboo Capture and SMART Board in these lessons to record mini-lessons to add to my video library.

At the beginning of class I will try to answer individual questions, which will hopefully lead up to the mini-lesson I just mentioned.  After the mini-lesson I will go back to individual questions or work on tech issues that may arise.

Students will also be competing for several title belts that I have created.  Highest grades will have the honor of wearing the belt and bragging it off in class.  I love friendly gloating.

For students who finish everything, they may use the student contract form I developed to help me and my video-making process.  They may be allowed to create a student-made flipped video to add into future lessons.

Lastly, my classroom will be broken up into sectors instead of rows of desks.  Certain things go on in each sector.  It will make expectations clear and managing my class simpler.  In a perfect world, I will have about 20 different things going on at once.

Fingers crossed that this works!

Until next time,

Mr. J.

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