This week I feel that we (students and me) have made some good progress. Over the last two weeks we have tried a couple of little tweaks to classroom structures. This has come from my own observations and feedback from students. Below is an outline on where we are currently at.
Each week I provide an overarching plan for students around our learning for the week. I have found that students need a couple of generic tasks for the students across the week. Often these are collaborative tasks. This week it is a piece of poetry (based on the writings of a NZ poet) and taking their speech and making it into a video using Lumen5. This plan is given to students via Microsoft Teams on Monday.
From here I then provide an overview for each day. I have been doing this from day one of lockdown and it works really well.
Over the last few weeks we have changed the way we start each learning block. I felt that somedays students could choose not to do a certain subject. I was uncomfortable with this because I believe it is important to do something little everyday to gain momentum and develop (must be the triathlete in me). So we now start each learning block with either a Quick Read, Quick Maths and a Quick Write. These are short 10min maintenance activities. This has has been a great addition to our daily learning and I think the students enjoy them.
At the heart of my class is the 1:1 learning meetings I now have with each child. The goal is a meeting with each student each week. These are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Currently, these take around 10 minutes but I aim to push them out to 15-20 minutes and complete 8 or 9 a day.
Students have to share their learning booklet with me the day before their interview and we work through their reflections in the meeting. Their reflections form the discussion and focus our conversation on their learning.
After reflecting on their learnings from last week, we then set that student’s work for the following week. At this stage I am only setting Maths work, but next term I will roll this out to reading and writing. So far the feedback from the students has been great, although this is just anecdotal and I will get some more detailed feedback prior to the end of term.
However, students are getting work they need, at their level, and can complete it when they want. I think these factors help with their motivation.