Friday, May 6, 2016

No Worksheet Week Reflection

As a teacher, I never quite knew how to tackle the concept of #noworksheetweek.  I seriously thought it meant to cut-out the use of paper for an entire week.  Even though my classroom was iPad-based, I couldn't fathom the idea of not using pre-made right/wrong answer type of work  during the week.  I pretty much just pretended not to know that it was no worksheet week and went about business as usual.

Thanks to my job as an instructional coach, and the gentle guidance and wisdom of the paperless Rae Fearing, I have come to understand alternatives to worksheets.  My eyes are open to a new world and my personal teaching/classroom will never look the same.

It was my goal this week to bring as many new ideas to the classrooms that I work in as teachers were willing to accept.

Many ideas that teachers chose this week came from the Gameboard HyperDoc that I proposed to teachers a couple of weeks ago as a gamified shift in teaching/learning.

I began the week by introducing the concept of student-led edcamp to 5th graders at Joe Hamilton. Students volunteered to lead 15 minute time periods on topics of their choice.  I was surprised by the variety of ideas that they suggested.  Students had a lot of choice in deciding what they would learn about. I was not disappointed when I returned on Friday to see the presentations in action.  Students can't wait to try it again.  The teacher allowed time in class for students to work and was surprised by the initiative shown, with many students choosing to continue working on them at home.

Another exciting activity that I tried this week was Mystery Skype.  Students were introduced to the idea behind Mystery Skype and  volunteered for roles during the experience.  Student engagement was at its highest when asking questions, researching maps, and googling clues as to the location of the other classroom.  More teachers have asked to start mystery-skyping after hearing about it.

Genius Hour continued in 4 of the classrooms, with students being deep into their projects and research.

A lot of activities will continue until the end of the year as I ran out of time to reach all of the classrooms who are willing to try new ideas.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic work being done In Del Notre schools! Thanks, Knela, for leading the charge; I'm glad that you could be instrumental in changing the learning experience for all those kids for this week and beyond.