Monday, February 24, 2014

Reflection on: Google Apps to Redefine Your Classroom

I went to a session by James Peterson who shared how he uses Google Apps for Education as he moves away from "traditional" teaching methods. He also shared how he redefined his workflow with GAFE (and scripts). While he is a grade seven teacher, he shared some ideas that I can see using in my grade two classroom. 

Make Mistakes

From: Google Apps to Redefine Your Classroom Prezi
One of the themes in James' presentation was that mistakes are necessary. It was a  theme throughout the day, in fact: let kids fail. To encourage students to take risks, the classroom environment has to be a place where kids can "fail". Teachers can model by taking risks.

Daily Math Problem

I liked the idea of a math problem that uses Forms and Blogger. So each student completes their own activity on a form that is embedded in a blog post (that can be graded with Flubaroo) but that allows for discussion in the blog comments. 
He uses a script called Form Limiter to close the form at a set time, but not during class time. This allow students who do not complete the problem during class time to continue to work on it later. He also encourages students to create their own daily math problem. 

How Could This Look In Grade Two?

Perhaps this is only at the substitution stage of SAMR (as it is based on Quest 2000's Problem Of The Week), but I think creating a weekly problem that students can work on at school and at home could transform the task. First of all, by opening it up to something that can be viewed at home, it brings parents into the discussion. As well, if blog comments were used to discuss strategies, problems and ideas around the problem/question the goal does not simply become "solve the problem". Those tasks that are identified for summative assessment could have forms that close by home time.