Apocalyptic Exit Slips

Jun 2, 2014 by

I’m pretty big on carving out time for reflection in any learning environment. As evidenced by my latest blog post, taking the time to reflect allows learners to be critical, yet constructive, in addressing their own educational shortcomings. In other words, I want students to be able to identify what they’re struggling with, and how they might go about thinking how to get better. The problem will reflection is that there isn’t always time to do it within our busy classrooms and pressures from the curriculum. Which is probably why “exit slips” have become popular as of late. Teachers give students a quick, simple form to fill out (digital or otherwise) that provide a “snapshot” of how learners feel about the day’s concepts/learning goals. Collected as students exit the room, these mini assessments can often be filled out in less than a minute, and work into most schedules. I didn’t...

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Videos as Formative Assessment

Feb 23, 2013 by

I have this little project going over on Vimeo called the Video Story Problem Channel, and up until now most of the teachers involved have been creating a lot of really great student-created videos based around actual math from the real world (video from restaurants, home improvements stores, four wheeler races, etc.). Recently, I’ve been dabbling more with science-based videos, and wondering if there isn’t a way to encourage students and teachers in disciplines outside of the typical math classroom to latch onto the idea of creating videos of curiosity to help provide some learning experiences that are slightly more authentic than what we find in a text book (paper or digital). With that in mind, I created a short video in an attempt to provide a prompt for talking about viscosity. I intended to have the video serve as a prompt that might engage students to start thinking about what...

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Comic Sans vs. Peter Coyote

Nov 26, 2012 by

As seen on TV, Peter Coyote has one of those unmistakable voices, most recently heard narrating the excellent Dustbowl documentary on PBS. Where I didn’t expect to hear his voice, but am glad that I did, was narrating one of several of Edutopia’s videos about Assessment. I was actually assigned to watch the video as a part of a course I’m taking about blended learning environments, and besides making the totally meme-worthy image above, I couldn’t help but compare it to another video that I had watched from earlier in the module about assessment in a blended learning environment. While there are countless resources, media artifacts, and website to point to for a brief look at the differences between Formative Assessment and performance-based Comprehensive Assessment, The juxtaposition of the two piece of media I was given to watch struck me as oddly humorous. For a quick overview of what...

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A Highly Effective use of Wordle in The Classroom

Apr 5, 2011 by

While I try to keep the thoughts that I share here on my blog positive and upbeat, too often I find myself feeling bitter and stone-hearted at the amount of “fluff” being tossed around the edu-blogosphere. While thousands of blog posts are tweeted and bookmarked about how “stupefyingly awesome” new website “X” is, it can be hard to find the proverbial “diamond in the rough” that combines both the raw enthusiasm for a really cool web tool, and thoughtful teacher practitioning using said web tool. Don’t get me wrong! I fully understand that there are an elephant-crushing amount of fantastic examples of teachers blogging, writing, and sharing about powerful practice in their own classrooms. However, it always seems that those posts are hidden in an equally large mass of “fluffy” posts, that while serving an important function on many individual’s exploration of new tools, tend to get more of...

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Let’s Abuse Government Data!

Mar 10, 2011 by

Data…the cold hard facts and information that form the cornerstone for modern-day statistical analysis, make possible amazingly advanced leaps in genetic understanding, and help Groupon sell you that fantastic facial/spa day deal that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought twice about. Data is everywhere, and it’s been increasingly creeping into our classrooms.  Not to imply that the “creep” is a bad thing, but the abundance of data (and in many cases over abundance) in the classroom is quickly overwhelming many teachers’ abilities to properly digest, analyze, and synthesize all of the information. It’s not that educators don’t want to process of the data they collect on their students. It’s just difficult to find time to approach the data with a scientific eye for determining what’s going on in the classroom when you have data from DIBELS, RTI tools, practice assessments, benchmark assessments, state tests, national tests, and a host of...

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