For further research this week I wanted to go back to the survey I used to poll my students from this past year. I used the survey to try and get some feedback from them as to how they believe they learn best and also what types of technological integration they would like to see brought into future classes. Overwhelmingly the class identified “participatory learning” as there preferred learning style, to audible and visual. I was not entirely surprised by this considering these kids love to be engaged in the process rather than just being talked at or made to watch a bunch of videos. They all had a variety of ideas for technology integration but generally they all wanted a messaging function for the class to participate in. Many wanted to get into Skype sessions and also blogging.
Besides the survey, I got to speak with many of the students one on one about the best way I can help them learn for next year. Online research is good but I like to get face-to-face perspectives as well. They will all be seniors and I want their last year of high school to be dynamic and exciting inside and outside the classroom. Some expressed concerns about their writing abilities, which I assured them I was going to try and find fun ways to practice and improve their skills. Others inquired about what we would be doing besides, reading, writing, and discussions. As a group we voted on preforming one of the Shakespeare plays we would be reading, “A Midsummer Nights Dream.” The kids seemed to be very excited even though I explained to them that it would take a good bit of out of class preparation.
My final piece of research I used Pinterest. Because that is a part of the project for next week I decided I could see what kind of homeschool/blended learning people had posted to gather some tips going into next year. Laura Candler has a board (click here) that had a multitude of resources, mostly for younger kids (which I can apply to my 7th and 8th graders). There were a lot of practical pins as well as very creative ones. Not being particularly crafty myself, I gained some good ideas for keeping the classroom fresh and the kids engaged. I will definitely be implementing the “1 Minute of Reflection Time,” sign, except, I’ll probably make it into 5 minutes to give everyone a break from the 1.5 hour block period.