What is one thing that you used to do in education that you no longer do or believe in? Why the change? #IMOOC Week 3
I try to mix up the projects we create each year so that the students aren’t just doing the same ol’ thing. I also try to mix up the way I deliver the content, skills, and techniques to students each year so that I am always keeping current in my practice and working towards continually meeting everyone’s needs.
My absolute favorite thing that I’ve done new this year was to get rid of large group demonstrations. *gasp!*
I wanted to workshop a few skills to help create choice for our first art project this year, and in order to do that, I would have had to teach 14 different techniques to 6 different classes. Feeling overwhelmed at the thought, I took the idea of a flipped classroom and filmed short videos to demonstrate each technique. We called it “Workshop Day.” Kids watched the videos of me teaching; they could pause, fast forward, and rewind as needed. At first, I felt like I was cheating a little, because although I had technically “taught” all of these lessons on camera, I wasn’t having the whole class meet together to watch me do it live.
Then, I observed something really amazing. Kids who either already knew how to do something, or picked up a technique very easily, could skip ahead. Kids who needed things repeated could re-watch, and I was able to work more one-on-one with anyone who might be struggling a bit. As a result, each student in my room felt that they were able to master most of the techniques, appreciated learning at their own pace, and retained much more.
I’ve since found ways to incorporate this strategy into many of our projects, and so far it has been extremely successful. It has allowed me to introduce more student empowerment of choice in either materials or concepts, and kids just seem to be “getting it” more when we cover some of the more difficult topics.
I still use whole class demonstrations from time to time, but only when it feels appropriate for what my students need at that time.