Monday, October 15, 2012

Use of data to assign peer groups for a class activity

Not that everyday in my class feels like a success, but today I felt like we accomplished something positive. We are moving into a topic I anticipate students to struggle in based on my classroom history. I put together a Google PowerPoint that had two tiers of difficulty to it. On the first slide I put an overview of the problem followed by two links--basic and advanced where student pairs could decide which path to take. They then would complete that portion and move ahead to see my potential/suggested solution--allowing each group to determine their pace. Each group seemed engaged the entire time and the conversations were focused and getting to higher level topics not obvious to the activity itself.
What's more, I had a chance to try out my seating chart creator. Using a recent assessment data point, I made the chart to pair a struggling student with a student demonstrating recent success. My reasoning was to elevate all conversations that would be taking place to bring more students to a higher level of understanding. The seating template, now that I've made it, can also be saved and updated with future data points. I'm also thinking of using a different structure for seating to assign students needing additional help for some more targeted intervention time at the start of some class periods. Beauty of it is students don't know why they are placed where they are but I can work more efficiently in getting to students that need help sooner based on classroom location.
I hope to post a video demo of the seating chart setup in action soon.

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