Week 3 Reflections & Tools for Students to Monitor Progress
Since my last post, I have completed two surveys on Survey Monkey. One was an interest/learning style survey for my first graders. I was able to walk them through it in the computer lab. When we returned to our classroom, I was able to project the results on the Promethean board. My students were very interested in the results of their survey and I gained useful information about my class. Since we were learning about graphs in math class, it fit right into the lesson. My students thought this was so neat, we decided to create an interest survey for the staff. We generated an email and sent the survey out. It is due to close on Wed. afternoon. We are looking forward to looking at the results.
Part of my learning this week involved finding the best way to contact the people in my group. We have a group wiki page, a google group, blogs, and twitter accounts. Yet, somehow none of these seemed like an extremely efficient way to communicate as a group. I tried making circles in my Google account, but that didn’t go so well. Only one person responded. I have more to learn about circles. I decided to try direct e-mails. Ding, ding, ding… contact! This is a form of communication we are all very familiar with, check often and can respond to when it is convenient. Most people responded to e-mail and we now have a beautiful template for our final wiki page, as well as a “draft” wiki page where we can make comments, share our thoughts and ideas. I also made a group email so we can all reply to the group if we want. These two ways of communicating seem like a good idea as it is hard to pick a time when everyone is available to do something like a chat. We can explore other cool ways to communicate later on, but at least we have a couple in place for starters.
I learned a great deal from the blogs that I follow and found some great articles in my shared diigo library. I found so many new technologies, that I added a whole new page to my blog just so I could keep track of them all. One particularly helpful post was Moving Your Kindergarten into Web 2.0 with 5 Different Tools (by Özge Karaoğlu) This post had many different example of how to use technology with very young children and explained the benefits of each. Tools for developing language, listening, speaking, and writing. Another blog mentioned several apps. that may be useful in tracking student progress.
One app. that I just put on my ipad is Evernote. I haven’t even used it yet. I have been watching tutorials. I can see that it could be useful in recording photos of student work (like artwork that they want to take home, or writing). I am thinking digital portfolio to record progress over time. I could add my own notes about their progress.
Other ways that students might monitor their progress may include moving their name tag or token along a continuum as they work through the writing stages, completing steps in a project or move to different centers. I still like the idea of using a choice board and having student work to complete three tasks in a row. It is a personal challenge of mine to try that during reading centers in my classroom. Students (and teacher) would then have a record of their progress.
My students chart their progress in learning addition facts each day. Various computer programs chart student progress. My students are very motivated by “moving to the next level” on computer programs. I think this comes from gaming. I work with students to set reading and math goals. As I monitor their progress, I share the graphs with them, so they can see how they are doing. I use rubrics (mostly for writing) and share these with students.
I keep track of many grade in paper pencil format, but I also have grades online. I am interested in learning more about students monitoring their own progress. I can see that as students get older, there are more and more choices, as they can do more independently.