Friday, June 21, 2024

Targeting Students Who Need Support

I will start this post by saying this instructional routine is still in the beginning stages. Once I create something, I usually consult an adult, make edits, try it out , reflect, make more edits, seek out the same or different adult who can help me make it even better, and so on. Right now I am in the reflecting stage of my process. I created this routine to help me reduce the amount of time I would spend giving feedback on tasks during distance learning. I was also able to collect formative feedback about where my students were in the learning cycle. I have used it a couple times with success, and I found that I was able to increase engagement by targeting students who needed support. I am still wondering how this routine could be improved, how to adapt it in a hybrid model, and what parts will stick when school is back to normal in the year 3000. 

Each week I post learning targets and then do some super cool (aka mildly entertaining) instructional stuff aimed at meeting the weekly target. When I feel like students are ready to demonstrate their learning I will post these Desmos slides. I used super cool (I actually think this is cool) computation layer, so when a student makes a selection they are prompted with a task. Students who are Proficient leave zoom to make a Flipgrid video. Students who are Approaching leave zoom to watch an instructional video. Based on their level of understanding they may make a Flipgrid video usually with a more scaffolded task, or they may rejoin the zoom to get more help. Students who Need Support stay on zoom and I help them. I found that students who stuck around or rejoined were way more engaged and collaborative. It was a smaller group of students in zoom who all Needed Support. They unmuted themselves more often and were willing to take more risks in admitting they didn’t understand something. It was rad.

This routine helped reduce the amount of time I spent watching and giving feedback on Flipgrid videos, because only a portion of the class did those. The remaining students were on zoom with me demonstrating their growth in meeting the learning target. By the end of it I was able to see who was proficient and who wasn’t. It was really helpful in guiding my instruction and gauging when students were ready to be assessed. 

I also created a Google Slide version with the Pear Deck drag the icon tool for other teachers who prefer to use slides. 

If you would like more strategies and resources similar to this one check our blog post on 3 Strategies for Increasing Synchronous Instruction.

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