For Phase V of my ImagineIt, I met with two of my colleagues to discuss my dilemma, and their suggestion was to have more “check-ins” or “social emotional conferencing” with those students to build student-teacher relationships. I have been doing more social emotional conferencing and have seen a major improvement with the dynamics of my classroom. There are fewer interruptions during instruction.
I met with the assistant principal, as well, to discuss student behaviors to get his input. His suggestion was to talk with my 8th grade team and come up with a plan to revisit “Being Respectful” in class. After meeting with my team, we came up with having my homeroom come up with ways to show “being respectful.”
After our Monday “Morning Meeting” session with my homeroom, which “is a powerful way to start the day. It meets students' needs for belonging, significance, and fun; provides students with an opportunity to practice social and emotional skills; and prepares students for the days' learning.”(Responsive Classroom) I shared with the group my observations about how being respectful was shown and what we can do to improve it. We made a web on Post-it chart paper with “Being Respectful” in the middle and a member from each group wrote a positive way to show respect. If a group saw that another group had the same characteristic, they had to come up with a new one. This web was then made into a list and all three 8th grade classes have it in their rooms. The other two 8th grade teachers went over the expectations for being respectful with all classrooms, too.
On Friday of the same week, during “Morning Meeting” I shared a compliment with my students about how they were showing being respectful throughout the week. I had all the students log in to Google Classroom and their task was to find an image that represented one of the characteristics of being respectful that they did during the week and reflect. All the students were engaged and completed the task.
Now it was time to get feedback from a student focus group on my ImagineIt project. I chose the 8th grade class with 24 students as my focus group. I explained what my ImagineIt project was, showed them my i-Video, i-images, and my Deep Play Group Tinker Tale Take 1.
Since I want to strengthen mathematical discourse and students’ vocabulary, I will focus on two things, one is the flipped classroom approach with prerequisite vocabulary prior to a math unit and the other is for students to create vocabulary digital portfolios after a unit.
I presented the focus group with a powerpoint presentation explaining what memes are and how to create them. I gave them an example of a meme I created for the word ‘slope’ and asked for their feedback about how they think the students would like doing a project like this, what I can do to improve it, and any other suggestion they had.
Here are the suggestions which I am considering including: Students will have the choice of completing it alone or with a partner. They have a choice to present to the whole class if they want. Give students 2-3 days to complete the project. And add a gifs website, since I only had a memes website.