A lot has happened in the world of 3rd grade fractions in the past 3 days. There have been some changes to the unit and exciting discoveries.
Day 3: Today students were able to demonstrate their own learning. In stations, students answered seven questions using ActivExpressions, demonstrated their fractional knowledge using EduCreations, and practiced an extended response fraction question. Students worked independently on the iPads and answering the extended response question. I operated the Promethean board while students answered the questions. Students struggled the most with the extended response question at their desks.
The students were completely engaged with the EduCreations. There were two problems with EduCreations. The first problem was that the students either didn’t log in correctly or didn’t save their lesson. Next time the students use EduCreations, I will go to each student while on the iPad to make sure they have logged in and saved correctly. Once the students have correctly saved the lesson once, I feel that they will be able to continue to do so. The other problem is that the students did not read their task that they were supposed to complete using EduCreations. There were a few students who did not read the task even though we discussed it prior to starting the stations. We were able to catch that mistake and those students were able to create another lesson. We will continue discussing the importance of reading all instructions. EduCreations is a great creation app and web-based program for students to communicate their learning to the teacher. Click here to go to Educreations.com
I have found that the students often want complete guidance when it comes to completing work. Like any good teacher, the classroom teacher does practice tasks with the class or small groups when necessary. Students are required to work independently on tasks so she can gauge their understanding of the skills and/or content. She has indicated to me that a few of them don’t read instructions and they will just sit there staring either at the paper or outer space. It takes prompting to get them started by usually reading the instructions to them or reminding them to start reading. I too saw this same issue. In general, our education system is creating students who are dependent on the teacher for their learning and knowledge. The blended classroom model helps to create more independent learners. When students are given the power to access resources to guide their own learning, the teacher will become a facilitator of learning rather than the holder of learning.
Day 4 & 5: Students continued to work in the stations using the Edmodo on the iPads, fraction games on the Promethean board, and instruction/reinforcement at the teacher station. The most exciting part was that the classroom teacher was on her own on day 5. I was in meetings all day and could not be in the classroom. The teacher felt that she could do it without me. I talked to her later in the day and she said it went fairly well. The students were a little off during the first rotation because there was only one teacher. But she then said the students got back into the rhythm. I find this very exciting that the teacher was comfortable to try this without my assistance. As an instructional technology coach, my ultimate goal is for the classroom teacher to feel confident enough to take over the unit. We are now to that point. Starting on Tuesday, she will be the lead teacher. I will sit in the back of the classroom and just observe. When I am needed, I will provide support.