Alex Hassett teaches 4th-grade math and science at Baranoff Elementary and serves as CIC and SLO Coordinator. When she isn’t busy working on her NBCT certification, she enjoys running, playing tennis, reading murder mysteries, and working on her golf swing. To see what’s going on in her classroom check out @HassettTeaches on Twitter.
This year has been a whirlwind as we attempt to evolve education while holding onto structures that we loved in our classrooms before we even heard the phrase “social distance”. When the year of uncertainty began, our team modified the blueprints but quickly found that we had thrown out all of the things that we had loved building and integrating into our classes over the years. Students weren’t as excited to come to math small group, and assignment completion was low. Seeing that we lacked true voice and choice, we decided to integrate playlist instruction into asynchronous math in place of specific assignments to mirror previous years. Once we provided this choice, we saw more smiles and excitement joining our Zoom sessions and an increase in participation.
Since goal setting and ongoing metacognitive processes are a huge part of our learning structures in “normal” years, I wanted to replicate this for asynchronous math time. Students start off their asynchronous time by setting a goal based on the playlist activity they want to complete. They post their goal on Padlet or on their paper playlist to tell me their intent for their asynchronous time. Students love to find GIFs to go along with their goals or find funny ones to make their classmates smile. It’s also an easy way to formatively check moods each day based on the GIF they post!
Side note: Padlet is a great resource to set goals or show learning, but you only get a few for free. Google Jamboards are free and can work just as well!
At the end of their asynchronous math time, students reflect on their learning on a google form. This google form asks them how they felt about their learning, which activities from the playlist they worked on, if they met their goal or not, and gives students a chance to provide teacher feedback. This allows me to track and determine patterns to discuss when checking in with students, and it gives them the opportunity to take ownership over their learning. Since they guide their asynchronous learning each day by setting an individual goal and reflect on it, asynchronous math becomes individualized and student-driven.
Since making this change, students are much more excited to dive into their math learning! As one student stated, “I want to have my own opinion on what I could do to practice skills.” So if you’re in a concurrent rut, shake things up with voice, choice, and a whole lot of metacognition. Your kids will thank you for it!
To hear more about this and see it in action, check out my micro-PD at http://bit.ly/goalsettingconcurrently