Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Pleasantly Surprised!

My biggest surprise lately came from a change in methods that I have instituted in my classroom planning. I have always had my students do collaborative work fairly frequently because I feel that it is a powerful tool for preparing students for the workplace.  Sometimes, I would randomly assign groups/partners and occasionally I would let students choose work partners. However, since learning about all of the factors and methods for grouping we have covered in class, I have been purposely using selected grouping and partnering (along with some of the suggested group-style activities) to cover our course work.

The surprise has been the dramatic difference it has made in both the quality of work I receive as well as the student's retention of material. Specifically, I have been purposely balancing skill levels in groups, and looking at pairing personality types in various ways to see what works best. I am so surprised at how my high-performers are engaged in leadership roles, and even more so how my lower performers are taking an active part in group participation. I am seeing positive behaviors and development of communication skills. Shy students who never spoke in class are coming out of their shells and participating more in class discussion. Even in just two week's time, the change has been notable.

I would have never guessed implementing something like this would have such a powerful and positive impact on my classroom! It has been a great change that I plan to continue using and refining in my program.


wade owens said...

We have been doing a lot of group work to cover the book portion of the class. Grouping them up based upon the methods in which we learned has had a dramatic impact on the class. Also using the grading and student evaluations has been a great way to make sure that everyone has pulled there weight and keeps them accountable. Are you using the group evaluation forms as well, if not how are you evaluating each member? So glade to hear that this is working as well for you as it is for me.

Anna Miller said...

I am glad to see that well thought out grouping is working so well in your classroom. I have trouble with this in video because I usually do partners for video projects, but after learning that groups of 3 or 4 work best, I will probably re-think the way I assign my groups. It is also interesting to hear that the quality of work increased so much as well. When I think about the benefits of grouping, I primarily think about behavior and social skills. I guess it is easy to forget that with good behavior and social skills comes a better final product. Keep up the good work!

Jessica S. said...


I am using a group evaluation form on Google Forms. This is easy for me because we use Google Classroom daily and it is easy to plug in.


I still use partners frequently, depending on the style of assignment/activity. I try to mix up partners frequently both to improve the student's cooperative work skills and and to see how well different kids work together.