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?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Open Mic: A Balancing Act - Optimal Engagement versus Overwhelmed

One challenge I continue to face with my planning and management is finding the "sweet spot" in providing engaging and meaningful work that keeps all students plugged in while also avoiding overwhelming students who work at a slower pace or need more support. As I am sure is true for you all as well, my classes are an extremely diverse mix of abilities levels as a rule.

The way I structure my daily lessons and units provides opportunities where students are able to work at their own pace through various assignments and activities. Assignments are posted with resource links and instructions on Google classroom. We use "anchor" activities and lessons (such as think pair shares, hands on labs, and/or short lectures) to pull everyone together nearly everyday before allowing students to return to their individually paced work. My struggle is creating enough work opportunities available for my high performing students in a way that doesn't make my slower-paced students feel buried in work. I also really want to avoid the use of "busy" work with my high performers, lest they feel they are being punished for getting their work done quickly.

Some strategies I have used before are having fast workers write review questions for the study guide or create a Kahoot quiz to use as a class. However, I still have a hard time finding the happy medium I am looking for.

Do you all face this struggle, too? How do you handle it?



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