Monday, May 28, 2012

Continuing my GAME plan

Last week, we developed our GAME plan for improving our confidence and proficiency in two standards.  Looking at my GAME plan, I have to find ways to increase student collaboration.  If I perform this task without the use of technology, there is no equipment that I need.  I just need to be disciplined enough to follow through on my plan.  If I do require students to participate in a blog, or other social media sites such as Edmodo, I will need students to be able to access these sites.  That means that students will need computer and internet access.  Participating at school would be helpful, but we are not ready for the one-to-one environment yet.  We would need to reserve the computer room.  However, that would mean I would teach every day in the computer room.  That, obviously, is not feasible as there are other teachers desiring to use the computer labs.  I think the better way to start out is having students collaborate in class without the use of technology.  Then, outside of class (for homework), students could participate in collaborating with other students using technology.  An issue potentially arises if a student does not have a computer at home, or internet access at home.  In my school, that usually is not a problem as most students can access the internet at home.  If there is a problem, these students have several options.  They can use the computer lab or library (which also contains computers) after school.  There are computers in my classroom that work, even though they are slow.  Other science labs have computers that work well.  Students also have access to the public library for free.  In addition, many local business make wifi available for customers.  If there are exceptional circumstances where the student still can not complete his work, he should see me to work out a solution to his situation.  I have been able to incorporate more discussion in each of my classes.  I think this collaboration has helped a great deal.  I have not been able to incorporate the increase in collaboration with technology.  However, during the week this week, I will lay out the Edmodo page for my AP Physics class for next year.  We’ll get a jump on that now instead of waiting for the school year to begin.

The other areas where I am seeking to improve is in the use of formative tests and how their results can improve my instruction.  The resource I will need more than anything else is time.  This will allow me to develop different assessments so students can have a greater opportunity to express to me their acquired knowledge.  With one week left before final exams, it becomes quite difficult to start something new.  I would like to develop (or find on the internet) some online quiz where students can input their answer to questions.  I would also like to become more fluent in screencasts.  When I had jury duty this past week, I made  3 screencasts for my students to watch.  The ones who actually watched the screencasts said they understood the material better.  The others still had questions about how to solve these questions. 

Tim Trotta

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