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Relationships: If a Student Speaks in a Classroom, Will Anyone Hear It?


To quote George Couros from the Innovator's Mindset:
The three most important words in education are: relationships, relationships, relationships. Without them, we have nothing."
I think by using technology to help give all students a voice in my classroom, I'm starting to make some headway in that area.

At the end of our unit on linear motion, I again had students complete a Google form for feedback in several areas. I asked them to focus on what was helping them learn, what was not helping, and what they would like me to try in the next unit to help them learn.  I then took the feedback and put it into a Pear Deck slide and had them choose the number one factor for them. Below are the results for the what helped learning.

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Pear Deck and options for summative assessments I expected to be pretty well liked.  I was surprised to see so many students favor hard copy notes. This is when I print off the Pear Deck slides ahead of time so that they can write down their own notes as we progress. In an age of moving towards the paperless classroom, sometimes we may be ignoring the voices of students in terms of what helps their learning.  While we may think that students do everything digitally and there is no need for paper, we shouldn’t leap without listening to those who are affected.

I took the suggestions for what could help learning and put them in a separate slide. When presenting it to students, I tried to frame it in a way that would reflect what I am asking students to do with goals. I framed the slide as what should my goal be as a teacher for the next unit in order to help their learning. Their responses are below.

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Looking at the results, it’s pretty clear that different students want different things.  But, there are some clear trends.  In terms of content delivery, students want more explanation/examples of problem solving and review.  I’m hoping to design guided practice during work time for those students who want to work on problems together until they reach a level of comfort. In terms of building in review, I hope to start each Pear Deck of new content with quick review of previous content.
The other clear ask is for interactive activities. In this unit I think I may have prioritized the building of the motorized cars at the expense of content simple hands on content exploration. Although I want to highlight the design process, I can’t let that take away from other hands-on experiences.
I look forward to communicating my goal to students and asking them for feedback on how I’m doing.  Rather than self rating myself on meeting my goal, I look forward to hearing the feedback of my students.   
Again, I can’t emphasize how important it is to take action on the feedback students provide. I’m so pleased with how open my students have been to providing open and honest feedback about our classroom.


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