I have this vision of something I’d like to do at the start of each class. I usually start by talking. I remind kids what we’re doing, where they left off the day before, and what the agenda or goals are for the current time period. I find this useful because my students only have my class for one 50 minute period a day. The problem? Trying to talk to 24 to 30 kids at one time isn’t as effective as I’d like it to be. Kids wanting to socialize become a nuisance and even when all the kids are quiet, which doesn’t happen all that often, not all of them are listening or attending to the information.
So what’s my vision? I’ve had this idea that students come in and log on or turn on a class device (they can choose from an iMac, a Netbook, or an iPad). Instead of me reviewing what we’ve done and needs to be done at the moment they can read it on a class blog of some sort. I have five tables or ten small groups in my classes. I would then meet each day with either a table captain or team captains. That would be me having a short meeting with five or ten kids. We would go over what the goals are for the day and I’d send them back to their tables to work with their teams. This sounds like a cool way to work through extended projects. For labs I would still direct teach to get teams going.
I’m trying to find ways to talk less and less while being able to help small teams as I wander through the class, which I already do. I’m wondering if anyone already does something like this. How does it work? Would you recommend it? If you teach in a 1:1 environment what do you use?
I also really want ideas on how other teachers scaffold this process. I have the end vision in mind quiet clearly but what I’m not seeing so easily is how to get there. For those of you who do something like this, how did you get your students to that point?