Sunday, August 25, 2013

Looking Ahead: The Future of Our Class

Ever since I transitioned to a mastery-learning approach, I have tried to help students develop their metacognitive skills.  For example, goal setting, progress monitoring, and reflecting on an almost daily basis.

To practice what I preach, I though I would outline some general goals and direction for the year ahead. No, these are not specific or measurable, but they will at least set the tone for the upcoming year and keep me focused on a few things.

When I coached basketball, I went to a clinic where West Virginia coach Bob Huggins spoke.  He made a great point that if you have your players "focus" on everything (boxing out, help-side defense, defending screens, deflections, etc.), then their mind will be racing so much that they won't end up "focusing" on anything!  With that in mind, here are the three general concepts I will focus on this year and a few ideas regarding how that will look in practice.

1. Flipped Learning

I will continue to modify the way that I apply Flipped Learning principles to our class.  One particular change this year will be to create a series of "Inquiry Videos" to start each unit.  Although I still would not consider my class Explore-Flip-Apply or PBL, I would like to incorporate more inquiry-based activities in each unit, particularly at the beginning.

2.  Gamification

You may recall in previous posts that I am "gamifying" my class this year.  After hearing Lee Sheldon speak at #GIE13, I purchased his book "The Multiplayer Classroom." What a great decision.  I quickly realized that the way that I had set up my flipped-mastery course was already similar to how a "gamified" class was.  I will certainly be reflecting upon this quite a bit on this blog since gamification is the most substantial change to my course this year.

3. 20 Time

Although 20 Time was mostly successful last year, I need to improve how I structure it and provide feedback and guidance to students.  I know of several great educators who are well-versed in 20 Time, so I will be picking their brains in the coming weeks/months to help improve this aspect of the course.

I'm looking forward to a great school year with my students, and of course collaborating with my awesome and ever-expanding PLN!