Monday, November 18, 2013

Managing Mastery: "Swiping In"

When transitioning to a mastery learning environment, one of the first challenges facing the teacher can be summed up by this important question:

How can I gauge who needs the most help and when they need will need it? 

One strategy that I have implemented (which I largely credit colleague Brian Germain for) is a daily classroom routine called "Swiping In."

In general, students enter the class and immediately go up to the Smartboard (see screenshot to the right). All student names are in the far right column titled "absent."  They must then "swipe" their name over to the appropriate column.

These self-explanatory columns are "I Need Assistance Immediately,"  "I Might Need Assistance Soon," and "I'm In The Zone And Need Independence."

This simple strategy enables Brian and I to get a quick visual representation of who in the class we should visit first as they are in most need of guidance (as well as who is absent).

Here is a brief video that I put together demonstrating how students "swipe" into class.   (View on YouTube)

As we have recently implemented this strategy, it is a bit too early to comment in certainty on its' effectiveness.  The initial results, however, are very positive and I look forward to improving this aspect of our flipped-mastery classes.

As always, if you have any questions about this strategy, post comments below or feel free to contact me directly (@Mr_Driscoll /

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