Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Student Choice

(Re-posted from my Flipped Learning Class in response to the question prompt:  How will intentional content impact your students' learning?)

Through my years of teaching, I've gradually shifted away from textbooks and lectures to deliver content, and more toward labs, activities, group discussions, and simulations. Figuring out what to do with my class time when I first flipped my classroom wasn't forefront in my mind because I was already using a variety of strategies in class to introduce and reinforce content.

However, two of the presentations at FlipCon13 made me consider that although I have been using many different types of instructional strategies to engage my students, those strategies were always ones that I had chosen or topics that I was most interested in. Musallam's presentation about stimulating student curiosity and Dill's presentation about project-based learning revealed to me that I was the one with all the power in my classroom. I was making the decisions about what interesting side topics we would discuss and how the class would learn about them. The students were simply with me for the ride.

My goal for next year is to introduce every new lesson with a "mystery box" that is broad enough to evoke many questions from the students. I'm also going to give more opportunities for my students to choose what types of assessments they will complete for a unit, whether a written paper, a drawing, a multi-media project, or a song, etc. I am hopeful that these changes will inspire more curiosity and motivation in my students.

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