Collaborative Student Groups

Workshop

Workshop is a powerful strategy that provides my students with a degree of choice in how they learn the content in my blended learning classroom. It is also a method of holding them accountable for their choices. I believe that it's important for my students to learn how to manage their time and how to evaluate their learning options so that they can grow closer to taking charge of their own education. Each day, student groups receive "tallies"--ratings for moving quickly, making smooth transitions, and employing responses that feature academic vocabulary and professionalism. I use these tallies to determine the order in which student groups select their blended learning stations on the following day. 

Strategy Resources (5)
Students In Action
 
 
Lesson Plan
 
 
This is an example of my plan for Workshop from the early part of the year. Note that students are selected to be in tutoring based on two different assessments.
Poster
 
 
The Workshop Board is the student-facing display of available stations and work. Depending on how much choice I give students on a specific day, the structure of the Workshop Board changes.
Student Data
 
 
This is the accountablity document that I created to help with two potential issues. First, there is a fear that students will only do the activities that they want rather than what they need. Next, in that scenario, students may not be getting access to all the opportunites in the classroom. Note the grade section, I give this a monthly grade. Also, the starred items can receive bonuses.
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This flowchart shows how I make groups for two week increments of Workshop, using the formative assessments of the previous two weeks. The groups will come to tutoring or work together in the group model of Workshop.
Students In Action
 
 
Poster
 
 
The Workshop Board is the student-facing display of available stations and work. Depending on how much choice I give students on a specific day, the structure of the Workshop Board changes.
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This flowchart shows how I make groups for two week increments of Workshop, using the formative assessments of the previous two weeks. The groups will come to tutoring or work together in the group model of Workshop.
Lesson Plan
 
 
This is an example of my plan for Workshop from the early part of the year. Note that students are selected to be in tutoring based on two different assessments.
Student Data
 
 
This is the accountablity document that I created to help with two potential issues. First, there is a fear that students will only do the activities that they want rather than what they need. Next, in that scenario, students may not be getting access to all the opportunites in the classroom. Note the grade section, I give this a monthly grade. Also, the starred items can receive bonuses.
Daniel Utset-Guerrero
Holmes Elementary School
Miami, FL


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Fifth grade
Similar Strategies
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Stephen's Model Overview

In my school, students use a lab rotation system where they go to a computer lab for set amounts of time to work on online content through sites such as Lexia and ST Math.  In my own class, I also use a station rotation system, where groups of students spend time learning in different ways.  Online sites like Khan Academy and FrontRow help to differentiate the content, collaborative skills make learning social, and teacher interventions help me to address misconceptions. My students gain valuable digital and character skills while they manage their own learning.  My model has fostered perseverance and independence among my students that I know will help them to be successful in their lives.

Number of Students: 17 students per class

Number of Adults: one teacher; one paraprofessional (20 minutes per period)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 90 minutes with teacher; 90 minutes in Learning Lab

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Khan Academy; Google Classroom; Google Forms; Front Row; ST Math (in Learning Lab); DreamBox (in Learning Lab)

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: Chromebooks (1:1 ratio); SMARTboard

Key Features: station rotation; lab rotation; student agency;individualized learning paths

 
Feedback Systems
Class Ratings

At the end of the day, there have been ups and downs, but the focus should be on improvement. The Class Ratings are when the students rate the class on each of our 5 character and mindset pillars. While I have input, I encourage the students to be honest with themselves and take responsibility if they showed or lacked the pillars at any point. Reflecting on the day's specific moments helps to create a classroom of trust, and a culture of accountability. It is also essential to developing a shared character language that can be refered to throughout the day.

 
Assessment & Data
Leveled Interventions

While the majority of students are working on leveled online practice, I pull groups for leveled interventions. In these targeted small gropus, I give support to students practicing the same level so they can advance to the next level. We identify the skill at hand, work on some practice problems using white boards, and then spend time working on the online practice individually. Students have the opportunity to collaborate, supporting each other in figuring out the skill to pass the level.

 
 
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