Split the Difference: Split the Difference

 
 
 
Split the Difference
Students In Action
 
 
Students In Action
 
 
 
Independent Student Learning

Split the Difference

I frequently have my students play games as part of their learning sessions. Many students only want to play the games and do not think of creating a written records of the problems they are solving or notes on their learning. I ask my students to "split the difference" and go 50/50 on playing and note-taking. It's kind of a misnomer since there really is no "difference" to split, but the strategy makes it clear that my students should be splitting their time equally between playing a game and taking notes during that game.

Strategy Resources (2)
Students In Action
 
 
 
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This is an example of a game that my students could be assigned on any day. By seeing the game, you can see what I mean about allowing my students to fully embrace that game and not have to worry about writing...for half the time. I want them to Split the Difference and spend the other half disregarding the game and writing the problems from the game into their notebook.
 
Students In Action
 
 
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This is an example of a game that my students could be assigned on any day. By seeing the game, you can see what I mean about allowing my students to fully embrace that game and not have to worry about writing...for half the time. I want them to Split the Difference and spend the other half disregarding the game and writing the problems from the game into their notebook.
Aaron Kaswell
Middle School 88 Peter Rouget
Brooklyn, NY


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Quick
Subject:
Math
Grades:
Sixth grade, Seventh grade, Eighth grade
Similar Strategies
Blended Learning Model Overviews
School of One Mastery-Based Model

In 2011, my school was awarded a grant that brought the School of One mastery-based blended learning model to MS88.  School of One allows students to learn at their own pace in a totally redesigned, open classroom that can fit well over 100 students in different centers of the room.   Students are assessed at the beginning of the year and given a “learning trajectory” for the entire year.  Every day, each student is assigned new individualized lessons in different parts of the classroom in one of seven different learning modalities: virtual instruction/reinforcement, independent practice, small group/peer-to-peer collaboration, live investigation, and task projects.  At the end of each class, we use an “exit slip” to evaluate and regroup students based on their progress. They are required to demonstrate mastery in each skill or concept before they can move onto new skills and concepts.


Number of Students: ~300 students

Number of Adults: six teachers; one Operations Technology Associate; SPED teacher(s) and/or paraprofessionals (as needed)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 92 minutes (divided into two 36 minute sessions)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: proprietary web-based software;  IXL, LearnZillion, VirtualNerd, Khan Academy, MangaHigh, Math XL, TenMarks, I Can Learn,  Khan Academy, Engrade, Educreations, Padlet, Remind, Weebly, Google Apps for Education

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: student laptops (1:1), iPads for teachers, SMARTboards

Key Features: competency-based; student agency;individualized learning paths; project-based; innovative use of time; innovative use of talent; co-teaching


 
Assessment & Data
Microgrouping

The grouping algorithm employed by School of One assigns students a new lesson every day based on the student's most current learning needs. The algorithm actually learns the students' needs from the previous day's exit ticket. One of the learning styles or lesson types, Live Investigation, assigns students to me who are ready for whatever the assigned skill is. However, within that group, there are still varying levels of ability. I can see all of this on my data report and then I can group within my group. I call this micro-grouping.

 
Assessment & Data
Tanesha's Use of Assessments and Data

Assessment and data play a crucial role in a blended teacher’s classroom. Blended learning gives teachers an opportunity to assess consistently throughout a class, in a way that drives instruction, impacts grouping, and assignments. Blended educators have to develop capacity to sift through multiple sources of data and synthesizes quickly into action. Check out how Tanesha utilizes Assessment and Data here.

 
 
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