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
Collaborative Student Groups
Friday Review

Friday Review is a one-day activity designed to address specific needs and growth areas for each student. Using very recent data (from Exit Tickets or formative assessments), I identify specific skills that each student needs reinforcement with. Throughout class, students rotate through either small group lessons with me or individualized activities at their tables. When students work with me, they work on remedial practice to make sure they fill in any gaps in their understanding. While working independently, students work on various activities, including targeted online practice, practice worksheets, and hands-on activities, all selected and designed based on assessment data. Though my students work with their peers at times, they rotate through activities based on their individualized schedules, working towards their personal goals. At the end of the block, all of my students take an Exit Ticket (please see the "Daily Exit Tickets" strategy video) to measure their mastery. This allows me to track their growth and to plan how to support students who need additional practice.

 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Daniel's Model Overview

At any given time at my class, student grouping is fluid and ever-changing.  A brief whole group lesson focuses on collaborative lessons and reviewing concepts.  Students self-assess to determine how they will practice new skills, and what level of support they need.  I also employ a model of individualized learning paths that I named Workshop, where students choose the way in which they will learn.  Students who need help are grouped for that day in Tutoring, while others have their pick over a variety of websites such as IXL, FrontRow, and TenMarks, online re-assessments, collaborative activities, projects, and more.  Student reflection is essential to making that much choice, work.

Number of Students: 26 students

Number of Adults: one teacher

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 90minutes (Math Block)

Digital Content/ Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: i-Ready; IXL; MangaHigh; Website; FrontRow; Kahoot!; BrainGenie; Poll Everywhere; TenMarks; Google Apps for Education

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: five iPads; five desktop computers; five laptop computers; two Galaxy Tabs; SMARTBoard

Key Features: competency-based; student agency;individualized learning paths; online homework; gamification

 
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.

 
 
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