THIS IS A BRAND-NEW ACTIVITY FOR ME!
Speaking and Listening. While I have always thought it important to have a class that is self-aware, and while I have always asked students to reinforce our class norms through reflective discussions, I have never shown a class a video of THEMSELVES in order to discuss these important issues (SL.9-10.1). Earlier in the year, professional footage of my class was taken as a part of my work with BetterLesson, and this is available in my lesson on Panel Discussion (unit: Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian).
In the Mirror of Video. Today, I know that the students will find this to be a novel experience and will probably be energized (and a little nervous) to see themselves on film. I am hoping to cull together a list of traits that I can seek to reinforce as the semester winds forward. We have a huge semester in store, reading a long book (The Kite Runner), a Shaekspearean play, and doing significant writing and research along the way.
Culture of Readers and Writers. We will need to have a strong classroom culture to reinforce a culture of reading in order to master the important reading of literature (e.g. RL.9-10.1) standards, reading of informational texts standards (e.g. RI.9-10.1) and to become the kinds of writers that we want to be (e.g. W.9-10.1, .2, .3).
We will watch the clip, and I will ask the following questions. For their part, I expect students to be able cite evidence from the video in responding (SL.9-10.1a) and to be invested in helping to set up the norms for interaction in class (SL.9-10.1b). This is a fun discussion, I think, because it's about us, and I expect that the students will be interested in talking and giving input. I will steer towards the standards by following up with prompts that ask for evidence and by asking them thoughtful and perhaps a bit direct questions about norms, when they work, when they don't, etc. In the end, I am looking for their leadership, and there are a lot of great leaders in this class!
I will specifically ask:
1.) What norms describe us when we are at our best?
2.) What do you most appreciate about your classmates in small groups? In a large-group discussion?
3.) What changes would you like to make?
I am assuming that we will have an engaged discussion, mostly because the students will be energized from watching themselves on a video clip but also because they will be
Quick exit slip: The first two prompts are geared at pre-assessing the upcoming unit on Afghanistan, and the last prompt focuses on capping off the discussion from the day, giving me individual feedback so that I can have a more complete picture of what each student is thinking.
It's important that I have my students write longer papers at times, but in instances like this, a little bit of informal writing (W.9-10.10) can help them to solidify their thoughts and to remember what they have said. For me, it's also awesome formative feedback on some of the more nebulous, affective dimensions of class, as in question #3.
1.) What do you want to learn about Afghanistan?
2.) What is the longest book that you have read to date?
3.) Which of the classroom norms do you think is most important for us?