Reflection: Real World Applications How to Do it All - Section 3: Strategy


I attended a conference this summer and was inspired by a speaker who talked about the importance of choice and creativity in the classroom. He talked about having “Google Time” in which students were free to pursue self-selected projects much like the employees at Google. While I loved this idea at first, I wasn’t sure how I could give up a large chunk of instructional time for kids to go Google. But, with this schedule, I can do that. 

On Fridays, we have “Google Time” during what would normally be the independent writing practice / remediation group time. In the beginning of the year, I have students complete a list entitled, “I Wonder.” They write down all of the abstract ideas or questions they have about life. I typically give the “Why is the sky blue?” example. Of all of the colors out there, why blue? This starts a discussion about other things they’ve wondered and this year I got some good ones: Who is God? Why does the Earth spin, and Why do we fart? (you’ve got to love third grade boys!). I then use these as a guide for students to pick research topics. They choose the one they’re interested in researching and we begin.

I don’t start this early in the year, but wait until we’re at least halfway through the first quarter. This way assessments are completed, students have learned routines, and things are somewhat settled. 

  Google Time
  Real World Applications: Google Time
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How to Do it All

Unit 1: Tips, Tricks, and Tools
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: TWBAT meet with spelling, reading, and remediation groups all in one day.

Big Idea: Fitting it all in is hard. Especially when you're the type of teacher who wants to spend most of her time meeting with small groups of students so that you can really focus on certain skills. This rotation schedule allows you to meet with skill-based spell

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