Reflection: Shared Expectations Review and Extensions - Section 1: Entry Event: Critical Friends 2.0


Today I conferenced with only two students who did not complete the homework assignment.  One was absent on the previous day, and another student simply did not finish the task.  This particular student always has a hard time finishing his work outside of class.  Because I only had two students, I asked the student who did not complete the homework to explain the requirements to the student who was absent.  I sat back and observed the process.  The student who did not get his homework done was able to fully explain the assignment, and even used the same phrases that I used in class on the previous day.  At the end of his explanation, I told him that I was impressed by how well he listened yesterday and that he clearly knew what he had to do in the homework assignment.  Before I could even begin to ask why he had not completed it, he assured me that he would get it to me by the end of the day.

Sure enough, he dropped it off before he headed to lunch.  

I think that having the unmotivated student explain the assignment went a long way to helping him realize that it was not really that difficult to complete.  I might try this practice again in the future!  It may not work with every kid, but finding creative ways to get though to struggling students is a focal point of my teaching practice.  

For the remainder of the class, the critical friends process went really well.  Although I did not get to rotate the room and listen to their conversations (because I was engaged in conversation with the two students previously mentioned) I was able to gather feedback from the "Critical Friends over Critical Friends" portion of the lesson.  

A few things the students liked:

1)  Having a voice

2)  Hearing compliments from eachother

3)  Hearing ways to improve

4)  Small groups = less embarrassment and more chance to talk

A few things the students wondered:

1)  Can we do this before the end of a final product, so that we can make it as good as possible?

2)  Can we have someone record thoughts for us, so that we can focus on listening. 


I really appreciated hearing the things that the students "wondered" - - although there were others that we put on the board, the two that I mentioned are the most notable.  I do plan to allow for #1 to happen in the future, and I LOVE the idea of #2.  Often times we get so caught up in writing down ideas and feedback that we fail to really listen to what the other person is saying.  In this case, the students not only raised a valid "I wonder", but they also provided a possible improvement to the critical friends protocol.  Impressive!

  Critical Friends Implementation
  Shared Expectations: Critical Friends Implementation
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Review and Extensions

Unit 4: Statistics: Something for Everyone
Lesson 14 of 21

Objective: Students will review statistical concepts previously applied and extend these concepts to new applications.

Big Idea: Prior knowledge, practice, and problem solving!

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Math, Algebra II, master teacher project
  45 minutes
critical friends
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