Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Evaluating My Game Plan Progress

This week we are to reflect on our progress and evaluate how well we are meeting our goals. To do this, we are to consider the following questions:

· How effective were your actions in helping you meet your goals?
· What have you learned so far that you can apply in your instructional practice?
· What do you still have to learn? What new questions have arisen?
· How will you adjust your plan to fit your current needs?

I wish my GAME plan was progressing as quickly as this course! The weeks seem to be flying does the school year...but I am making slow progress on implementing my GAME plan. Changing the length of the projects is definitely helping me meet my goals. My Algebra class will begin working on improving the wiki that was started by last year's students. It was a project we began late in the year, just as we were preparing for the End of Course exam. This year, I am starting sooner, but not as soon as I had hoped.

It seems that we are constantly testing our students. With the administration of up to six standardized tests each school year, our computer lab is constantly reserved for testing. To remedy that, our middle school got a new laptop cart this year. However, we also added daily keyboarding classes. So when the lab is being used for testing (up to 3 weeks at a time), the laptop cart is reserved for the keyboarding classes. The result is that we still have virtually no computer access for at least 10 of the 36 weeks of school. The rest of the time must be divided among all of the teachers and classes who need access to technology.

We do as much as possible in the classroom using the Promethean board. I apply as many of the ideas that I have found to date in my instruction using this and other classroom technology. The students love using it, but it is hard to keep everyone engaged when only one person can use the board at a time. Once they've had their "turn", they tend to tune out while others are using it. The classroom response clickers are great for involving everyone, but you can't do everything on a clicker!

I still have to learn how to make the most of the technology I have access to on a daily basis. I know that I can be using it much more efficiently and effectively. That is definitely a work in progress that will take some time. One week later, I do not have any new questions, since I am still trying to answer the existing ones!

With each step taken towards my goals, I will continue to 'monitor and adjust' as necessary. It's hard to use that phrase without laughing since we hear it so often, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Every thing we do in life requires constant modification, since every situation is different from the last. I take comfort in the fact that each of these class blogs, discussions, and assignments continue to provide much needed help along the way!


  1. I know your feelings about using your Promethean Board in class and having your students "check out" after their turn. One thing I have tried to do is have students work in groups to come up with answers and then randomly select groups to give their answers. I don't know why, but it seems to keep them more engaged. I would like to use the clickers more often myself, but it is hard to find creative ways to use them for choir and band. It too is a slow process, but I do know my students like to use them. Our school bought six sets and they are almost always out. So that is good.

    I think all of us are learning that this process of application will take time. I know I was a bit ambitious in my goals at the beginning and now I realize that it will take time. I think what is important is that we are all thinking more about the role technology can play in the content we teach.

  2. Susanna,

    Math was my worst subject in school, so I can't give you much input in that regard. However, I can tell you that reading your blog and seeing the progress of your GAME plan, I'm very impressed. You seem to have a great idea of what you want to accomplish and what you need to meet your goals, and I'm sure you will be successful.

    As for students "checking out," I guess it happens to all of us in all content areas. When my students are giving an oral or visual presentation in front of the class, some of the students will be doing something else, obviously not paying attention to what is going on. To combat this, I may surprise them with a quiz on what was presented, or call them out and ask them specific questions. To a degree, this is successful, but sometimes their interest just wanes. Punishing them by docking points works somewhat, but that isn't really my goal. Something that is more successful in an example like that is having them do peer evaluations of their classmates who are presenting. That usually perks them up, because they feel involved and they feel that their voice makes a difference.

    Anyway, great job as usual, keep it up!