For the second part of my road trip, I stopped to visit Limestone DSB. Their Learning Connections project involves 3 different hubs across their district. During my first visit I went to the hub just north of Napanee, but last week I was invited to a school in Kingston to co-plan, co-teach and co-debrief with Rudy and his team.
Three grade 7/8 teachers are working together in this hub from two different schools. Their focus is to use Google Slides in the classroom for students to become familiar with this platform, to present their understanding, to collaborate with their classmates and to provide feedback for each other.
This was a follow-up lesson for the students to provide feedback for their peers on a slide deck they prepared researching two different perspectives about Rupert’s land (grade 7’s had a different topic). The groups of students were partnered with an other group who researched a different perspective. After sharing their slides, the lesson was divided into three parts:
- review the other group’s slides for format and provide feedback
- review the other group’s content and provide feedback and a “wonder”
- reflect on the learning and merge new ideas learned from viewing the other group’s slides to create a consolidation slide in their original presentation
It was great to see how effectively the students could share their work and stay focussed on providing the appropriate feedback.
Some of the ideas discussed with the teachers during the debrief included:
- Not enough content in the slides for the students to learn about the other perspective and consolidate the information to form an opinion.
- Step three was difficult and could have been delayed so students could resolve the feedback comments first. Also, maybe the teacher could do a consolidation lesson before the reflection piece.
- Having 5 students work at one computer is too many – two students would be ideal, but three students could work fairly well.
- Could have some students use their phone to view slides instead of all 5 looking over at one screen.
- It was good to divide up how they gave feedback: first comment on format – give 10 minutes to do this task; then feedback on content – give 10 minutes for this.
- 5 modified students in the class were grouped together, which meant they were often off task. They were also challenged to give feedback to the other group regarding content, but they were good at providing feedback on format. Maybe these students should have been divided into the two groups that shared with each other.
On the drive home from Kingston, my timing was perfect to stop at the EnRoute in Trenton to join in our ABEL Math Online Professional Learning. Although the wifi wasn’t great and I couldn’t stay on the video conference for long, it was fun to connect with everyone while on the road!