Letting students lead learning (ex: creating lessons, learning activities, assessments…) can be daunting. What if something goes wrong? What if they give each other incorrect information? What if they aren’t fully addressing the concepts in the learning unit when they are teaching their peers?
And yet, it can also be deeply rewarding. Letting students lead learning can help them better understand what they are learning, the learning process, and themselves as learners. It can give them a sense of accomplishment that they can’t find elsewhere.
So how do you prepare students for reaping these benefits? How can you get them up and running with leading learning?
We’d love to hear you thoughts!
Shout-out to @ddeaver for hosting out chat on Monday and coming up with this awesome question.
In secondary math classes, I group my students in pods, have them use a TV to display their content/research/formative and work through topics together. I vary my approaches but the big idea is that the students lead each other and work as a group first to learn. They love when I can put up an instant scoring formative.
For grades, I remove the pressure to complete all assignments and fear of failure by noting that groups will get full credit if they participate in critical discussion and write down their work, while also completing the day’s focus (eg: showing steps, geometric drawings…). I encountered a lot of cheating when assigning individual work and looking at completion. It wasn’t beneficial for them or for me. Now students come in and from bell to bell in teams to learn and grow together.
I really like this approach and appreciate you giving us a look into your classroom! It sounds like you’ve fostered a great culture of learning! How often do you have your students work in pods and how do you group them? Also, what role do you play while they are working in pods?
I do this by sending out pieces of lessons and various assignments through classroom to tell me with there feedback in order to change and develop new items for use in class.
I recently put my unit review on Formative… my 30-something questions turned into 104 bubbles! At first the kids freaked out but I explained that the system was different this time. The first bubble for each problem was where they typed the answer… and those that followed were in place in case they didn’t answer the question correctly; they walked students though the steps necessary to solve that particular inequality problem.
I started with telling kids to open that formative and I told them specific bubbles to answer as the bell ringer (basically the first bubble for each of the first 9 problems.) I did NOT set the assignment to give immediate feedback like I usually do. (LOL - “What does a blue bubble mean?” was repeated often the first few minutes.) Students who missed the first problem were with me and the others were grouped, 3-4 in a group of similar skills except for 1 student who had gotten most of them correct.)
After grouping kids, I changed the scoring to immediate. I told the groups to count their green bubbles. The person with the most green was the leader of that group. Students who had questions were to ask their leader first. If the leader didn’t know how to help, the leader came to me for clarification and then returned to teach their group.
I went over the first problem with my group, showing them how to use the step by step bubbles after a ‘red’ bubble.
Amazingly, the lesson went very well. The only down side was that it took me 2 hours to build that formative. Whew!
Here’s the clone link. https://goformative.com/clone/XMLQSX
This sounds like an awesome idea for helping students become more independent learners and take the lead based on their progress! Would you mind sharing a clone link for your formative It’d be great to take a look! P.S. I love all the creative ways you use Formative!
Ah, so you let students give you feedback on the actual lesson materials you put together! That sounds like a great way to let students lead learning and to prime them for what’s coming next!