Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Learning Logs

I have signed up to be a part of the math blogging initiative and have been given my first "assignment". I am looking forward to this initiative and learning from other teachers!

One of the choices for our assignment was to blog about one or two specific things that we plan on doing differently this year.  One change I am planning on implementing with my math 9's is to incorporate learning logs into the classroom.  I feel that I have managed to find an opener for class (My favorite formative activity) that works well, but I don't have a good closer.  Typically the students are completing practice until the bell goes.  

I have been reading Embedded Formative Assessment by Dylan Wiliam (a great read by the way) and found the idea of a learning log (page 157).  A learning log is a way to get students to reflect on their learning.  I also think it will help me improve my skills as a teacher by reading what works well and what doesn't for the students.   My goal is to implement this with my math 9 class in semester 1.  My math 9's have always been my guinea pigs.  They are willing to try new things and we have more flexibility with time to work out kinks.   Assuming it goes well I will implement it with all of my classes in semester 2.

My students have duo-tangs that are left in the classroom where they keep their continual progress reports (click here to see these), and assessments.  I am also going to include sheets for their learning log in these.  That way if they stay in the classroom I can sit down and read through them when I have time (my goal is once a week!).  The suggestion in the book is that you provide them with the following prompts and the students are to choose no more than three to respond to that day.  I am not sure if I will give the complete list or if I will choose one or two each day for the students to respond to.  I am also not sure if I will ask them to choose only one a day or allow up to three.  I plan on doing this with 5 minutes left in class.  Any suggestions on how to proceed would be appreciated!

The prompts suggested in the book are:
Today I learned...
I was surprised by...
The most useful thing I will take from this lesson is...
I was interested in...
What I liked most about this lesson was...
One thing I'm not sure about is...
The main thing I want to find out more about is...
After this session I feel...
I might have gotten more from this lesson if...

I really liked this idea when I read about it.  I hope to have it become part of our daily classroom routine.

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