How do I store the authentic resources I gather for my students?

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 9.22.41 AM

BWW, Before the Worldwide Web, teachers stored everything in manila folders in a bank of file cabinets in the back of their classroom.  Authentic resources were limited to physical items such as books, magazines, art prints, newspapers, posters, CDs, VHS movies, maps, schedules, and product labels and packaging.

Today, although many language teachers adorn their classrooms with some of the resources listed above that they have accumulated over the years, the internet has changed the game.  The students now have 24/7 to real life authentic video, audio, text, and images.

So, it is only logical that in the 21st century, there are technology solutions for storing our authentic resources.  Here are a few:

  1. Google Drive: Google Drive is a convenient choice because many teachers now store their lesson plans, student work, slide presentations, surveys, and other documents in Google.  You can upload images, videos, and audio files there.  The downside of using Google Drive is that there is no way to upload links to it.  So, if you want to capture a link, you would need to copy it and paste it into a Google Doc and save that doc.  Given the link, students can access files in the Drive electronically.  Here is an example of a teacher’s Google Drive folder that contains resources for a Career IPA:

googledrive

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B6-B87IYUYK2bjhqWkx3VDUtTWc

2. Blendspace (tes teach):  Blendspace allows you to collect multimedia for interactive lessons on a particular topic.   It allows you to store digital content with files in the same location.  Here is an example of a teacher’s Blendspace page for an IPA on Health and Wellness in Spanish.  As with Google Drive, students can access the Blendspace page online:

blendspace

https://www.tes.com/lessons/GwWSTfzUTw_GTg/ipa-level-4-health-and-wellness?redirect-bs=1

3. Pinterest:  Pinterest is my favorite place to store links and online items.  You can organize your “boards” by theme or category.  Once you have set up boards, Pinterest will recommend “pins” to you based on the themes you have chosen.  It is also possible on Pinterest to “follow” certain “pinners” who are also teachers of the same language.  You will then be alerted when they add pins to their boards.  Here’s an example of a Pinterest board for the AP Global Theme of Global Challenges for German:

And here is the result of a search in Pinterest for the AP theme of Contemporary Life for French which yields many boards on the topic:

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 9.47.46 AM

All of the above mentioned online solutions to storing authentic resources are dynamic not static, and therefore allow you delete and add files/links as needed.

 

A Ticket Out the Door

Image

Many teachers struggle with closure.  It’s always a challenge to stop the lesson in time at the end of the period to sum up the day’s learning and reflect on whether or not we have achieved our desired outcomes.  One powerful strategy for gathering data about student learning at the end of a learning episode is the exit ticket.  An exit ticket gives the teacher formative data about where students are in their learning and should inform choices I make as a teacher about subsequent lesson plans.

Here are some great Exit Ticket templates you can use:

http://wgbyeducation.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/exitslips.pdf

And here is a Pinterest board devoted to the topic:

But, remember, an exit ticket does not have to be fancy and photocopied.  It can be a slip of paper or index card.  What matters most is:  will the questions you are asking provide you with the data you need to drive your instructional decision making?

We often ask questions on exit tickets that are too open ended or general.  Craft your questions to get at the most important learning: What will students know, understand, and be able to do?

Here is a list of Exit Ticket prompts I’ve begun to accumulate that are grouped by levels of Bloom’s taxonomy and more:

http://letthedatabeyourguide.wikispaces.com/Exit+Slip+Prompts

So, now I have the Exit Ticket data… what do I do with it?

Some examples of ways a teacher might respond to Exit Ticket data might be:

what the data says > how I might respond to it

  • all students met the objective > move on with the curriculum
  • most students have not met the objective >  plan a follow up activity using a different modality
  • some students met the objective, some partially met it, some are still struggling with it > sort the exit tickets to create flexible groups with tiered activities 

Exit tickets are just one way to collect formative data from our students and can provide direction for teachers on their lesson planning and their choices for instructional strategies.

I collected the formative data… Now what?

Teachers are constantly collecting data.

1. I teach a concept. I see puzzled faces. I respond by switching the mode of presentation (ex. from oral to visual).
2. I collect student work. I notice considerable gaps in my students’ learning. I respond by creating an activity for the next class day with flexible groups tiered by readiness.

I’m intrigued by this phenomenon. Although it was a long time ago, I’m pretty sure that “responding to formative data” wasn’t a topic of study in any of my methods classes. So, how do teachers develop this menu of options to meet the needs of their learners?

For me, mostly through intuition and trial and error.

In this age of teacher evaluation tied to student growth, we cannot allow intuition and trial and error to drive our instructional decisions. How can I develop a menu of options to guide my decisions?

James Popham in his book, Transformative Assessment in Action: An Inside Look at Applying the Process (ASCD, 2011), he suggests several categories of responses to formative data:

A. Immediate instructional adjustments based on assessed performance
B. Immediate instructional adjustments based on student-reported understanding
C. Near-future instructional adjustments
D. Last-chance instructional adjustments
E. Students’ learning tactic adjustments
F. Classroom climate shifts

In response to this perceived gap in knowledge, I’ve created a wikipage of types of formative data teachers collect and possible ways a teacher might respond to it:

http://letthedatabeyourguide.wikispaces.com/Responding+to+formative+data

I’d love to add to this list. Please write your additions as comments to this post.