Right before Christmas break, I told my students that the progress they were making on our projects was slower than I imagined them to be. We brainstormed some ideas on how to move our projects along so my gifted students wouldn’t get burned out. To be honest, it’s not just them that get burned out, but me too. One thing that came out of our brainstorming ideas is the use of a calendar where students would schedule times to meet with me during their projects and I would put these “appointments” on the calendar for all to see. They would also put their due dates, and when they would be turning in their first evaluation. I will describe more on that later.
So, I have been working to try to make sure that when I meet with my students it is meaningful, and useful feedback. I have revamped some of organization of classroom to use this calendar. I have a made two check in days for students. (On the calendar, it is labeled “CK1 and CK2”). These days I meet with my students and they summarize for me what they learned so far, and where they are at in their project.
My students also have two evaluations to do. (On the calendar these are marked as Eval1 and Eval2). The first eval is their presentation of their project to a parent, a teacher, or a community member. They person they choose must use the rubric they designed for their project to give them feedback. Students take that feedback and fix whatever is wrong with their presentation. The second Eval is the presentation the students do in front of the class.
Since we have been back to school. My students have really taken to the calendar idea. I think in part because it was their idea. I also believe they have embraced the idea because it makes them feel important. It’s like they are little adults who have appointments.
I think this change is just one more change I have made this year to help my students to become more successful, and organized. One aspect of being gifted, at least with the gifted students I have is that organization isn’t their strong suit. So by using this calendar, I think its one strategy they can use to help them become organized.
How is your classroom evolving?