KhanAcademy (Week 2):
Week 2 was much more structured. I followed the LASD model of where students created goals for themselves (no point in re-inventing the wheel). Students wrote their goals on the very last page of their math notebook and I signed-off on their goals upon both creation and completion. This provided students with more direction in choosing exercises to attempt. This was fantastic for my low and mid students, but sometimes limited my high students. Within two days, students passed almost all of their goals and were very excited for me to ‘sign-off’ with my red pen on their math notebooks.
I then transformed the in-class bulletin board to a KA bulletin board tracking the total energy points of my Morning class and Afternoon class. Competition between the classes arose immediately. When I added a ‘Top 3” individual energy points category (Ex. 1. Enrique 143k), my high students showed immediate motivation to be the ones at the top. Writing the # of energy points earned by those at the top helped students gauge how far away from the top they were. [At week 4 now, this ranking system still consistently motivates my high students.]
On Assessment day (Friday), I had students write their goals on a notecard instead of in the back of their notebooks. I spoke with each student after they created their 3 goals. and suggested tweaks to them on the fly. For example, when a student wrote a goal clearly outside of his/her reach, I gave fair warning but still signed his/her notecard—ready to reflect on a failure after the weekend. Over the weekend, I posted these notecards on the KA bulletin board in the classroom and encouraged students to view the goals as a chance to:
- Find students with common goals and team up.
- Find students whose goal you have already completed and offer help.
- Find students who have completed your goal and ask for help.
At the end of Week 2, students were pumped about KA, and so was I.