End of year reflection 2020-21

I did not receive an email for the follow-up Tripod survey so I am not sure how I did. With my Art 2 class, I had 3 out of 10 students that showed they struggled to understand the content of the course. Even with continual reviewing and reteaching the content, they continued to struggle. I worry that slowing down and reviewing made the class less challenging for the other 7 students. This is something I think I really need to work at balancing. 
 
Graphic design was a new class that I taught the second semester and this was a huge professional growth experience for me. It was wonderful to review the technology that I used a long time ago and learn new tricks. Along with reviewing skills, I introduced new skills to students often. I think this was a good way to balance summarizing past content and challenging students who had already learned the content. Art and Design are very different in the way that the instruction is structured. I am working on ways to adapt this approach to work for my Visual Arts classes because it worked well. 
 
I conducted my own survey to see how I did this year and this is what I found. 
Care: I am doing well on showing I care for my students. The lower student in the class probably feels that I do not care because most of our conversations are just about clarifying the content and less about getting to know her. 
Things I will build into my classes to show care: 
  1. Bring in special books or resources for students to show that I care about their interests and am thinking about them outside of class. 
  2. Making sure I have more conversations about students well being when they are struggling with the course content. 
Clarify: I have improved on this section. The top and bottom students in my class feel that I clarify the content less. I found this very interesting. This is probably because the top student is showing a good understanding of the topics covered and I spend less time talking this her one on one to clarify the content.
Things I will build into my classes to show clarify:
  1. I will make sure to spend the same amount of time checking in with the top student in the class.
Consolidate: There were mixed responses in this section. I have been including the Learning Objectives and Language objectives on my daily slide shows and I could take the last 5 minutes of class to preview these. I also think that with this class, students often took more time than I expected completing the task so I would push reflection activities to the next lesson. I could put less content in the classes to ensure that they have time for this activity at the end of class. I could also use short written tasks to help them think about the learning from the day. 
Things I will build into my classes to show Consolidate: 
  1. Review the objectives at the end of the lesson 
 
One of my fears was that with all of the reviewing, students wouldn’t feel challenged in this class. I found that this was not true. Almost all students feel that the class is adequately challenging. One student really struggled with the content and felt the course was too hard. I have given some choices for the topic and materials for each project but students want even more choice. This is what I expected and I would like to see how I can continue to challenge students and give them more choice. 

Goals for 2020-21

This year my professional growth goal was Care, Consolidate and clarify. This goal was in line with the results I received from and these are the specific questions I was focused on.

  • Care: My teacher in this class makes me feel that he/she really cares about me.
  • Care: My teacher seems to know if something is bothering me.
  • Clarify: My teacher knows when the class understands, and when we do not.
  • Consolidate: My teacher takes the time to summarize what we learn each day.
Strategies
Care: 
Attendance questions (Time to share) 
Talk to each student each class. 
Approach and talk to students when I notice that they are acting differently. 
Have more understanding when deadlines are missed or students are late. 
Try to find out more about students’ interests outside of class and bring these into the class or talk them about these interests. 
 
Clarify: 
Giving more small assessment tasks that help me to see their understanding 
Create a system for turning work in more frequently 
Giving feedback on progress 
Review the work students submit, take notes and check in during class. 
 
Consolidate: 
Linking one unit to the next and continuing to talk about content that has passed 
Review learning frequently 
Putting lessons on a PowerPoint so I can review at the start and end of class but students also can access the content on their own. 
Stopping class early and giving time for reflection and review. 
Put Learning Objective and Language Objective into each class and share them with students at the start of the lesson. 

Consolidate Through Games

I made sure to revisit the key concept of the previous lesson at the start of the next lesson. I also tied the learning into the new lesson drawing more on student prior knowledge. In order to make this review process more fun for students (and more meaningful), I turned these review sessions into games or fun activities that students did together. Some of the tasks were

  • Vocabulary words translated into different languages and posted on display boards with examples
  • Vocabulary and image matching games that they did in teams
  • Dance games were they became artists and attend a social, mingling and sharing information about themselves with others
  • “Speed Dating” games were they became artists and set with another student sharing information about themselves and asking questions about the other person (artist)

It was harder to gamify the learning during eLearning. This review and summary of learning were often done through Screen Cast lessons, starting tasks by following up on past learning, and quizzes that helped students reflect their understanding of the subject.

Consolidate Through Objectives

I used daily class objectives to focus my teaching and help guide student learning. I addressed this at the start of the class with students and often would revisit them with a summary at the end of the lesson. During eLearning, I posted these at the top of the daily task to guide students learning.

 

Care Through Gathering Feedback

I surveyed students throughout the year to see how their learning experience was going and to get an idea of what they liked or disliked about the class. When we were together, I often did these ‘surveys’ as a quick exit pass out of the class. This helped me to guide future learning experiences for the students. In the time of eLearning, I did this through occasionally sending out surveys to the students but also asked them questions about their experience in my class at the end of Zoom meeting to get some verbal feedback on their experience.

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