Monday, September 9, 2013

Integrated Math I ..... Blogfolios

This is a cross post from Moving Up the SAMR Model.

Ms Ange in Grade 9 Integrated Math I, has taken the challenge of having student create individual blogfolios to reflect on their math learning. As all students in Grade 9 have already created a Google Site Digital Portfolio that is being used in English and Visual Arts, so the students were taught how to link their Math blogfolio directly from the ePortfolio site under "Mathemathics". In this way, all their learning reflections are connected to a central hub.

The challenge in a blogfolio is to create appropriate "labels" that will allow retrieval of posts according to learning goals. The thoughtful creation and use of labels is a great support to reflection, which is a Modification stage on the SAMR model.

In the figure below you will see stages in the use of blogs for learning in Math. Those stages are described in more detailed below with emphasis on "Modification", which is the example described on this post. You can also see our ICT Standards associated with each stage.

SAMR Augmentation

If the students were sharing problem solutions on a blog, it would already be a great step as they could learn from each other's problem solving. This type of activity would be under the Augmentation stage of the SAMR Model (see entire model on the figure below). This is because students would be able to add visuals to support explanations and of course make those visible to others, as an augmented approach to solving problems individually. But the idea that is central on a blogfolio ( or ePortfolio) is reflection, which then takes us to the Modification stage as explained below, which is the adopted at the integrated Math I class.

SAMR Modification

One step further on posting in a blog is the reflection on learning that not only happens along the way but also happens as students are able to retrieve blog posts under a certain learning goal and evaluate progress according to goals. The definition of labels was a crucial discussion between the teacher and the Academic Tech in order to guarantee labels that would  live through all the grades in the HS and that could also link to previous grades.

Labels for Learning Goals
The conversation started with my suggestion of the use of Graded's core values, as well as the grade and class name as labels. Then, the teacher explored possible labels to indicate learning progress in Math. After some discussion on how to use main ideas from the Math AERO standards that would add subject related specificity , here are the final labels that covered core values and math specific goals. An initial task for the students was to create a post where all labels were copied from the teacher's template, so the whole class had the same labels to work on during the year:

Long term learning goals
The first post created by the students involved their learning goal(s) for Math associated with Graded's Core Values. As they wrote their posts, students also selected the core value labels that corresponded to their goal as shown in the example below:

This is Ms Ange's comment on the students's goal setting exercise on the blog:

SAMR Redefinition

At  the Redefinition stage, students would get input from experts on their blog posts and also connect with students from different cultures who may see and use mathematics in different ways.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

PE 10... Fitness Portfolios for Lifelong Learning

In PE 10, Ms Arcenas' class is taking the learning outside of the classroom and also outside of the "Unit" by recording fitness workout every week along the entire school year. Students will reflect on their own fitness plan and also on how it should be adjusted to provide the desired results and support other activities like basketball or soccer practice.

In order to make this record viable, students will enter the weekly workout on a Google Form that feeds a spreadsheet where they will collect all the information to be used as a basis for reflection and review.

The images below show how the Form looks like on a cellphone, and how the filled out spreadsheet looks like.

Such use of cellphones to enter fitness data is interpreted at the Augmentation stage of the SAMR model. This is because the cellphone offers clear advantages to paper record. It allows better organization and more importantly, it allows easy record on the spot, avoiding imprecise recording at a later time.

SAMR Augmentation

Cellphone Form

Spreadsheet View

Challenges on this Stage
There are several challenges in this activity, which already start at the Augmentation stage they are in. so to move to Modification we need to make sure the following is guaranteed:

Paradigm Shift for Students - Fitness for Life
Students will have to keep a record of fitness workout outside class and outside the Unit timeframe to learn fitness for life. Usually students tend to think that when a Unit is over, all activities related to it are over as well. Reflection will also focus on challenges in the process.

Recording Habits
The habit of recording on the place they do the workout will be a challenge, because students are not used to recording workout (which includes heart rates). The use of the cellphone in the gym is supposed to help record on the spot , so it will have to become a habit.

SAMR Modification

The chart below shows what moving up the SMAR model would look like for this activity.  The SAMR model has been developed by Rueben R. Puentedura and its image is being used to support the analysis of the PE Fitness Unit associated with our ICT Standards, An initial level in Modification would be having students share their reflection on the portfolio through a blog. A next level to complete Modification would be to have students comment on each other's posts, in this way learning together.
SAMR Model Image developed by Rueben R. Puentedura - adapated to analyze PE Fitness
Challenges on this Stage

Continuous reflection on a blog as an extra step
Students will have to show their reflection along the way, and not just as an after thought at the end of the year. Then they will need to look at some of their peer reflections to learn from them and offer suggestions.

Teacher Check Points
Another important strategy will be to check student worksheets through Teacher Dashboard from time to time to avoid students filling out a "fake" worksheet only at the end of the school year. Those checkpoints can help with student reflections and connection to other Units like Basketball, for example, so students can analyze their fitness log to see if the workout plan is effective for that sport , what needs to change.

SAMR Redefinition
Redefinition would then happen when students make connections with experts and other students around the world to open up their learning and reflection about fitness.