New Class Model Experiment

About a month ago, I blogged about a New Class Model that involved direct instruction and student learning journals.  I decided to table it due to the lack creative projects in the model.  It was essentially lecture and writing--not the favorite activities of most adolescents and DEFINITELY not the type of intriguing progressive classroom I advocate for.  However, my interest in a new system for grading has brought this idea back to the front burner.  In addition, I watch a video by Alan November about technology integration and how most of us are getting it wrong, or at least using it as a substitution for traditional methods.  He really stressed meta-cognition and I think the learning journals area good way of encouraging students to think about their thinking and learning. 

I decided to try it on a small scale and with some modifications.  I selected 10 students from a wide range of ability and motivation.  We spent lunch together discussing the experiment and setting up a shared Journal in Google Docs.  They are going to make 3 journal entries each week--2 that reflect on the current week/day and 1 that reflects on the year/semester.  I told them if they completed this, they would get to choose their grade by the end of the year.  I gave them some "thinking questions" to help them think, but I also plan on inserting comments on what they write to give them feedback and help them develop their reflective skills.  Can't wait to see how this goes!

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