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"Teaching often feels like you are balancing 100 things at once and there’s always some balls that drop. The streamlining of blended learning allows me to reallocate energy to focus on my students more and what they need."
"Going through the process of creating my instructional videos helped me learn to be more clear, concise and articulate as a teacher. I love how it frees up my time to support students in a more effective way!"
"Young students often do not show mastery right away and need their own developmentally appropriate time to absorb and process new concepts. I track progress to help hold them accountable to their learning and hold myself accountable to making sure we’re measuring (and celebrating!) the growth when it happens."
"Grouping students by progress encourages authentic collaboration, and makes it easy for me to deliver small-group instruction. Students demonstrate mastery by completing a check for understanding after a lesson and recording themselves on our LMS explaining their thinking and how they got to the answer."
"If students demonstrate mastery, they are ready for the next lesson! If not, they re-watch the video and continue practicing the skill in centers. When ready, they take a new mastery check to confirm they’re ready to move on."
"For years I’d been using components of the Modern Classrooms model without realizing it. Now that I have the framework and support to implement this all with fidelity, my instruction, classroom organization, mental health, and classroom community are all better for it!"
"My students learn at different speeds, and they don't like lectures. So I record instructional videos for them, like this one"
My students love watching my videos -- and I love seeing them take charge of their own learning. They can learn anything! Students sometimes lose track of what they need to do next. So I use this learning roadmap to help them stay on track:
Some people say 4th graders are too young for this. I strongly disagree! Students need practice in order to learn. So after each video, I give them lots of practice...
If my students don't show mastery, I make them revise until they understand. They don't advance until they really get it!I strongly feel that blended learning is the best thing I have implemented in my classroom to date. I have seen students grow both in academics and in personal independence.
"I teach large classes full of diverse learners. It's really hard to keep everyone on the same page."
"Recording my own videos keeps me connected to students -- and lets them learn at their own individual paces. Keeping track of each student's learning can be hard. So I use progress trackers to keep everything organized:
I also determine seating based on progress. (When school is open, of course!) My room can feel chaotic, but it's really very organized.After they watch my video, students practice the skill -- either independently or in groups."
The most important thing to me is that my students truly learn. So I use mastery checks after each lesson to ensure understanding.
Students don't advance until they PROVE mastery. If they fall short, they need to revise and reassess until they get it. Modern Classrooms has revolutionized how I run my classroom and made teaching a rewarding and sustainable career.
"In my class, I have students at wildly different levels of music and Spanish proficiency, and they simply can’t all learn at the same pace."
"I don't like lecturing, or trying to control the attention of 20 pre-adolescents. I also want to provide individualized and timely support to each student. Video lessons free me up to work with them one-on-one and in small groups."
Knowing which lesson each student is on informs my teaching each and every day. I take a look at who needs to revise a lesson, who is behind, and who is ahead, and I make decisions about who I will check in with and which students I may leverage as “lesson stars” who can help others."
"It’s incredibly easy to keep track of who is on what lesson this way, and that is such useful data! It gives me tons of options with regard to encouraging collaboration, and it also lets me know who needs support. Also, because it is tabulated data, it facilitates sending progress reports to parents using a mail merge!"
In this lesson, students must prepare their sound regions to meet two specific criteria, and once they do, they take a screenshot of their work and submit it via these slides on Google Classroom."
"Once the student submits their screenshot, I simply take a look to see if they’ve prepared the regions correctly! If they have, I check them off (give them an “x” on the pacing tracker) and they can move on. If they made a mistake, I’ll mark it with an “R” on the tracker and leave them a comment on Google Classroom about what to do, then follow up with them in class if necessary."
"The Modern Classrooms model changed my teaching practice, but it did so in a way that felt completely organic and natural to the style of teaching I strove for before.
"I always wanted to allow to students to self-pace, I always wanted a system for keeping track of my students progress, and I always wanted to be a kinder, more responsive human being than I could when I was lecturing, and Modern Classrooms gave me the tools to realize a vision I had only imagined during my years as a “traditional” teacher."
"In addition to high absences, my classes have a wide variety of learning levels. Because of this, traditional lectures just don’t work for me."
"I make videos because I believe in giving students the power to control their own learning experience. In a traditional classroom, we move at my pace but this doesn’t work for all students. It’s a much better environment when everyone is set up for success. "
"I teach over 100 students (both in person and online) and knowing where everyone is at any given moment is hard. My progress tracker gives me a nice quick snapshot of where everyone is."
"I believe in helping students learn to manage their own learning, so we also keep individual trackers for students to monitor their own progress."
"Students can access the content anywhere no matter if they are in school or not. In addition, students have days where they work faster or slower depending on their mood and temperament. This method gives them the time they need to get things done. "
"After students have completed the video and any other independent practice or labs, they complete a mastery check--a short quiz that is a mix of multiple choice and free response questions. No matter what the circumstances, mastery means 80% or higher. Anything lower, and they must do small group with me, peer tutoring with a partner, rewatch the video, etc. before they are able to complete a new mastery check."
"After students demonstrate mastery, they’re free to move on to the next lesson -- or work on a passion project if they're finished early. The Modern Classroom model has helped me create the classroom I always envisioned, where students are equal participants in learning.. I will never go back to a 100% traditional classroom."
"I need something to fill the gaps--absences, trauma, class changes, true differentiation--and Modern Classrooms Project helped me reorganize my pedagogy and content to reach all students."
"I’ve found that my students prefer videos to live lectures--it allows them to have a copy of me they can rewind/ pause as needed. It’s fun when they have a visual for the stories, too! My students are working on different lessons at the same time. So, I display this progress tracker:
"Grouping students by progress encourages authentic collaboration and makes it easy for me to deliver small-group instruction. Additionally, it creates authentic, organic engagement with what they are doing and how they are learning."
"After watching my video, I give students plenty of opportunities to self-assess their new skills and ask any additional questions that may not have been answered during their work via application assignments and a simple mastery check:
"If a student shows mastery/doesn’t have further questions, it’s on to the next lesson! However, I also like to offer “Aspire To Do” assignments that allow for creativity and extend the application of the acquired skill set for that lesson. Otherwise, the student can review, revise and reassess as needed!"
"Something was always missing in my pedagogy-- felt I wasn't as effective as I could be as a teacher for all levels of learners in my room, and now I feel that I am able to reach all students at their level, authentically engaging them in their work and learning."
"I value making genuine connections with my students and providing true differentiated instruction. A traditional lecture classroom did not allow me to successfully do that."
"My students enjoy having the opportunity to rewatch video lessons for understanding instead of solely depending on lectures and their notes. Instructional videos also free up class time, which allows me to work independently or in small groups with my students. My progress tracker serves as a visible reminder and encouragement tool for students to stay on track within each unit."
"This motivates students to move at a steady pace throughout each unit and fosters authentic collaboration in my classroom. Students that are “on-track” serve as helpers to their classmates that may need assistance with a lesson. Mastery is demonstrated through the use of mastery checks at the end of each lesson within a unit."
"Students are able to revise and reassess mastery checks, if necessary. Once mastery is shown , students are able to move on to the next lesson within the unit."
"This method has completely revolutionized my classroom and mindset about teaching. I am now able to focus on connecting with each individual student. Not only am I able to ensure student mastery of content, but I am better equipped to meet the needs of every student in my classroom while cultivating authentic relationships. "
"In order to do authentic, lab-based science well, students have to be able to move through basic content at a pace appropriate for them, and get lots of small group and 1-1 tutoring. That’s why I use self-paced and mastery-based progression in my class."
Videos let you “clone” yourself as a teacher- some kids learn wonderfully from them, and they then need less help from you in person. It frees you up to give more of your in-person attention to kids who really need it, in small group or 1-1 settings. "
"Tracking progress helps students take ownership of their learning: it makes it clear how much you’ve learned and what you’re still working on, and shows you what to do next. Here's my tracker:
"This simple “sticker chart” style tracker helps students see where they are, who they can team up with to get help, and which topics they’ve mastered already. After each lesson, students show mastery by taking a small “end of lesson quiz” like this one. They also complete a more comprehensive lab mid-way through each unit:
"If a student shows mastery, it's on to the next lesson! Otherwise, the student can revise and reassess, until that student really gets it. From here, students learn a few more standards about rotation, and then they get to build a rotating amusement park ride, or a miniature catapult!"
"The Modern Classrooms framework helped me make my classroom student-centered, focused on learning, and flexible enough to meet a wide range of student interests and skills."
"When I lecture live, students are all over the place. Some are absent, some get distracted with other things, and others have a hard time listening and trying to take notes at the same time."
"By using videos, students can move at a pace that best suits their learning needs. They have the capability to stop, pause, and rewind if they need to and those students who were absent don’t have to worry about what they missed because they can pick up where they left off. "
"When teaching different levels of the same course, it is important to see where students are in the course of a unit. This tracker lets me see who is striving, who is coasting and who is struggling:
"Grouping students by progress encourages authentic collaboration, and makes it easy for me to deliver small-group instruction."
"It all starts with the video. Students must first demonstrate their understanding of the video. From there, students have multiple opportunities to enhance their skills on a given skill through practices and should do activities. At the culmination of a lesson, students demonstrate mastery through a 5 question MC mastery check."
"Once a student has achieved mastery, they are permitted to continue to the next lesson. If not, teacher and student interventions are taken before the student is allowed to reassess.This is one of the best programs I have implemented as a teacher. It has changed the way I teach and provides my students with the confidence to be better learners."