Saturday, April 25, 2015

As a MATTER of Fact...Student Choice in My 21st-Century Science Class

I'm always experimenting with ways to use Edmodo to give my students more choice in how they learn and demonstrate their learning to me. My latest experiment is to use the small group feature to divide up the "Big Rocks" or standards in our science unit about Matter.

Students start with "3 States of Matter" and then move through the other groups at their own pace. In each "group" there are a variety of activities to choose from to learn about the content. Activities include: songs, raps, games, videos from Bill Nye, experiments from Steve Spangler, virtual experiments, etc. I'm letting my students pick and choose what, when, where, how much, they want to use. BUT, they are required to know the content and must provide me evidence of their learning.

I've used the QUIZ feature for little checkpoints. Students can instantly see their score and have me reset the quiz for another try if needed. I do not use these quizzes for grades.

Students have a list of standards (I Can) statements that they check off as they go. This is the "flipped" version (sort of) of our science class. During class, we do the hands-on experiments. These activities are completed during our independent learning time. It's not homework, but I never object to kids learning on their own at home.

This unit is not gamified, but I do have badges to give the kids for showing me mastery of the standards.

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