Being part of TechEds requires me to try new technology, and I love that. I love learning new things and finding new ways to engage and reach kids. I regularly use all sorts of tools for differentiation, assessment, and instruction. However, when several people are coming to watch me teach using technology, I feel the need to do something that perhaps they won’t see others doing. This is where the overplanning madness began.
Overplanning is something I do when I have time and announced visitors observing me teach. This time visitors are coming to see what the TechEds teachers are doing in their classrooms, so I got some crazy ideas and started running with them. This weekend I looked at my plans, and I was like, “Huh? How am I going to do all that? Why did I set it up this way? Does that even make sense? Will it make sense to the kids? Is the content getting lost in the wordiness? Am I trying to make a production?” Aaargh!
Sometimes I chase an idea, catch it, and then don’t know what to with it. Yesterday I began tweaking what I was going to do because I couldn’t figure out how to do what I had envisioned. Then, it just didn’t make sense when I tried to plan the logistics of the lesson.
Finally, I moved to streamlining and simplified what seemed like the “dog and pony show” or “the production” of it all. And now, it makes sense. Now I feel like my technology is infused in my lesson in a way that makes sense. I still might be a bit over the top, but I am trying to show them what kids can do with BYOD.
Tomorrow the students will be participating in “The Great Comma Race” in teams of four. They will take a QR comma quiz (you can make QR quizzes at http://www.classtools.net/QR/) in groups, they will edit sentences written by students differentiated by their level of comma expertise, and the will take a group quiz on their edited sentences using Formative (https://goformative.com is a new favorite tool of mine). They will end with QR reflection questions (I wrote about this a few days ago). They will be charged to go home and revisit their essays, and return tomorrow with examples of 3 of 4 types of commas we’ve discussed.
THINKING AND BLOGGING
Now I’m just thinking through the lesson. I want to feature tools, I want teachers to see how you can use BYOD, and I want what I’m doing to be grounded in good instruction. As usual, blogging about my thoughts helps me harness my thoughts. I’ve never really thought of the process I go through so often: overplanning, replanning, tweaking, streamlining, thinking, walking through…
Thank you for helping me make sense of my madness, teacher friends and blog readers. Thanks for commenting, too.
Wish me luck tomorrow. 🙂 I’m tired just thinking about it. I feel like I’ve run The Great Comma Race already many times, in circles.