Edcamp in the Classroom

After reading about Justin Aion’s Edcamp experience in the classroom, I was prettying psyched to try it out in my own classroom. +1

I shared my idea with my coworker and she too was ready to try it out the following week. +2 for Edcamp.

I sent the link of Justin’s blog to my math team and my principal immediately responded with great enthusiasm. Danielson 3C (student engagement) +100 points for Edcamp.

Amongst many other conversations and student midterms the idea got put on the back burner. And then it resurfaced today.

One of my classes was going to work on their quiz corrections today. This class is usually co taught, but my coteacher was scheduled to grade the science midterms. So with one less adult in the room, the cries of Ms.K became too much to deal with, too fast. And so I remembered Edcamp.

I brought out the sliding whiteboard, wrote down a list numbered 1-16, and had teams come up and put their names next to any question they received a 3 or 4 in (which means they mastered that particular standard-SBG). Then I told students when you’re stuck on a problem, those are the students you need to turn to. If you’re one of those people on the list for a particular question and someone asks for help, you need to explain your thinking and strategy.



And so edcamp began and it was great!!

Glows:

  • Student-student interaction. FTW! 
  • My students were really engaged. I believe I had 95% of the students engaged and on task for about 90-95% of the time.
  • It made students accountable to one another. Whenever students asked me for help or if they were stuck, I just pointed to the board.
  • I was so proud to see some of my low ability students actually “teaching” and explaining concepts to my higher ability students.
  • Even though I had the data, I quickly saw which outcomes (standards) students have mastered and which ones I would need to address at some point during reteaching week.
  • It freed me up to check-in with those who really needed more guidance.
 
Grows:
  • It was really helpful for some students to have access to a whiteboard and markers. So I had them use the one on my easel and the one on the back shelf. Next time I might consider having the mini whiteboards as materials for them in the beginning.
  • There was one student who lost his quiz when I handed it back.  Luckily, my co teacher had prepared some work–so i had him work on it during the edcamp.  But I wonder how he can still be involved with the edcamp process.  what about a student who was absent the day before.  
  • False information: this time around we used quizzes that had already been graded–though it is still possible that even a student with a 3 on an outcome explains it incorrectly. What if students are working on tasks that have not been pre-checked.  It helps that I co-teach all of my classes, so one of us can check in with the groups.  
  • Off task students were a concern, but I did go over the expectations and said we’d return to our seats if the expectations of Edcamp were not being met…and of course I always add, and I know that will not be the case because you all have the ability to meet these expectation. 
  • Next time I do this, it will probably be with my co-teacher in the room, and I think that this is a great opportunity for one of us to take some low inference observation notes, especially on the strengths of students ability to explain their thought process.  
  • There were a few key questions that most of the students did not get a 3 in, so I need to cut off Edcamp at a point and address those particular questions. This time I didn’t since I do have reteaching week and thought I would address them then.  
I’m excited to try it again!