Challenging my teaching #hackyrclass

My first blog post on #hackyrclass – setting the scene received a tweet from @NZPEteacher asking me what my end goal is by hacking my classroom.

I have had a bit of a think about this and to be quite honest I started without having concrete, clear goals in mind. It came out of reading people’s posts and chatting with a couple of other teachers at school and the boredom that I felt with teaching the way I was.

We, predominately, use a paper workbook (that we have created as a department) and a range of individual, pair and group activities based around a Health issue / unit. I guess a lot of the content is teacher driven and involves a lot of the teacher on the stage. I have gotten bored with teaching like this and I think with what Claire Amos and everyone else involved in #hackyrclass is attempting made me feel “safe” to try something different. I have put safe in quotes as it isn’t exactly safe changing it up like teachers all over the country are with #hackyrclass but it has given me the push to step outside my comfort zone!

Coming back to the end goal, so I thought with me getting bored I am sure the students are, so I am hoping for more engagement. I am actually seeing this from most students already. I also probably need to say that a goal is that they learn what they need to about Drug Education, so as I fill the requirements of meeting the curriculum. I will need to look at this closer though. Others goals that I hope to see are higher order thinking and learning happening that is worthwhile and authentic. Getting completely away from students just filling in pages in a workbook.

I haven’t been doing much planning for the lessons. I have a loose idea of the outline for a lesson but not much structure. I think this allows for me to be more flexible and means that students are not constrained by my thinking. This isn’t the best for all students though, as some do need structure. During the lesson I am dealing with this by checking in with groups and those that are stuck or aren’t doing much I have a chat with and guide them to a point where they are keen to keep exploring ideas.

One thing I am thinking about doing, as I suggested to the class when we were discussing growth mindset, that I should let other staff in the school know what I was doing and invite them to come and visit! This rather petrifies me – so might be a good idea to run with it? I would be interested to know what others think about this idea?

where it happens

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Blended learning using Code Avengers and W3CSchools

Really like this idea. Could be really useful for Level 1 as students will be coming in with little prior knowledge.

edwin bruce, teacher

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I have decided to try a range of blended learning strategies in the classroom, experimenting with a Year 10 class learning HTML5 and CSS3.  Blended learning is a mixture of online learning (done at own pace) and classroom instruction/facilitation.

Code Avengers designed for Level 1 is generally very successful with students, they move at their own pace and I can check progress. I also have the ability to establish usernames and change passwords. HOWEVER for some students this is too challenging (it can be a little pedantic when working out if a student is correct in their coding) especially those with English as a second language. For those students that find it too hard I am getting them to attempt the W3CSchools tutorials.

If I can get the mix correct then students can work at their own pace and if they skip a few classes they can catch up in…

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