Old Practices for New Times

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According to some of my teacher friends, it’s been difficult to hold on to “best practices” as they navigate the on-line teaching that has been thrust upon them and their students during the Covid-19 pandemic. So, I just wanted to share some ideas and perhaps open up a conversation so that you may support each other. Here’s the first thing: YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ALL THE PRACTICES AT ONE TIME! Acknowledge to yourself and your students that this is new and that you need some time to figure out what works best for you and them. With being said, let’s start with what I think may be one of the easiest to implement practices.

The Exit Slip. An exit slip is a written student response to a question or questions the teacher poses at the end (and in my case, the beginning and the end) of a class or lesson. These informal assessments should come out of the big ideas or essential learning for that particular day. 

What’s great about exit slips is that they enable teachers to quickly assess students’ understanding of the material presented that day. This eases the “We went over that yesterday!!!!” frustration. 

On exit slips, students summarize their learning in their own words, which allows them to reveal, to themselves and to their teachers, their leaning processes. Cool, huh?

You know what else is great about exit slips? Teachers get to respond to students’ learning in authentic ways, AND they can differentiate instruction based upon patterns in student response. Not only that, you know how you sometimes feel like you’re teaching the same lesson over and over again? Looking at students’ thinking on their exit slips can uncover for you, the teacher, exactly what you need to reteach and HOW you might need to revisit it. That saves time for you and your students. This kind of assessing, planning, and teaching is at the heart of engaged learning… and I believe it will be the kind of practice you will need for what I THINK is going to be the buzz this upcoming school year. Accelerated learning.

Listen. This is nothing new, but new situations often call for new perspective on old practices, and that ‘s what this blog is offering to you my friends, as well as an opportunity to connect and collaborate. So, here’s my exit slip for you.

What is the most valuable thing you learned or relearned from this blog?

What are the best digital exit slips you’ve created? Please share!

What are your next steps?

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