Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Learning & Growing in a 21st Century Classroom

North Richland Middle School's Elizabeth Pauley brings her passion for teaching and devotion to students to Birdville ISD. Elizabeth teaches 8th grade math and algebra I at NRMS, but her teaching goes way beyond her classroom walls. She is a fearless innovator, constantly seeking new ways to lift up students and help them realize their own potential. Ms. Pauley doesn't just teach the curriculum but harnesses 21st century tools so she can provide her students with real world skills. Continuous improvement and goal setting are not just empty words in her classroom they are non-negotiable activities that help her students gain insight into their own stumbling blocks and learning success's. Just as Ms. Pauley pushes her students, so does she encourage her peers to try new processes and technologies. Her teaching and classroom progress is transparent to students, staff and parents.

Recently, Elizabeth shared her student's reflections about math. Her students use Google Classroom and Google Docs to reflect on their own learning process as well as set new goals. She then chronicles what is taking place in her classroom on her Blog (Finding JOY in 8th Grade: Learning & Growing Together in a 21st Century Classroom) and all in an environment with limited technology.

Here's what Ms. Pauley had to say about the impact of taking goal setting digital.
So the 11 o'clock hour is approaching and kids are submitting their reflections through Google Classroom!  I can't begin to tell you the joy I have gotten from reading their reflections on Google docs.   
Here are the links to the what we've done this past month:  
http://findingjoyinmath.blogspot.com/2016/11/continuous-improvement-in-algebra.html
http://findingjoyinmath.blogspot.com/2016/11/taking-goal-setting-digital.html
 
Excerpts from 2 students' reflections:                                                                         *We started off with entering our data into the ChromeBooks from our 7th grade S.T.A.A.R. score, to our last unit test score, and our recent B.O.Y. Math screener. After we all entered our data and Ms. Pauley explained to us our data, we started right off into our group discussion. I personally liked how we discussed our goals and plans as a small little group because it gave us an opportunity to hear other people’s ideas and thoughts. 
 *Talking and writing about this helped me uncover what I'm really good at and what I needed to work on. We also talked about how I'm really good at finishing my assignments and being very responsible for my actions. This also helped me because i can really use those strengths to my advantage.Not only did this conference help me with noticing my strengths and weaknesses but it also helped me establish my goals inside and outside of school......We also got to share my goals with two other students and I got to hear their goals too and it made me think of everything I want to accomplish one day that maybe I wouldn't of thought of without this project! 
I also shared a Google Form (https://goo.gl/ORzEEa) with parents to gather their input on the experience.  
Feedback from 2 parents: 
*I think this was a really good idea to get these teens to think critically about where they are and where they want to be.
*I think it is good for him to start thinking about his future but what I have found out is that at 8th grade there is still a lot of growing up to do. And that boys tend to have less goals for the future at this age verse girls. Also found out that being on top of this require a kid to have a smart phone. It makes life easier even for an 8th grader to be able to just do things from their fingertips. Thanks again for this project, I have learn how much he loves science and thinks he might want to be a science teacher. I encourage him to think of other jobs that science could also be involved in and how he could use his creative side to mix with his love for science.  
I must say the conversations and stories have been incredible. I'm in the midst of putting together my own reflection for the kids, so they can see all that I've learned about my students.  Stay tuned for more of our learning journey!  ~ Ms. Pauley

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