"Right away I had thoughts of how if presented the opportunity to explore things like this in partnerships, kids would actually help each other correct things that don't work. Working together to get through a difficult problem might actually lessen their frustration and help them persevere in solving it. I think as a classroom teacher its also important to have a set of clear classroom expectations and guiding questions ready because I also see kids getting off task from the objectives of the lesson if they become too frustrated. Asking questions that reflect on the objective of the lesson or asking them about using what they already know allows them to correct their own mistakes without telling them it didn't work."
"I like the fact that Sketchpad allows for a lot of mistakes. If you don't like what you made, oh well, you open a new sketch, just like that. Students experience failure in a gentle way, and build their success little by little.I have noticed that students are not afraid to ask their peers for help, and peers are confident enough to walk to their peers' places and assist them."
" I have found that whenever you get away from the norm of instruction and into investigation and exploration, much more learning takes place. Students are allowed to make mistakes and fumble through the activities and that is where the learning takes place. The key for the students is the motivation to persevere the the mistakes and roadblocks to get to an answer."
While the teachers have been learning Sketchpad and learning how to integrate the technology effectively and appropriately in their classes, I think where I am seeing the most eye opening change is in their learning about their students. They really focus on "what do my students need, where will they struggle, and how will I help them get past that struggle to true understanding?" They are not focused on giving students the algorithms or the answers, but rather on "how can I help them get to their own understanding?" This alone seems to be a reason to promote long-term professional development with teachers. Time to learn, practice, reflect, analyze student work, and get feedback from peers seems to really provide teachers with insight into their own teaching and a willingness to try new things.
For the other posts in this series, click the following links:
Planning for Hybrid PD - Comfort Level and Confidence First
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD - Day 1
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD - Day 2
Hybrid PD - Online Community Development Pt 1
Planning for Hybrid PD (part 2) - Develop Community and Supportive Environment
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD (Part 2) - F2F Feedback
Hybrid PD - Online Community Development Pt. 2
Planning for Hybrid PD (part 3) - Make it Relevant
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD (part 3) - F2F feedback
Hybrid PD - Online Community Development Pt. 3
Planning for Hybrid PD (part 4) - Teacher Input
Follow-up On Planning for Hybrid PD (part 4) - F2F Feedback