I just wrapped up my last unit and got some student feedback about PLT (Personal Learning Time) and have made some changes to the process for this next unit. I frequently survey my students to get their input on how PLT is working for them and how it can be improved. After I give a survey, I go over the common themes with my students and then explain what I am doing to meet their needs and requests. By doing this, I hope that they feel that their voice is heard and that I value their opinion and experience in my class.
Some of my students are having a hard time keeping up with their pacing and completing all of their choice and required activities on time. To help them be more successful, I am going to do 3 things.
1. Set firm deadlines
In the past PLTs, I set due dates for quizzes and playlists, but students could still complete the work after the due date. Now, I am setting the quizzes on Schoology so that they close on the due date. I will allow students to take the quiz after the due date, but they will have to ask me to open the quiz for them. This will also allow me to have a conversation with the student to determine why they weren’t able to take the quiz on time and formulate a plan so that they are able to meet the future due dates.
2. Calendar Checklist
I created a calendar that outlines the unit and included it in the playlist. In addition to adding the due dates for playlists and other important dates, I included check boxes where students can create a to do list. I am encouraging them to use the checklist to plan out when they are going to complete their choice and required activities – whether it is during class or as homework.
3. Get One (or more) Done
I tried this today and had great success – even with the students who don’t usually do much! For today’s lesson, I introduced the new unit and went through the PLT information, students set their SMART goals for the unit, took vocabulary notes, participated in partner conversations and then had PLT. There was about 20-30 minutes (depending on the period) for PLT. I told them that their goal for today was to get at least ONE activity done before the end of class. Most students finished or almost finished one choice activity by the end of the hour. A couple of my students who don’t do much work in any of their classes actually completed an activity. I hope that their success at completing one choice activity will be the motivation they need to keep working and completing their playlists. We shall see tomorrow!