Thursday, October 6, 2011

Khan 2011-2012

I'm getting a little pressure from the powers above to add more direct instruction to my classes. So, I've started assigning KA for homework. I'm requiring each student to spend a minimum of 20 minutes, 4-times per week. They can do more, but need to show at least 4-20 minute sessions per week. Some are picking up from last year's class ( I have my students in both 7/8 grades). In any case, they need to start with Addition 1 and progress along the path suggested in the Knowledge Map.

In other news, I recently spent some time presenting workshops at several Google Offices around the country. All Google offices offer plenty of whiteboards to brainstorm on and the availability of food nearby. Over the summer I "painted" several of my desktops with a product called, IdeaPaint and transformed my tabletops into whiteboard surfaces. I also installed several sheets of Melamine on my walls for more whiteboard space. I want my students to feel free to move around, stand, and collaborate when they are doing their math work.

Today, I instituted another Google idea. I'm allowing my students to eat and drink in my room during class. Each class has a classroom manager who is responsible to make sure the room is cleaned up before dismissal. These are middle school students and I'm not sure if this will work. But I gave them a lecture about how more freedom also means more responsibility. I want to give my students as much decision-making freedom as they can handle. I'm hoping that as they take on more personal responsibility, they will take on more responsibility for their learning. Stay tuned. 


  1. That sounds like one fun classroom!

    How are the students responding to the Khan Academy homework? Do they seem postive and enthusiastic or neutral or what?

  2. They like the idea of doing KA for homework. I just started it this week, so we'll see if they keep up. There was more buzz about being able to eat in class. Today was the first day. It went well. Several students brought in sandwiches and chips. Room was left nice and clean!