Writing a vision and developing steps for the plan are part of the process when you have goals but it’s always good to think about possible problems. A focus group is a good way to help you see things for others’ perspective. I invited a couple of teachers, an administrator, and students to be a part of my focus group. I shared my ImagineIT project with the two groups.
The teacher team suggested that I continue building the communities in my classroom, collaborate with the technology teacher, and have set times for the technology component in the classroom. Though they think flipping the classroom is a great idea they don’t think our students or parents are ready. They suggest since I’ve introduced them to Google Classroom that I continue working with them on it to prepare them for flipping the classroom later in the school year. The next phase with building community within the school they suggest that I collaborate with a one teacher from the primary area and one from the intermediate area. The issue will be scheduling since we all operate on different math and reading schedules. They suggest I share my ideas with those teachers and maybe they’ll be willing to change their schedules for one day. The final phase of building community with parents and community stakeholders will take extra effort to get them to participate. They suggest I have an informational session, put it in the classroom newsletter each month, send robo calls home, and do a simple survey to see who is willing to participate.
Students think building community by team collaborations brings a different dynamic to the classroom and that it beneficial to their learning. They think it helps with creating a safe environment. They think it will help with:
Classroom discussions by have small group discussions first to build confidence for whole group discussion.
Learning to have disagreements and talking it out with the team.
Willing to make mistakes because you have someone to help you learn from them.
Participating in constructive arguments.
Creating Google Classroom for discussions.
Participate in problem solving activities so you can learn from mistakes and strengthen weak areas.
Students were concerned about building community with parents and community stakeholders because of jobs and the time constraints. Students suggested that letters and emails sent to parents giving an overview. They also would like to participate in communicating to parents by creating a video advertisement and persuade their parents about how fun it will be to learn together. They said advertising should start early after winter break. For parents and community stakeholders that will not be able to attend they suggest Google Hangout and doing the activities after school on Thursday at 4:30pm.
The collaboration with my colleagues and students was productive and I received great feedback. I look forward to the end results of my ImagineIT project!