We have finished week 2 using the Thinking Classroom strategies in my Geometry classroom. This was the first week of content and I think we all have some wonderful takeaways! If you aren’t sure what thinking classroom is, check out my first post about it.

The content we started with was technically review material but since last year was a complete shit-show, I had no idea what content students still needed. I designed a Unit 0 to review concepts we will use throughout Geometry.

Based on last weeks feedback, most students really liked working at the board. Some told me they don’t like working with a group. I acknowledged that feeling but explained why we would continue. It took them a bit to realize they didn’t have to wait on me before moving to the next problem. They wanted me to tell them they were correct (which I wouldn’t do) and would wait for me. That situation fixed itself this week.

Here is the Google Form I am using to receive feedback each week. I haven’t taken a peek at this week’s feedback but I’m excited because they will report on their self-assessment this week.

We worked on consolidation this week too. Students are struggling to know how much or what to write down. I noticed some improvement as the week went on. I circled key ideas from their work and we talked about what information we might want to include. This is a learning curve for all of us but I’m glad they are willing to persevere.

I created note-taking guides and included their content (standards) check-list on the back. This is THEIR checklist to keep track of how they are doing. I have my own digital version that I keep for each of them too.

I created my Check Your Understanding activities with answers provided and encouraged students after each new topic to check their understanding. They were so excited that I “wasn’t checking” to see if this was done and many of them didn’t do it.

We took our first formative assessment Friday. After the assessment was over, before I had the chance to provide feedback, I asked students to reflect over how they thought the formative assessment went and how much time they had spent checking to make sure they understood the concept. MANY students said they didn’t check their understanding and wished they had. I have scored (using the check and x system from the book) their assessments and they accurately self-reported. Many of them needed to work on skills and they didn’t know it because they didn’t check their understanding. I feel like it was a good learning experience.

Here is the spreadsheet I keep for each student. Alice Keeler has a RosterTab template you can use to auto-fill all of your students. I have used it before but just typed by kiddos names in this time.

On Tuesday (no school Monday), I plan to have stations set up where students have additional check your understanding problems and can work with me or others on concepts they need. We take the final classroom assessment over these topics on Wednesday but students will have the opportunity to continue working on these concepts with me if needed. I always allow students to keep working and improve if they want to.

We begin our new material this coming week and I’m excited to see how students do with information they have never seen before.

If I haven’t mentioned, I love the Thinking Classroom!

Wow! Yes! Love those notes – feeling the same way about my incoming geometry students? AND my Precalculus students? We start with trig…🙃 Thanks for the Google Form and the notes template, would love anything else you could share my list my way!

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Good luck on your journey and I will definitely continue to share success, failures, and ideas.

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Thank you so much for this blog! I just started reading building thinking classrooms. I can t wait to implement it (mid way through the year…)

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Reach out with any questions or things you find working well!

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