Student Input

Today was one of those days. I had more things to do than I had minutes in my morning. I was trying hard not to be negative, but I still felt very rushed and unprepared.

It was my first opportunity to co-teach with the amazing Leslie Wangeman. In my hustle and bustle I still didn’t know what I wanted to do for my 6th graders at the end of the day. I’m waiting on materials to be able to start our first design challenge…

I had finally decided that I wanted to do a brief introduction to STEM and engineering and then practice the design process while watching Design Squad. Whew. I could NOT decide how I wanted to cover this introduction.

While my 7th graders were working hard I was talking to them and thinking. I sat down next to a student who was telling me jokes, the laughter helped me relax a bit.
and it hit me. ASK THE STUDENTS. Duh. This particular student had taken the course in 6th grade that I was currently struggling with.

So I asked him, “do you remember *this* unit in Design & Modeling? I’m trying to decide what is the best way to introduce the unit.” and we had a short conversation about his thoughts on what we did last year.

I was really thankful for the conversation with the student and it made me realize I need to spend more time on collecting student feedback on lesson and teacher effectiveness.

As I was thinking about it this afternoon (and the lessons with the 6th graders went really well) I was happy that our classroom culture is at a point where I ask my students for help and they feel comfortable and safe enough to share their thoughts with me.

Do you ever ask your students what they thought of a lesson? When you’re stuck on how to approach something, do you ask your students for suggestions?


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