After yesterday's class I decided that they (and I) needed a bit of a break today. We spent the class going over tests and talking about the upcoming summative and exam. There is a high stress vibe going on in the school at the moment and I think we all benefited from a day without as much pressure to get through a task.
I have also been reflecting about the summative prep work and think I will change some things next time around. Firstly, I need to take another look at the pictures we used and figure out which ones need replacing. Some of the curriculum expectations are not coming out of the current pictures so I would like to fix that. Secondly, I think that 6 stations are too many. The process takes a long time, and although I believe that it is valuable, my students have difficulty sustaining interest for as long as this has taken us so far. I think that if I spend time adjusting the pictures well, each group could do 3 stations and still be able to hit all the curriculum expectations. This would still give them the experience we are looking for, but would compress it significantly. Thirdly, I need to do more of this type of work during the semester as many of their questions are either not matching our curriculum or not rich enough to work with. Fourthly, I also might change the number of students in a group. I did random groups of four this time and found that some students did a lot of work, while others did not (and those doing a lot of work were getting frustrated). There was one group of two (because the other two group members were absent), and they both worked really well, making me wonder if working in pairs would be a better plan. Lastly (and this may change if I do all the above differently), I am going to give them all the same set of questions to work through tomorrow and Friday, instead of the questions they came up with. I know that answering their own 18 questions will be very repetitive for some - there are many of the same type of question and some of the curriculum isn't addressed at all. So, realizing that I am defeating the true purpose of this task, I am going to print up 10-ish questions that they will all answer in their comp books. That's my new plan. I guess I better get working on that now!