Monday, August 01, 2011

Google Learning Action Table

(Formerly Known as Homework)

Our classroom operates with the premise that we're all learners with the goal of strengthening and broadening our individual and collective repertoire of skill, concept and knowledge.  We understand that all people learn differently, and it's important that learners "know thyself" with regard to strengths, challenges and learning style.  It's our job as a learning community to help one another learn as much as we can during the school year.

One important aspect of our learning culture is our Google Learning Action Table.  Once or twice a week, we meet and discuss the chart which includes current learning actions, dates and notes.  The learning actions include classroom projects, activities and goals.  Notes are specific actions either students or teachers will investigate, arrange or manage in order to make the learning successful for all.

During our "action meetings" students and teachers review the chart.  We discuss best practices, peer coaching, teacher tasks, and questions--lots of questions to inform our work as successful learners.

We use a Google doc for this chart as it can be easily published and updated.  The document link is published on our classroom's closed social network (NING) to facilitate easy 24-7 access so students, teachers and parents can reference it when needed.  As the classroom teacher, I manage updates to the document.

Why is the Action Table a good idea?
  1. The table sends the message that our class is a team working together to help each other learn successfully.
  2. Our action meetings give every child a voice with respect to classroom goals and activities--children are encouraged to discuss their learning needs as well as to volunteer to help others learn.
  3. The document is a wonderful communication piece that all members of the learning community (parents, teachers, volunteers and students) can access readily.
  4. Utilizing the table models an optimal project completion process; one that children can eventually replicate.

Do you use a specific tool such as the action chart to organize, manage and share classroom endeavors?  If so, what do you use?  I began using the Google Learning Action Table on day one of the new school year.  We continue to revise and finesse the table and system to best meet our needs.  It's a great way to develop a dynamic learning team.