Friday, 14 October 2016

Adding Flexibility to Advanced Functions

Math teachers Megan Clark and Kelly Smolinski used the flexible features of one of
our Learning Communities to allow greater customization in Advanced Functions.

A key piece of Greenwood’s customized approach to learning is giving students the power to choose how they learn. Some students prefer a teacher-directed lesson; for others, an online video lesson, which allows them to self-pace, is most effective. This knowledge inspired the design of Greenwood’s new Learning Communities - flexible rooms that easily reconfigure to support many different types of instruction.

Choice in Grade 12 Advanced Functions


Math teachers Megan Clark and Kelly Smolinski recently made excellent use of one of our Learning Communities to support their Grade 12 Advanced Functions class. After a “warm up” activity, students had a choice: they could continue with a teacher-directed lesson from Megan, or do a self-paced lesson through an online video. Based on their choice, students dispersed to three different locations in the room:

  • Those listening to Megan’s lesson remained at the front of the room.
  • Students who wanted to complete the video lesson in a small group chose one of the breakout rooms, where the sound wouldn’t interrupt the teacher-led lesson.
  • Students who wanted to complete the video lesson individually headed to a small nook by the window, where they used earphones.

The Benefits of a Bigger Space


Both teachers allowed these options in previous years, but co-teaching in a larger space with flexible furnishings offers Megan and Kelly even more opportunities to customize lessons.

“While Megan taught, I frequently checked in with students who chose the self-paced option, answering their questions and clarifying concepts,” Kelly says. “This resolved the issues that may have come up in the past, when it was more difficult for a teacher to answer questions from self-pacing students because they were also teaching a lesson.”

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