Group Playlist Concept

Our Wellness II teachers wanted to give their Mental Health unit a ‘refresh’ look and feel. In the past, students were lectured about the topic as well as participated in class discussions. Recently, I had heard Amanda Sandoval’s keynote at the Spring CUE conference where she talked about how she has designed activities for students based off of Catlin Tucker’s playlist concept. Hence, where Group playlist comes from. 

Inspiration…

In the keynote, Amanda talks about how she loved station rotations, pre-COVID times, where students would participate in different activities at the same time. Then when the timer goes off, students moved from one station to the next. This was an approach that we used pre-covid times as well (In fact, I wrote a blog post about this in Feb 2020). Amanda shared how she feels Group Playlist works a bit better because:

  • Not all stations use up the same amount of time based on the activity.
  • Groups can complete tasks in any order that they want to complete them in.
  • Teacher is able to assess work as students complete tasks. Groups let the teacher know when they are done to do the ‘assessing’. This saves time on the teacher not having to look at the work after hours and it also gives students immediate feedback. Win for both parties!
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Re-Think & Re-Imagine – Teaching is Hard!

Teaching in 2020 is hard, challenging and difficult. We have all heard this through conversations at the grocery store, families, co-workers or even the news. I 100% agree. It is hard. It is challenging. It can be difficult.

The reason why many teachers find it challenging is not due to the fact that they don’t know their curriculum, it is the fact that teachers are having to rethink and redesign their lessons during their remote teaching blocks to help make learning as impactful and meaningful as possible. Teachers are not able to take every single lesson that they have taught before and ‘just’ put it online. Much more thought goes into making sure the lesson makes sense.

Two recent activities speak to the notion above, a mathematics and a science example. Pre-pandemic, in both scenarios, the teachers would be able to make photocopies of an activity they wanted students to complete with paper and pencil/color pencils, in either groups or individually. Seeing as though students are experiencing the lesson remotely at home, the teachers had to re-think and re-imagine how the lesson could run. It all came down to what was the true goal of the activity and how they could design the activity to fit the current situation that we all find ourselves in.

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Station Rotations

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(Excited that Jess Gilcreast is a co-blog post writer for this post)

Station Rotations: A way to move from teacher lead learning to student lead learning. Our high school has 77 minute blocks. Students don’t want to listen to teachers talk the entire time and teachers don’t necessarily want to deliver content to students for the entire time either. 

Jess Gilcreast, high school librarian, and I have been working with humanities teachers to re-think how to deliver introduction content for a particular unit. Below you will find resources and activities that were completed in a sophomore humanities course. We are both very proud of what was accomplished.

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