The implementation of SIM went smoothly in the beginning of the year. The understanding of the importance of the Routine stood out to me and more importantly to my students. They knew that if they could master the self-test questions as well as the material displayed on the expanded map, that they were prepared for the assessment. I also believe that the co-construction that I worked into by the middle and end of the year made the Routine even more effective for students. This was more effective when I gave them the chance to be the designers themselves and not relying on myself to complete the information for them.
What was a challenge - Why?
The biggest challenge for me was trusting that my students were able to complete the Routine in the manner that I wanted. Unfortunately, it is difficult to give over contol to students, but they handled it quite well as we co-constructed throughout the year. Another challenge involved the issue of student keeping up with their UO. To overcome this challenge, I gave each student a clear, plastic, sheet protector to keep all their UOs in throughout the year - this work VERY well.
What you will do next time
For next year, I will be teaching a total of 10 classes. I am hoping to be able to spend a good bit of time over the summer to map out the skeletons of the UO for those classes, so that when it is time to start in the Fall, I am ready. Additionally, I think that I will start out with more co-construction, even with students that are not used to the Routine because each student's voice and ideas are important to include.
What adjustments you made.
I made adjustments throughout the year. In the beginning of the year, the Routines were provided to students with the majority of the front complete; however, as the year progressed less and less of the front was completed for the students and it became a class activity to think through the curriculum to determine the schedule, unit relationships, and the major topics that would be covered. The construction of the expanded map also changed throughout the year. In the beginning of the year, I was definitely more invovled with what I wanted the students to record; however, the students demonstrated that they did not necessarily need me to guide them towards the "right" information, they knew it and were able record it themselves. So by the end of the year, I was using Think-Pair-Share and independent thinking time to class sharing (as demonstrated in the video) to complete the expanded map.
Ideas generated for issues encountered
The best ideas were the sheet protector for students to used to keep their UO in their binders. The use of posters to record a class copy of the UO on the wall for any student that was absent could not miss out on the completion of the UO that occurred when they were gone. Most importantly, I believe that the idea of making the UO completion engaging and meaningful to the students and NOT just another task for them to complete.