In a traditional class, we would have pushed through, from lesson to lesson, note to note, assignment to assignment, trying to catch students up by trying to convince them to come in for extra help outside of class time.
I'm amazed, looking back at how I used to run this course, how curriculum-driven my teaching was. With the responsibility for pace now in the hands of the students, I have the ability to sit down with a lot of my students one-on-one.
Earlier this week, I sat down with those who were behind in an effort to help them get organized.
To do this, we took it back to the basics. I gave them a template - on paper - for them to reproduce - on paper - in order to plan out the last week of the unit. They had to come up with the schedule themselves by looking at what they had to do, judging how long it would take them, and how they would make up the difference in time.
The feedback has been positive. One student stuck with his schedule and was completely caught up by the end of the week. Others have jumped around in the schedule, completing items out of order, but still enjoying being able to check them off. Some are still struggling with time management, but at least this has chunked it down a bit for them.
As we move into the third unit of the course, we'll see if they improve their self-discipline and pacing.
I wonder if there is a digital way of doing this? Something more exciting than just a calendar app? I mean, I'm sure there is, but I haven't wrapped my head around it yet. Or is it sometimes better to come back to marker-and-paper to re-focus?