Thursday, August 28, 2014

Flipping the Classroom Series: Benchmark Assessment Map (BAM)

The biggest struggle in setting up a Flipped Classroom, for me anyways, was the organization. How am I going to get my students to receive the information they need, in a way that is easy to follow, so that they become self sufficient learners?

Enter the BAM- Benchmark Assessment Map. This organizer does a couple different things in a unit.

  1. Shows the student WHAT they will be learning- the exact benchmark as well as the supporting learning targets for that benchmark
  2. Shows the student HOW they will be learning it- I wanted the BAM to go in order. For example, this first unit, the student needs to know the Earth has layers and that one of those layers is the mantle before they can know that convection currents occur in the mantle. 
  3. Shows the student WHY they are learning it- this is always a big point with administration. They always like to not only ask the students what they are learning, but why are they learning it.
I did however run into a problem. Below is my first attempt at the BAM. Where it has the three components I wanted, it was not very clear to the students, which means they were not using it as a learning tool.

I was super proud of this creation until I noticed students were not completing assignments in order- like skipping watching videos and going straight into activities. So, I asked a couple classes on what they wanted to see on their BAM that would be most helpful for them. Below is the new BAM for the same unit.

The biggest complaint from the students with the original was that the order wasn't obvious, it was hard to figure out what needed to go in their Interactive Notebooks (even though it is posted on a LARGE Table of Contents in the back of the classroom) and it wasn't a "checklist". I did have another request to have how much each thing is worth, but I one girl put it best; "What does it matter how many points something is worth? You should do your best at everything." Well said, well said! 

I am going to give the kids the new BAM today and see if that improves the self-sufficiency/productivity of the classroom. Until then...

Mrs. C  

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