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Removing the Ceiling: The Self-Paced Classroom

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Jessica McCubbin

on 2 December 2016

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Transcript of Removing the Ceiling: The Self-Paced Classroom

Removing the Ceiling: The Self-Paced Classroom

2 Major Underlying Ideas Behind Self-Pacing
The students should be able to
move on
with the
content without having to wait on the teacher or
the rest of the class.

A Sneak Peak Into
a Self-Paced
Essentials for Organizing the Class
by Jessica McCubbin and Sarah Hayes
Unit Pacing Guides/Checklist
Progress Monitoring
Setting Deadlines
Bellringer System

The students should have
access to all unit requirements and resources
to avoid having to come to the teacher for directions to each activity they need to complete.
Whole Class Activities
Secret Student
In order for this type of classroom to run smoothly, there are some essentials that must be in place. These essential aspects include:
Unit Pacing Guides/Checklists
Setting Deadlines
Procedure for Checking
Progress Monitoring
Turning in Work
Grade Book
Bell Ringer System
Alternative Seating
Whole Class Activities
Reward System (Secret Student)
Room Organization
Early Finishers
Determine a program
that you are going to use to record your video lessons (Screencast-O-Matic, Knowmia, Educreations, etc.).
Determine a place
to store your videos for easy student access (teacher website, Vbrick Media System, Google Drive, Google Classroom, etc.).

Determine where to find
good instructional videos (Learn Zillion, YouTube, Khan Academy, etc.)

** Remember: You must stay ahead of your fastest student!
This tells students the order in which to complete the lessons, assignments, and activities so they don't have to ask you what to do next.
Have a protocol for naming
videos, guided notes, and assignments so students can easily locate materials for each lesson.

Decide if you are going to give them the
entire unit at once or lesson
by lesson
Sticker charts can be used to track students’ progress as they complete lessons. It is a
quick visual reference
for both the teacher and student to determine if they are
on track
with their lessons.
All students watch the same video lesson prior to coming to class. Class time is devoted to assignments, projects, etc. with teacher/peer support.

Students are moving through the curriculum at their own pace. Videos can be watched at school or at home. Teacher becomes facilitator of class.
Flipping Vs. Self-Pacing
"It always seems impossible until it's done."
- Nelson Mandela

Contact Info


That Was Me!
Everyone Needs a Little
Support from "Above"
Administrative support
Wi-fi upgrades
Alternative Seating
Use your traditional pacing guide and lesson plans to
think about how long it should take for students to
complete each lesson. Also
set mini deadlines
so students know their goal for each day/week. Also think about

giving them a grade as a motivator
for staying on track and taking the test by the deadline day. At minimum, students need to be on the normal “teacher pace”, which would resemble the traditional classroom’s pace.

**Remember, the content must be
covered by the end of the year!!
(Testing Procedures and Corrections)
Decide how you want to administer tests. Will
students take tests when they are ready
or will you have a specific date for all students to test. If students take them when ready, where will they go to take them and will you have
different versions of the test
on hand?
You now have the opportunity to go over test corrections individually, in small groups, or in peer-led groups. Since you will only have a handful of tests to grade at a time, you can provide more
meaningful feedback
to students and have
more in-depth conversations
about their misconceptions. Will you have students going back and re-watching video lessons and reworking practice assisngments? Will they have the opportunity to test again?
As a motivator, you and the class can
develop criteria

for what hard work looks like in a self-paced class,
and then
randomly choose a student
each day to
watch. If that student has exhibited the class
expectations all period, they are revealed as the
“secret student of the day”.
might include bonus points, preferential seating, “me time” on a game or device, candy, etc. If the selected student is NOT exhibiting the proper
behavior, they are pulled aside individually and told why they did not
meet the criteria.
Set aside time to
and do whole-class
as you go through the unit. It will be a review for some and right on track for most, but that is ok. This is a great opportunity for students who have already mastered the content to step up and teach the material to others.
Establish a routine that allows an opportunity for you to
formatively assess
your students and ensure they are meeting the Common Core standards. This will also give you a quick glimpse of who needs more direct instruction that day. Bell ringers are a great way to incorporate some
whole-group instruction
rich discussions
that are vital to learning.

Bell ringers can be as simple as
a problem on the board
for them to
work through, or they can be more
(the EduCreations interactive whiteboard app, Google Forms, Khan Exercises, internet searches, etc.)
Students will need to be able to
work collaboratively
on a daily basis. Grouping may change from day to day based on the needs of each student and the lesson/assignment on which they are working. Provide students with the
choice of who to work with
and only when you see they aren't proving themselves on formative or summative assessments should you realign the groups.
Student Choice
Group Realignment
Data to Supports Our Efforts
KPREP - Before FulI Implementation
4th Grade Math:
37% P/D
64% overall growth

5th Grade Math:
30% P/D
43% overall growth

KPREP - After Full Implementation
4th Grade Math:
53% P/D
71% overall growth
5th Grade Math:
52% P/D
74% overall growth
KPREP - 4th Grade Math
Students in Traditional Classes: growth
Students in Self-Paced Classes: growth
Early Finishers
A system has to be in place for students to
move on
if they finish the
grade-level content
. Ideally, it needs to be
another self-paced
so they can start on Unit 1 at the next level.
In school, were you the kid who..
finished early and had to wait on everyone else?
got distracted while the teacher was talking and missed parts of the instruction?

would rather ask the teacher a question one-on-one vs. in front of the class?
missed school and were overwhelmed with the work you needed to make up?
went to your parents for help with your homework and they said, "I don't know how to do this stuff!" ?
Self-paced classes allow students to continue with the content w/o having to wait.
Self-paced classes allow students to rewind teacher instruction and focus on the content being taught.
Self-paced classes allow the teacher and students to interact in small groups and on a more individual basis.
Self-paced classes allow students access to content 24/7.

Self-paced classes allow parents to learn the content alongside their students.
Procedures for Checking
Room Organization
Decide on a procedure
for checking student work (you can have answer keys available for students to check themselves, the teacher can grade everything, students checking their peers, or a combination of these).
**Remember: It is very important for students’ work to be checked as they finish each lesson and not wait until the end of the unit!

If teacher-selected
peer coaches
or “checkers” are put
into place, you may want to consider using a peer coaching
board system where students write their name on one side
of the board if they need help and the other side if they
can offer that help. Selected peer coaches can be
rewarded with bonus points, etc. for their efforts.
Decide how to set up your grade book so you can record work for those
who are ahead (i.e. Section Summary report in Infinite Campus).
Think about always being at least 2 units ahead at all times, so that means you will need somewhere to put the future units to have when needed and somewhere to keep the current unit’s materials/extra copies, etc. Some kind of organizing system is vital to this process!!
Determine how students will receive the content. Will you create your own video lessons, locate good instructional videos on the web that address your standards, have them reading from a text, or a combination of these?
How will you have students practicing the content?
online activities
traditional activities

Use those good activities that were a part of your traditional classes, along with new digital resources to make for a better learning experience.

It’s vital that you
provide students with additional instructions
hands-on activities and assignments, such as where to go in the classroom to
get supplies, if you want them to work with a partner for the activity, etc. so they don’t have to ask you prior to each practice activity.
Student Empowerment
Leader In Me
along with
Google Forms
will help with the organization, day to day activities, and student ownership of this type of classroom.
"The way to get started is to and
-Walt Disney
Full transcript