What I have come to learn is that S.T.A.T is much more than just 1:1. It is a mindset. A mindset in which teacher and student learn as they go. There are an infinite number of resources, websites, project ideas, etc. available to teachers. I was overwhelmed at first. I did not know where to start. I have come to learn that focusing on implementing one thing at a time is much less of a burden. After some time, I am now familiar with numerous tools, not all technology related, that have made my classroom environment a wonderful one.
Differentiated small groups were new to me as well. Ones that are constantly changing, sometimes within one class period, seemed like it would make my head spin. My clipboard was filled with post-it notes of student names circled, crossed out, and arrows going in every direction. This directly correlates to the S.T.A.T mindset mentioned above. I had to learn as I went. Eventually, it started to become easier. I learned how to create groups. Students learned how to transition between groups. The students and I were aware that groups would be different depending on the day and topic. Once this became routine, it became possible to REALLY differentiate work for my small groups. Students started to become more engaged in their work because it was tailored to their needs. Their choice of how to show their learning started to snowball into ways that I didn’t even know was possible.
“Instead of a Wixie, can I create a Board Builder?”
“After I make my Board Builder, can I add my own voice to describe what is included?”
The list goes on. My greatest challenge, implementing these small groups was that I wanted to be in control of everything. I have learned to take the back seat and let the students drive. When they drive, we all learn.