EdCamp

What is it?
The EdCamp model brings educators together to discuss a variety of topics determined by the participants. When we did a mini-EdCamp in class, our professor taped five blank pieces of paper onto the board and had anyone willing to present a topic (education related) to write them up on the board. Everyone was given three sticker-dots and then placed them on three separate topics that they most wanted to discuss. Once everyone had voted, the two least-voted for topics were removed. We were then told to pick which topic we wanted to discuss with a small group and to break off with them. Once the whole class regrouped, we had one spokesperson from each group summarize what we talked about and share it with the class.

Why I liked it:
– get to choose what we discuss, not forced
– no one was a leader, everyone had equal opportunity to share in the circle
– groups determined by interest and not by grade levels/position allows for a variety of experiences and backgrounds being shared
– it is participant-driven as they get to determine what topics are being discussed.
– my group discussed parent involvement in classroom and I really appreciated everyone’s perspectives on how to invite them in and problem solve when a parent has an issue with your teaching style or activities used
– my group had people who were parents, who have been EAs, who volunteer in classrooms, and who have little classroom experience. This variety of perspectives allowed for rich conversations.
How I could use this in a classroom:
– summative assessment: end of unit discussion about what we learned and then have the groups share out to the rest of the class a summary of their learning.
– formative assessment tool: teacher listens to the student’s small group discussion to discover what the children know thus far and what they wonder about, as well as what they would like to learn about going forward.

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