Since attending ISTE 2016 this summer, I have been grappling with the idea of implementing badges in World Geography to support skills acquisition and to provide opportunities for students to start building an ability resume. However, I have run into many roadblocks; figuring out how to distribute them seamlessly, where will recipients post them, LMS limitations, time investment vs. return, etc. etc. This literally kept me awake last night!
Meanwhile, last week I was afforded several opportunities to overtly praise student behavior and use the word “community” to describe the standard for our work together in each class period. These kiddos are on my wavelength this year :) Then, yesterday, Brittany Carr, ELA II and One Goal teacher, sent me this text.
This morning Brittany told me about the valuable sharing and authentic community building that resulted from the community circle she facilitated. Today, during 1st period, I noticed her WOAH! wall. She is going to display exemplary student work on it. Then it hit me!
Community Badges!!!! I can feel it already...I will SLEEP tonight! So, rather than distributing individual badges for each student which is just not realistic right now (at least, until I can figure out the technical logistics). I am going to implement community badges for each class period. Each class period will have a wall set up similar to the one in the picture above and each 6 weeks each learning community, i.e. class period, will have the opportunity to acquire 2-3 badges. I am still working out the specifics, but, in general, community badging is intended to create a space in which students experience credential building and being a contributor to a learning community while gaining varying levels of proficiency at soft skills that can be applied to across a variety of settings. Ideally, this will foster and aid in maintaining a sense of community within the classroom as we shift to more differentiated paths in the coming weeks.
I am very grateful to be on Brittany’s team and to be a co-teacher in her first period. Her willingness to share and collaborate openly is creating students wins in both our classrooms.
So, I’ve got a plan. I am feeling good about this!
Do you hear laughter??? Me neither. Good sign. Turning up the music now. And... maybe a bit louder... just in case my plan is amusing Him again ; )