From my first exposure to AutoCrat, I have been a big fan. Setup is getting easier and faster, to create auto merge tools that only need to be tweeted down the road. I am even a bigger fan of how it can be used to give students choice for their learning.
We have a 6th grade specific course called Middle School Skill or MSS, that helps students with their transition from elementary to middle school. We teach school citizenship, digital citizenship, organize options, study skills, and technology tools. Though not many if any of those skills or tools will be on any assessment, I feel these of some of the most important lessons I teach.
We have an option in our model that allows for student pullout for missing work, retakes and/or remediation. This course content and the pullout process works surprisingly well. Most students really like and enjoy the lessons, thus want to be there. When students are pulled out for whatever academic goal, they generally want to complete that task so they can get back to regular MSS classroom.
This process ebbs and flows quite well. While reflecting on progress and making the course better, we struggled with how to give the students more ownership instead of the teacher. Currently we have a Google Form the teacher submits assigning the student for a science, math, social studies or language arts lesson or retake. This really isn’t anything different than how elementary world can be, directing students where to go and what to do.
We rolled out a new Google Form for students to sign themselves up. The form is very similar to one teachers submit for a student to be pulled. However, when the student submits their form, with the magic of AutoCrat he/she gets a notification as to their individual pullout submission. In addition the teacher ,to which they are doing work for get a notification of their plan. Then in each morning’s advisory time, students check their gmail for notifications and plan accordingly for their day.
This new student choice option was rolled out a few days ago, so we are still early as to its effectiveness. It has been interesting and fun to see students think of what they need before signing up. Most are for traditional remediation in math or test retakes. However, as we head into Thanksgiving Break, many students used this tool to plan ahead for classroom time missed. That’s pretty cool.
Yes, I love AutoCrat. As I shared this new tool with our grade level teachers the responses were very positive. One teacher said it best, “I like tools that help students do what teachers often do for them”.