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‘Mutual growth’ leads to physics mastery at Kashmere HS

2014 February 20
by HISD Communications

Adeeb Barqawi, with two of his students at the Houston Symphony

Challenging students to devise their own methods of solving problems is one of the hallmarks of good teaching. And that’s precisely what Adeeb Barqawi does in his physics classes at Kashmere High School.

Barqawi asks students to break down each new problem he introduces into more manageable steps, then figure out an approach to finding a solution and make any adjustments needed along the way.

“At the beginning, there was a lot of frustration due to the fact that my students were not used to dealing with so much uncertainty,” he explained. “But the culture and relationships I built with them allowed them to trust me as someone invested in their future and personal growth. Now, they enjoy dealing with problems.”

To track his students’ growth, Barqawi uses Edmodo and other online tools that allow both him and his students to monitor their progress.

“I view my classroom as a constant feedback loop triggered by conversations, in-class questioning, and a series of formative assessments,” he said. “My students track their data individually and set goals for future objectives. They also create plans for how to improve their grades.”

As a result of Barqawi’s efforts, 85 percent of his students have passed the district-level assessment in physics at 70 percent mastery.

“Knowledge is not something I alone possess and students wait to receive,” he added. “My students and I are jointly responsible for a process in which we all grow.”

Had a breakthrough in your classroom? Tell us about it! Just send an email to info@houstonisd.org briefly describing your situation, and we could feature it here.

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