Match Next - Year One Intro

Guest post by Ray from Match Next

 

Last year, my colleague Andrew wrote a weekly entry about a tech product we’ve tried at Match Next. Since then, we’ve been knee-deep in getting this launch-year up and running with our 50x5th graders. Today, I’ll give a brief overview of our work thus far. Later this week, Andrew’s going to start writing his regular ed-tech entries again.

If you have no idea what I mean by ‘Match Next,’ check out this video. It gives a nice overview of our school design.

For everyone else, here’s what we’ve been up to:

We finished our pilot year in June. That was 50x4th graders from our elementary school, Match Community Day, spending 3 hours each morning doing a mini-version of ‘Match Next.’ The rest of their day was spent in our elementary school’s ‘traditional’ 25:1 classes.

This summer, Ben joined our small team. He used to work on the Match-wide tutor recruiting team. Now he’s the Match Next operations/enrichment/tutor director/dean. Basically, a renaissance man for our mini-school. He and I spent the month of July figuring out the million details of how our full-day program was going to run. Culture systems, physical space, Dean’s office procedures, enrichment classes, tutor training, etc.

This August, our crew of 18 tutors arrived for Match Next training. They’re a tiny subset of the much larger pool of around 150 tutors who work across the rest of the Match schools. We ran a (mostly) separate training with them for two weeks.

The first week of September, kids arrived. The same 50 kids we worked with during our pilot, now as 5th graders. (This is the oldest cohort that started as 2nd graders at our elementary school when it opened in 2012.)

So we’re now off and running in our first official year. We have three main things we’re trying to do differently:

  1. Reorganizing the way tutors and teachers work with students and each other.

  2. Rethinking reading ‘instruction’ and how to improve comprehension.

  3. Learning when and how to effectively use technology.

 

I’ll write more over the coming months about how those things are shaping up, and Andrew’s regular posts will give a good sense of what we’re learning on the tech front.

 

Next up: Andrew will begin describing what’s happening on the tech-front at Match Next.