Ask students how they can show what they know, their answers might be surprising and offer new pedagogical tools. Not one parent ever asks for a grade. Rather they ask about growth and development, so giving our youngest students these experiences builds a foundation for them to be part of authentic learning.
How do you bounce back from a bad lesson? Sometimes we make mistakes in the classroom and monopolize the learning time. Rather than beat ourselves up about it, how can we recognize and move on from the experience? Read on to find out about my most recent failure and hopefully the success I plan to turn it into.
Twitter chats enhance classroom learning by engaging more students in the conversation. They enjoy using social media and therefore prefer to engage in a discussion using the format. When was the last time you heard a student complain that he/she wasn't able to say everything they wanted to or realize an idea to the fullest potential? Check out how you can implement this tool in your classes.
Assessing students is a serious business and the better we get at it, the more students get out of it, enabling them to start doing it for themselves becoming more independent learners. We simply can't value things like "USB- remains in class" when it comes to assessing learning.
Learning is an on-going process and it seems inadequate and arbitrary to try to label learning along the way when it looks so different for so many students. But since many of us are in the situation that does require grades, we must make sure students and parents aren't surprised when progress reports or report cards come. Even if your comments are pre-written, make sure to provide meaningful comments to aid in understanding the snapshot you are providing.
Although connecting is a big part of why we write publicly, it isn't the only thing. We blog to connect with ourselves and our experiences. So it's okay if you don't get a lot of readers at first (I know I didn't). It took a lot of effort of putting myself out there to attract people to my blog. I changed the theme, and restructured my personal time so that I could dial into the community consciously. It was an effort.
As teachers, when we are called away to meetings, especially of the unexpected variety, with little time to plan for the loss, we need to have protocols in place in our classrooms that inspire and encourage students to use the independent substitute time to continue their learning.
If we are ever going to accomplish the great things that need to be done in education or anywhere for that matter, we must fearlessly put ourselves out there for the better good. Forcing ourselves out of our comfort zones, we are pushed to pursue the greatest versions of ourselves and continuously grow. Where does your comfort zone end and what can you do tomorrow to go past it?
Long Island City High School student, Giselle Galindo shares how robotics helped her want to stay in school, opening her up to a whole world of learning she didn't even know she was interested in. Programs like the one Giselle describes are instrumental in keeping our students in school and excited about learning. Read about Giselle's love of robotics.
Report cards were a solution once that probably made some form of communication easier. However, the kind of communication it fosters sends the wrong message about what learning should be. As we shift the mindset about learning, we also have be mindful about the sub-conscious messages we send systemically about what learning actually is.