Monday, September 23, 2013

When Great Minds Collaborate

Sitting down to design a Professional Learning workshop, Jean and Kristy collaboratively brainstormed a list of desired outcomes, things we felt teachers NEEDed.  Practices and skills teachers could walk away knowing how to implement,  having internalized these strategies so they could do any of the following for their students: 
  • Provide meaningful feedback that addresses student-set individualized goals
  •  Create authentic, real-world and purposeful learning opportunities
  •  Help facilitate students’ self-motivation, self-direction, and self evaluation
  •  Create an environment that encourages student wonder, student curiosity, and nurtures creativity
When teachers intentionally implement all of these core practices, student motivation, engagement and metacognitive learning increases. Visible learning and visible teaching:  provide students with limited instructions, stand back as students work with peers, provide each other feedback, suggestions, interpretations, mistakes, learning, and guidance. Peers must rely on trusting one another when it comes time to “test it out”. Exhilaration is high, trying something difficult, something never attempted before is very emotional, especially when you feel successes! 

John Hattie calls this the “…essence of good teaching. The learning intentions are very clear. The success criteria is absolutely obvious. The amount of peer work is dramatic.” This exhilaration at succeeding is what makes children want to do it again. This is what motivates children to stretch themselves, try something new, work with peers, trust and test out their theories. This is what makes students push themselves, far beyond what they are capable of doing. Listen as John Hattie describes this essence of effective teaching:

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