Link to: A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned

After reading about Wiggins’ experience shadowing students I am grateful to say that not all negative aspects are applicable to my current students. It is true that in my math classroom, students are sitting most of the time. However, I have observed my students’ science class and this is not the case. In science, students are working on performance tasks and many of them are working on different parts of the process. This means that some students are working individually, others in groups, and some on laptop computers. I have not observed their ELA classrooms. However, my students are not “sitting passively and listening during approximately 90% of their classes”. Instead, students are engaged in conversations with three peers at the table. The majority of time spent in Math, Science, and ELA is spent working in groups. Students are given one of four group roles and are constantly encouraged to share their ideas and opinions. Students frequently give presentations, sometimes at their table and sometimes whole-group. After presentations, their peers ask “clarifying questions” by raising their hands and the student presenter calls on them. Unfortunately, I do think that my students might “feel a bit like a nuisance all day”. My students are often being asked to quiet down, being timed on a stopwatch until conversations end, and quiet tables are rewarded by being placed on the “Honor Roll”. This article aligns very closely with my beliefs about education. Students spend so much time at school! If they are not engaged, then they are not learning. If they are not learning, then what’s the point? Wiggins mentioned several things he would do differently if he could go back in time. I especially liked what he had to say about student questions. “Questions are an invitation to know a student better and create a bond with that student. We can open the door wider or shut if forever, and we may not even realize we have shut it.”
Link to: A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned
1 Comment
2/26/2015 03:24:15 am
You summed up the article really nicely when you said that if student are ¨not engaged, then they are not learning.¨ As teachers we need to connect with our students by connecting to their experiences as students. It sounds like there is a great deal of interaction going on in your math classes - which is fantastic! The chance to discuss, present, collaborate, and evaluate their progress and the progress of their peers gets students directly involved with their learning. although your students may be sitting for most of the class, it seems like they are actively engaged the entire time. I wish my math classes had been like that! :)
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