Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Planning for Engagement

(This is me blogging Dave's lesson.  I like taking notes - probably the thing about class I miss most.)

We started class thinking about our six word teaching philosophies. How these can be the core of our planning, instruction and how we interact with students. Dave's - "Engagement that fosters capacity and agency."

From student blogs during the week, we know that the idea of evaluation was still in process for many of the student teachers.

  • What can we do?
  • What are we trying to do?
  • What comes next?
It's natural to start with ourselves, that's what we know best.  And we may be saddled with assessment data that's not accountable nor reliable.  Eg. Star Math (as a TA pointed out) or MEAP data (Michigan's state Grade 3-8 assessments).

Dave shared his early classroom management by carrot and stick, and mostly sticks; he relates that to an instinct to control.  There's a time for that, but it's not always.  Then the cajoling.  There's a place for that, but not always.  Want to get to a classroom where it's about choice.  Students choose to be a part of class.  It's not easy.

Cambourne's Conditions of Learning.  ("Toward an educationally relevant theory of literacy learning:  Twenty years of inquiry," Brian Cambourne, The Reading Teacher, 49(3), 182-190.) (paraphrased)

Engagement occurs when learners are convinced that:
  1. They are potential doers of these demonstrations they are observing.
  2. Engaging with these demonstrations will further their purposes for their lives.
  3. They can engage and try without fear of physical or psychological hurt if their attempts are not correct.
Students were asked to develop their rubrics on  Classroom Management:

:-) :-| :-(
  • Students do self-discovery activities.
  • Teacher uses 10 second rule.
  • Be able to get all students engaged.
  • Understanding directions and interested because they see importance.
  • The students are talking to other students about the lesson and asking questions.
  • Creates a safe/welcoming environment and fosters an "I want to try," or "I think I can" atmosphere.
  • Students excited to learn on their own.
  • Mostly teacher-centered.
  • Ignoring actions & sometimes loses cool.
  • Some students are engaged in lesson.
  • Understanding, but no interest while doing work.
  • They seem interested in what you are doing, but don't understand the lesson.
  • Provides a variety of activities and gives learners a choice.
  • Doing the work or trying, but not enjoying it.
  • Completely teacher-centered.
  • Teacher acts impulsively.
  • Majority of the students (or all)  aren't engaged.
  • Lack of understanding, confused as to what they are supposed to do.
  • The students are not talking to one another nor asking questions about the lesson.
  • Has a controlling environments.
  • Students not even trying.

He shared the post from miss brave, a 3rd grade teacher in NYC, on being disengaged.  Engagement as it relates to classroom management.

Finally, he demonstrated what his lesson planning was like in different stages of his career.  (Hopefully we'll have video of this, also.)  We can use the rubric as a landscape of progression.  What does it mean to plan? What am I focusing on at each stage?

  • "The learner will..." objectives! 
  • Letting learners take control of their learning. 
  • Tied everything to content, but also what you wanted your students to look at beyond that. 
  • Evaluation process with students: can, trying, next 
  • Better understanding of these particular learners, not just prior students.
  • Looked at what prior knowledge students might have and how it related. (Launch) 
  • Started to put more emphasis on reasoning and justification - process in general. 
  • More thinking about how students would respond. Changing questions to better suit students. 
  • Making changes based on what happened last time. 
  • Used words like 'construct' and 'consolidate.' More comfortable with some educational theory. 
  • More of probing for understanding. More assessment.
  • Focusing on yourself and what you were doing. Teacher centered. 
  • No objectives. 
  • Close to what the book had in place. 
  • There wasn't much wiggle room for how the lesson could be individualized, or varied depending on how the lesson goes. 
  • Lesson plan is vague. A substitute would have no idea what to expect in terms of student difficulties.

We have to start by beginning with ourselves.  Those are bad words - teacher centered - but it's where he had to start.  "Constructivism gone mad," when he tried to jump right to student centered.  I go through these stages more quickly, but still go through them.

A student pointed out that there should also be progress throughout the year. Yes!  Gradual release... but that's for another day.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, you guys really have been listening! This is an awesome reflection and resource. Nicely done, to both of you!