Welcome back! Students are back, and the buildings feel alive again. It is the end of the third day, and we are already settling into the year. As you and the learners get ready to start new learning adventures this year, keep these ideas in mind:
Transparency is a key component of a learner-centered classroom. Being completely clear and open about what students are learning, what they have to do to show they have learned it, and where they are in their learning gives them the map and builds the capacity to direct their own learning.
Student engagement involves more than connecting learning to student interests or authentic purposes. Engaging students means creating the environment for all students to be successful with learning and tackling new skills and ideas. So having a “highly engaged” learning environment is as much about the number of students involved in learning as it is the ways in which they are engaged. One area of instruction to pay close attention to when creating an environment in which as many students as possible engage in learning is the class discussion.
Discussion can be an excellent way to introduce, deepen, and even reflect on learning. The key is making sure the discussion actually involves all of the students rather than the educator and just a handful of kids.. Here are few simple strategies to revamp class discussion and support highly engaged learning:
It is the second week of school, and many are already feeling the pressure of CONTENT! Before routine setting and culture building gets left by the wayside, remember that going slow at the start makes it easier to go faster later. Here are some ideas for keeping classroom culture growing this week:
Best wishes for an excellent second week of school! I look forward to meeting more of you, and starting to spend time in the schools and your classes learning about the amazing learning communities here in RSU 2. I’ll be reaching out to people, and please do reach out to me if you are already curious about how we can work together.
Courtney is the Instructional Coach for KIDS RSU #2 in Maine. She also hosts a podcast about personalized learning, and is available for independent consulting work.
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