Do you plan engaging activities for your class? Do you look at your topic and think about how you can teach it in the most exciting way? Do you explore new tech tools and think about how you can incorporate them into your teaching? Do you examine your classroom space and think about how best to teach in it?
If you answered yes, you might be feeling pleased with yourself and so you should. After all, there are some teachers who don’t even use tech to support their teaching. And some who simply hand out worksheets or stand out front and teach in the same old ways they always have.
But you might not be starting at the right place. I think it’s important to focus more on learning and less on teaching. Have you considered what you believe about how learning best takes place? Has your school articulated its beliefs about learning? Have you? If you follow this blog, you’ll have seen our learning principles and possibly even read about the process of developing them.
To support our teachers in their unit planning, in improving their practice, in the best use of our flexible learning environment and in the implementation of technology, our approach this year will be to start from our learning principles. We plan to unpack the belief statements one at a time, consider what they might look like and how they might play out in the classroom, like this…
Principle #1: We learn in different ways, depending on abilities, learning styles, preferences and interests.
- Students have choices.
- Small groups are engaged in different things.
- Learning is expressed through drama, art, music, movement and technology.
- The teacher isn’t talking at the whole class at once.
- There is individual attention for those who require it.
- Independent learners are applying their learning unassisted.
- There are clear scaffolds in place for learners to manage their own learning.
- The learning environment is arranged to accommodate the variations.
What’s your learning goal? Use new vocabulary in context? Create a literature response? Develop problem-solving skills? Understand a particular mathematical concept? Compare the life cycles of living things? See above first…
NOW plan your learning experiences!