Whether we’re thinking about how best to use the new flexible learning spaces or the meaningful integration of technology, it always comes down to the learning. If our goal is for students to learn, we teachers need to focus less on teaching and more on learning…
1. Start from the end.
Decide the desired goals and outcomes first. Then decide on learning experiences which will help the students to get there. Don’t start by planning activities or selecting pages in the text book.
Share things you have learned. Invite their opinions on things you have read for your own interest. Learn from and with your students. Be part of the learning community.
3. Focus on learning, not work.
Make sure you and your students know the reason for every learning experience. Don’t give ‘busy work’. Avoid worksheets unless they are really about learning. Start with the ‘why.
4. Articulate your learning principles.
Consider what you believe about how learning takes places. Build everything else on that foundation… learning experiences, interactions, your classroom set-up.
5. Focus on big ideas.
Don’t teach only facts and content. Look at concepts, rather than just topics. Facts are locked in time, place or situation. Big ideas are transferable. Aim for transfer of learning to other contexts.
Use what they say to tell you where they are at. Sometimes it’s not phrased as a question, but they are asking one. Ask their opinions. Encourage them to talk about the process of learning.
7. Assess for learning.
Don’t test at the end. Use all kinds of formatives assessment along the way (including just listening to your students). Create authentic assessments that show transfer of learning to other contexts, not just factual recall.
8. Focus on individual learners.
Don’t always just teach the whole class at once. Different learners have individual needs. Differentiate as required. Work in groups. Allow choice.
9. Create authentic learning experiences.
Standing out front and talking all the time isn’t an authentic learning experience. Hands on exploration is. Finding things out for oneself is. Working things through with peers is. Global interactions are.
10. Let go.
Step back. Talk less. Test less. Don’t make all the decisions. Don’t control all the learning. Encourage learners to own it.
10 ways series: