I haven’t forgotten my promise to update my research on students’ responses to the rubric activity. The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy with work, plus I have been struck down with a virus that had me bedridden, not only cancelling a holiday over the recent long weekend, but put me behind with marking etc. Oh well … Promise to have it all up on Tuesday night as I have completed half of the evaluations – just a bit more to go 🙂
My beautiful Year 8s were described as a “cracker bunch of kids” by a relief teacher the other day (I had been off sick with the lurgy). This week, they will be using a “post -it” note /Expert Station approach to revise recent learning. Students will decide the key sub-topics from the main topic and:
1. Create “Stations” around the room.
2. Add a post-it note fact from these topics to each station.
3. Using a Lotus Chart, move around the room, individually deciding what they think are key pieces of information from each station and write these on the relevant spaces on their Lotus Chart.
4. In a pair of MY CHOICE!! 🙂 explain what they chose and why (2 things) to each other. 20 seconds.
5. Form “Expert Groups” – and create 1 visual, 1 verbal and 1 physical actvity to reinforce key points from one of the Lotus chart sub-topics.
6. Student led Quiz Show. This will be student designed, led and arbitrated with appropriate scaffolding by me.
Anyway – something else to go on with for the moment!
“…the question is how can we best produce exceptional learning in young people?” (Jensen, 2005)
To produce exceptional learners we must first understand the diversity that exists within our classroom. This diversity encompasses but is not restricted to, the following factors:
- Cultural / Religious
- Learning style
- Group dynamics; both small and as an entire class cohort
- Learning needs
Understanding the above factors allows me to implement learning opportunities that critically consider both the individual’s virtual “backpack, and the group “backpack”. Firstly, before implementing the curriculum, a classroom culture based on the individual’s right to respect and dignity is established. This involves a whole class approach as well as consistent modelling on my behalf. Secondly, I develop an understanding of individual contexts by providing opportunities for engagement that incorporate a variety of learning styles. This facilitates the identification of each student’s domestic context (ie. distractions and difficulties), cultural markers ie Indigenous students, as well as general personal and group interests. After this process I implement instructional models designed to promote positive learning, catering for strengths, vulnerabilities and cultural sensitivities.