The Literacy Lowe-Down
A Newsletter for Watkins Teachers
New Year's Resolutions
- Stop and Think
- Be mindful
- Support each other
- Be a reflective learner
- Set small goals
- Learn from the past, but look forward to the future
While the video talked specifically about New Year's Resolutions, I think the same things are true about any change. Many of the words and phrases used are things we say a lot in the educational world, especially in this time of rapid change. As you think about changes you are making (or want to make) in your classroom, which of these attributes describe you? I would encourage you to keep these in mind in the coming year... I know I will!
Intentional Teaching means to:
- Act with specific learning goals and outcomes in mind
- Know when to use a particular strategy for scaffolding student success
- Know how much help to give the student
- Know when to let the student do the work
- Assess for change over time and across different contexts
Intentional teaching is both an art and a science. We begin with specific learning outcomes in mind. Of course we look to the standards for these learning outcomes, but we must also carefully observe our students... What can they do? What do they need to be able to do? Where is their "cutting edge" of learning?
Then we carefully design lessons to move students toward independence with the skill. We model, and then provide guided practice, gradually reducing the amount of scaffolding and support. We are watching students along the way for signs that they are taking on the new learning. It's all about the cycle of planning, watching, and responding. If students are not performing a skill independently (even though we have "taught" the skill), it is often because we have not given the right amount of scaffolding. This is very consistent with the theory of the gradual release model!
As you begin the new year, I encourage you to reflect on the intentionality of your teaching using the bullet points above. At the end of a lesson, ask yourself: Am I teaching with intention, or am I just teaching???