Building Student Success

Mr. Frescas' Classroom

Teaching Practices

Hello All! I hope this letter find you well. I wanted to tell you a little more about how your child will be learning this year. In our class, we utilize a unique teaching style where students gradually become self-sufficient learners capable of working independently while still performing at high levels. Don't worry though. I will be there every step of the way to ensure that each student gets the right amount of support to be successful. Here we go:

First Three Steps of Learning

During the first three steps of learning, there is a gradual release of responsibility for the students. All activities start with me teaching the class key concepts of skills necessary to be successful throughout the activity. This is the "didactic" step to learning. Students are expected to listen and follow along.

After I have finished teaching core skills, the students are then expected to take a more active role in learning. I will ask open-ended questions and discussion points that the students will then have to try and answer. Half of the talking is still completed by me, but the other half is coming from the students. Together, we are working to come up with new ideas.

The third step requires students to initiate most of the talking. During the "coached" step in every activity, students will work together to solve challenging problems without much teacher supervision. Instead, they are asking each other questions and using everyone's talents to collaborate and analyze issues. I am there to monitor student progress and lead students to correct solutions when the challenges are proving too great for them.

This all leads us to the last part of every activity...


Teacher provides feedback & student is self-directed
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This whole approach leads to students taking ownership of their own learning and feeling comfortable and confident enough in their own abilities to finish challenges on their own. Of course, I will always be there to help students along the way, but students are expected to work towards self-sufficiency instead of merely giving up when things get difficult. Effort is always held in the highest esteem!