Sunday, November 16, 2014

Deeper Teaching Week

For the last two weeks, my colleagues and I focused on at-risk students. We came up with new ideas and tried some out. That will remain a focus.

This week, I'm thinking more about deeper teaching--how do I promote a deeper level of work and share.

Yesterday, I came up with a list of learning/teaching attributes, I'll think about as students engage in lessons.

What will I do to foster this deeper teaching?

First, I need to be mindful of the details:
  • Am I "present" when students enter the room in the morning? Am I attuned to their questions, affect, needs, and early morning efforts?
  • Do I have all the materials prepared for the day's learning? This week's materials include calculators, color copies of pictures for number lines, sharpened pencils, tech menu, and measurement tools. Is the schedule up? Are the materials visible and easy to access?
  • Do I wait until everyone is ready before I relay important learning information?
  • Do I put students' emotional needs first and make the time for positive conflict resolution, listening to a child's important story, or considering a request?
Then I need to think about the learning experiences and what I expect this week. What paths will we travel and how will I encourage students' deep learning efforts on those paths?  The important learning that will take place this week will require the following questions and actions.
  • How do we work well as teams?
  • Is the room organized well for good teamwork?
  • How can I best coach each team?
  • Making the time to model the use of an online program for best learning.
Throughout the week, I will take notes as I teach, notes that I'll refer to later as I think about deep teaching and learning.

How do you define deep teaching?  How do you effect deep learning with your students?  This is my theme this week and I look forward to your thoughts.