All Student Need Diverse Instruction
In effective instruction:
- Teachers should know material well enough to help students when they don't understand. Teachers have to listen to students well enough to know where and the the student is stuck in order to be able to explain material differently for a second, third, or fourth time.
- High school students learn best when they sens that a teacher is in the room because he or she wants to be there. Mutual respect can increase the motivation to teach and to learn.
- Learning is a process that happens over a lifetime. Teachers demonstrate to students that learning is not always automatic.
- Students feel respected when teachers and school leaders raise the bar with meaningful learning experiences. I have had general and special education students tell me that they were not aware of their own abilities to learn until someone gave them a push.
- Teachers should not talk down to students. I find it helpful to be curiously engaged about the lives of each of my students in order to make meaningful connections that can be applied to academic tasks.
- Student motivation to learn is increase when they are praised for their efforts, and for what they already know and contribute to the community.
- Teachers need to help students understand concepts, Students can get by on certain tasks by using memorization techniques but deeper meainig of concepts helps students to solve problems when face with challenges.
- Teachers need to allow for interruptions during instruction. I've learned from my students and from facilitators at professional development workshop that positive acknowledgement of interruptions is a form of positive reinforcement. Interruptions have let me know that my students are able to think critically. Thinking needs to be validated and nurtured. Teachers just have to manage digressions and refocus.
- Teachers need to be flexible in their thinking and instructional practices. My students have increased their learning experiences through music, film, political cartoons, specialty books, classroom discussion, and their own writing.
Purposes of Assessment
Crist, Guill, Harmes, and Lake (1998) provide some key reasons for assessment. This is from a forum that the authors gave:
Everyone - learners, teachers, administrators and employers - has an interest in conducting assessments. As an integral part of instruction, assessment must be done to determine whether the goals of education are being met. Appropriately aligned assessment determines progress and reveals how improvements can be made toward meeting those goals. Most reasons for assessment are listed below.
At all levels of educational systems, assessment answers the following questions:
- Are we doing what we think we're doing?
- How can we do it better?
For learners, assessment does the following:
- Promotes efficient learning by focusing the student's attention on what is important
- Promotes retention and transfer of learning
- Promotes self-evaluation and self-monitoring by the use of well-defined expectations and criteria
- Motivates learning by communicating progress concerning what a student knows and is able to do
- Shows evidence of work that can be used to get jobs, scholarships, entrance to college
For teachers, assessment does the following:
- Provides formative and summative data about student learning and attainment, specifically competency gain
- Provides diagnostic data to improve learning
- Assists instructional planning by providing informed feedback
- Helps to determine teaching effectiveness - what approaches and methods work
- Helps to determine whether the program is achieving desired goals (program accountability)
- Is a tool for communicating to others
For administrators, assessment does the following:
- Assists in allocation of resources
- Assists in making employee decisions - hiring, professional development needs
For employers, assessment does the following:
- Provides data about what a prospective employee knows and is able to do
- Provides evidence of learning by employees
English Language Learners
Collecting Big Ideas
- My future
- Everyday life
- Current Events
- The World
Teacher Modeing: Collecting Seed Ideas
Letters to President Obama
Click here to read about my class' project to write letters to President Obama.