Things You Can Do Today To Enhance Student Learning
With all of the talk about education reform and standardized assessments I’m sure some teachers are feeling a bit overwhelmed or powerless. To re-empower teachers (including myself), I started a list of things that classroom teachers can easily start doing tomorrow in the classroom. I’m just starting the list, please help it grow by sharing your own ideas in the comments section.
- Get rid of rows of desks, get kids sitting in groups. Learning doesn’t happen in isolation.
- Have a class discussion. I don’t mean talk to your kids about something, I mean get all the students talking! (shameless self-plug, but it makes my point)
- Take a break from grades, and give students descriptive and useful feedback. Read more about this on Joe Bowers blog
- Engage students with Post-it notes – students can write comments and questions on them while reading/learning/listening and stick them in their books. Very simple, very effective.
- Let student questions drive the learning – a simple example of how this might look is given by John Scammel on his blog
- Student lead reviews – at the beginning of class, get students to review what they learned last class, and use this as the starting point for the new learning.
- If it’s in their textbook, don’t make them write it. I used to do this too; give notes that students don’t really need. If you really want them to have summary notes of the textbook, teach them to take their own – that is much more powerful learning. Read about the Cornell note taking system for an idea of what I mean.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, so I encourage you to share your ideas by commenting below. Good luck tomorrow