Monday, November 10, 2014

Two & Six

Polly Patrick, Chapter Two & Chris Weber, Chapter Six NAVIGATING ACHIEVEMENT FOR STRUGGING STUDENTS WITH THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS—Getting Ready for the Common Core 

This book is one in a series with multiple authors. I was asked to read it, but with the recommendation to focus on chapters two and six. In chapter two Polly Patrick revisits the importance of HOW we give feedback to our students. She refers to it in the title of her chapter as “Feedback: Fuel for Learning.”

In order for our students to learn and grow, so they can become and be, they have to keep going and not give up. Patrick quotes Douglas Reeves (2011) who said it well. “If we expect students to improve, then they must take risk, make mistakes, and receive formative feedback than lead to improved performance….If we expect teachers and leaders to improve then we must provide monitoring and feedback that meet the same criteria” (pg. 12).

So when students get stuck, and they will, we just need to reaffirm they just haven’t learned it “yet.”  We are helping students move away from the fixed mindset “I can’t do it” to a growth mindset of “I can’t do it, yet!”

In chapter six, Chris Weber reviews the research of the key elements of effective research based instruction to support all of our learners. What is refreshing and encouraging is all of the researchers agree on this one (Hattie, Fisher and Frey Hunter, Marzano, Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun, Hollingsworth and Ybarra). Weber summarizes their findings and describes “seven common-sense elements of effective instruction”.
  • What are we learning? (Learning Targets)
  • Why are we learning it? (Rationale)
  • I do it. (Teacher Modeling)
  • We do it together. (Guided Instruction)
  • You do it together. (Cooperative Learning)
  • You do it alone. (Independent Practice)
  • How do we do? (Assessment)
This gradual release of responsibility model is classic, and when I see it in action its pure pleasure. The teachers are in their element, the students are thriving and it’s better than magic. It’s teaching and learning at its finest. 

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