Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What does student engagment look like?

Atypical day at pd..... I've been trying to teach my students our school's 3 R's (Responsible, Respectful, and Ready to Learn). So, when I go to a meeting or PD session, I have to practice what I preach. Which isn't that easy. We had a recent classroom walk through day. Team of peers and others walk through our classrooms throughout the day and observe classroom instruction. Usually this kind of activity is not welcomed by teachers. I truly could go either way.

Nevertheless, the team was focusing on observing student engagement. We got some constructive feedback. But actually, what I really took from our PD or this whole experience was my own reflections on my practice and specifically how I engage students in my classroom.

These were the ideas we focused on.
  1. Communicates learning goals / objectives
  2. Encourages active learning
  3. Gives prompt feedback
  4. Emphasizes time on task
  5. Communicates High Expectations
  6. Encouraging student to teacher and student to student interactions
  7. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students
  8. Respects diverse talents and ways of knowing
My takeaways: I'd say that I incorporate a lot of the ideas into my teaching already. It's good to see them articulated here. It reminds me of a tip I once heard from a motivational talk. The presenter asked us. Have you PEE'd today? That is did I Plan, Execute, and Evaluate? This ideas encourage active teaching for myself and modeling active learning for my students.

My next steps: Focus on planning these ideas into my lessons. Learn how to adjust my teaching so that I can engage students in my class in new ways. Be open to learning from others, especially my own students.

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