Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Taking Good Advice - From Students

For school night in miniature I asked the middle school students at school to give the teachers and parents advice on how to make this a great year for them.  I used wallwisher to have them post advice and then showed that website to the parents tonight.

Here's my 7th grade students's wall:

Some of the advice really got me thinking about policies and practices in our classroom.  Is homework meaningful? Am I giving the students enough time in class?  Do I vary the presentation style enough?

This activity really has me thinking.  Teachers do so much planning to try to make it a good year for the students.  The plans, the tests, the field trips, everything teachers do to try to make it a good year for the students.  Do we ever ask them?  What do they think we should do this year?  What ideas do they have for how the class should run?  This activity allowed them to tell me what would make a good year.  I shared this with the students, hoping to develop a sense of ownership in our classroom, which will lead to pride in the classroom.  This represents a little bit of me letting go of control of "my" classroom.  What a powerful idea to turn the room we work in everyday into OUR classroom instead of "my" classroom.  Letting go of control is happening more and more in our classroom and it has really led to a lot of great things happening.

Comments on this or anything else on the wall?  Thanks.

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