Saturday, October 1, 2011

Timing is Everything

I'm currently taking a course to learn about being a Connected Coach. While the emphasis of the course is coaching adults, I'm finally realizing that part of what I'm trying to change in my classroom is my role. I am trying to go from the leader and dispenser of knowledge to a coach who helps my students develop their own learning. As you might have read yesterday, this is not going so well. Not. Well. At. All.

So this morning I was taking the time to respond to some assignments in our community, and I read this article about self-directed learners and their invisible assets. While I was reading the article I realized that these are the things my kids need to develop. But if we can't get adults to do or recognize these things, how in the world do I get 9 and 10 year old kids to? I guess we have to try and teach them.

Despite my feelings yesterday, I'm going to keep trying. This week, after we finish reading our story about the Iditarod, we are going to work in teams to answer the questions we wanted to know about but didn't learn about in our story. Before we get start, though, we're going to talk about these six questions that I developed from the 6 characteristics of self-directed learners:

1. What is our purpose? What are we trying to do or learn during this project?
2. If you could do or learn it in ANY way, what would you do?
3. What are you good at that could help your team?
4. Which part of the project do you want to be part of?
5. What do you think will be hard? What might our team mess up? Why is making mistakes a GOOD thing?
6. How can working with others help us complete this project?

I'm not sure if this is going to help my students begin to understand what taking control of their learning means, but it's worth a shot. I feel strongly about changing my classroom, and I'm not going to give up now.

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