I’m reading The Connected Educator by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall and one of the cool elements is the challenge to connect at the end of each chapter. Chapter 3 was about what we need to learn, unlearn or relearn as a connected educator and the tool this chapter was Wallwisher. If you’ve used wallwisher you already know that it’s a short and sweet kind of posting on a notice board, and if you know me you know that sometimes I’m just not that great at ‘short and sweet’ responses…especially when something is muddling around in my head.
Therefore, I’ve had to expand a bit here and I hope you’ll provide some push back or ideas for me. In terms of being a connected educator, I think that conceptually and practically I’m good at allowing students to take charge and to support them in directing their own learning. My experience is that this usually takes us to a place that exceeds formal curriculum expectations so I’m happy, parents are happy, and students are happy! That’s great!
What I need to relearn, is how to effectively document and plan for this….or get over the fact that you really can’t! I like to deviate from plans (always do!) but I also like having a plan and I’m going to confess that this is where I feel weakest in my classroom practice. Part of this comes from not using pre-fab lesson plans (I just can’t teach the same thing over and over) not gravitating toward the stand and deliver style (PBL is my preference) and every year and every group of students means different ways to inquire about topics – it changes all the time.
I need to ask for some examples from my network to help in this area. I should connect with people like Shelley Wright for some concrete examples of how she is making shifted control work in practice. I loved her ideas about have students select 3/4 of their assignment for her to assess in order to encourage risk-taking and playing around with learning (page 53). This reminded me of working with student portfolios in the past and it’s really doable. I need to search out some other examples and put them into practice for my AQ course so that I can model these new approaches for planning and assessment.
What do you do? How are you shifting and what are the practical implications for planning and assessment?