Monday, David and I hosted #formativechat on Twitter. We talked about how we can give students a great voice in learning. We once again would love to continue chatting with you all here and invite you to share your ideas for giving students more control over when they learn!
I love this topic! I think the key is informing the students what they need to know by the end of class (Learning targets) and what form this product will take. Then it is important to clarify for the student that the journey is collaborative. On their end they need be aware of what they are understanding and what they are not understanding. On teacher’s end, we need to know if they are getting it. Formatives are the main tool for this determination of mastery. I tell my students, I do my best to determine if they are understanding using the formatives, but they also need to let me know if they need help. They need to analyze their own errors. What did miss or get wrong? Why did I miss it? What am I not understanding? Am I ready to move on? When the students start asking these questions they are empowered learners.
Agreed Ray. If they are fully aware of what they need to know by the end of a unit, then they can pace what they need to do and accomplish in order to get there.
Some people disregard Multiple Intelligences Theory, but I believe that if a student understands what kind of learner they are, then they can take control of the “when” of learning.
I agree with you Danielle - I think if they understand that all types of learners are valued they might take the learning goal more seriously. We tend to value more the quickest learner and not always the most creative - we need different opportunities in the classroom to assess learning - that’s why Formatives are such a great tool!
I think there is somebody more particularly a Russian shcolar who talked about ZPD. The idea is that teachers need to design tasks within students ZPD zone of proximal development. He argued that tasks or assignments should not be too difficult not too easy because in the first case students or learners will shut off for good and in the second case they will be bored.
This is a great strategy, Ray. I agree that it’s important for students to know that they play an important role by monitoring their own progress on a daily basis!