Moving from the sage on the stage to the guide on the side.
Requiring students to solve problems via different paths.
Providing a learning environment that involves choice and differentiation.
Agree? Disagree? Qualify?
These are goals that I have been striving to achieve in the past three years. I didn't set these goals to become a Common Core teacher; however, I do believe they coincide with the characteristics necessary to be successful with the new standards. But I've decided there is an element of teaching that I haven't truly processed.
Yep. It's official. I've been stretched. My current professional development (UAEMP) has challenged me to assess my teaching methods. Conclusion: There is a time for problem-based learning and there is a time for direct instruction.
If I can develop a concept through discovery, then I should engage my students in that task and provide an opportunity for reflection and summary of findings.
If I can expand a concept through problem-based learning, then I should provide rich open-ended problems for my students to solve in a variety of ways...and again...provide an opportunity for discussion that prompts further learning.
And if a concept requires process via direct instruction, then I should provide such teaching opportunities in the most engaging and efficient way possible to allow for adequate practice and application of the concept.
However, it is important to note that I cannot successfully teach a process unless my students have the conceptual understanding to make connections and applications of the concept to said process. Far too often math teachers focus on the short-term process without a watchful eye on the long-term concept. As my district dives into Grades 5-8 Common Core standards implementation, I commit to being intentional as I select discovery and problem-based learning activities vs. direct instruction.
Have you attended professional development this summer that has stretched you as a teacher?!? Oh...please share...surely I'm not the only one with ideas swirling these days! :)
Hope your week is off to a great start...make it count!