Making learning visible for all learners (students, teachers, parents) has become a focus for me in the past year or so. How can we continue to make learning visible so that we can talk and share about what is happening in our classrooms to push learning forward?
There are some instances in the past year or so as I've been focusing on this aspect of my teaching career where I think I'm getting it right. That we are making a difference. Today I learned that I still have such a long way to go.
As I've mentioned in several previous posts, our school is participating in the Forest of Reading Program, promoted by the Ontario Library Association. We try to develop a maker stance when we explore these texts, encouraging students to respond using multi-media tools.
Today my colleague Lindsay Morrison and her grade fives students explored the text Top Dogs.
As with most of our learning experiences, we try to follow a four part lesson format.
For our minds on activity, we posted a picture of a seeing eye dog. We prompted students with the question "What do you notice about this picture?". On sticky notes, students were encouraged to jot down their thinking about the photo. My teaching partner, Lindsay talked about how the class had been working on inferencing and we talked about how they could write down what they see and what they know to form an inference about what was happening in the picture.
We read the chapter from the text that focused on the story of how guide guides were introduced to North America. As we read this out loud to the students, we showed parts of the text on the screen so students could see the photographs included in the book. We paused frequently while reading; making connections, reflecting, asking questions and debriefing where necessary.
Students were given a small "maker kit" with a variety of loose parts. From these parts we asked students how they might construct something to represent the main idea of the text. What message was the author trying to give you? What did she want you to learn?
After students constructed their artifact, we asked them to write down what they thought was the main
idea on a pink cue card with supporting details on additional yellow cue cards.