LKSD Best Practice #1
Student-centered classrooms are those where the focus of instruction is shifted from the teacher to the students. The end goal is that students will be autonomous and independent thinkers.
When students know what's expected of them and have access to learning resources, we see them take ownership over their learning. Further, this enables the teacher to spend extra time with those students who need it.
At the end of the day, students should be more tired than their teachers.
Framework for Success
Learners interact through team learning by teaching and supporting each other
Ensures the learners are empowered to create their own activities and select their own authentic materials
During the learning process, students integrate what they have learned with prior learning to construct new meaning
Key Points for Implementation
Passion & Interest
Arrange desks/ tables to promote collaboration
Allow for the element of choice when assigning projects. Learning must matter to the learner; sometimes it's necessary for us to modify our expectations to meet students where they are.
Honor students' passion and interests:
When providing options for a project, students are able to choose which one interests them the most which leads to increased ownership, responsibility and autonomy
Embed students' names in word problems or stories
Use local examples when possible
Use open-ended questions in assessments- this gives students the opportunity to reflect and summarize what they've learned.
Provide regular feedback so students know how they can improve. Feedback should:
be both specific and academically focused
be provided by students to each other
support and validate
LKSD Best Practices Classroom Levels of Support
When we require students to seek out an answer or further information, they are thinking more critically and thinking for themselves rather than relying on the teacher to fill in gaps in their understanding; this then leads to retention of learning.
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Credit: Teacher Athos Spinola, 6th Grade
What we see:
A daily agenda with associated times posted on the board. Further, Teacher Athos actively reviews these daily benchmarks with his class as part of his structured routine. In doing so, after just a couple of months, students are able to self- direct and adjust their time management in order to know what’s coming and how they need to prepare themselves. This cuts down on squirrelly behavior while promoting self- regulation.
Credit: Teacher Samantha Alexander,
High School Math
What we see:
Samantha provides weekly outlooks for each class by neatly displaying the learning objectives for each class as well as overarching expectations. This method preempts students’ curiosity related to, “What are we doing today?” Further, this strategy is grade level appropriate and communicates the academic expectations for the week. An added benefit is that this also helps the teacher to stay on track by keeping an eye on her pacing and planning.