As I finish the first week of the school year, I feel confident that there is a change in my classroom. Not talking miracles, there is definitely a more student-centered atmosphere and less teacher “command.” Pondering and evaluating the goals I set through the GAME plan (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009) tells the same story, and happily I am on the right track in employing the ideas and effect set forth in my design.
In initiating student-centered learning I find I have kept my first goal: separating knowledge and skills during planning and assessment (Stiggins, 2007). I have already changed my objectives to reflect both “what” students will learn and “how” they will learn it; however, more importantly my thinking has changed. I am now “geared” to make use of both “knowing” and “doing” beginning with the planning stage and ending with the assessment stage, and I will work in the next few weeks and months to make this a habit.
In teaching self-directed learning and integrating technology into the classroom, I began this week by teaching the GAME plan self-direction (Cennamo et al., 2007) and introducing parts of the QUEST inquiry strategy (Eagleton & Dobler, 2007) in a project-based lesson. Students are receiving enough scaffolding to be able to complete the assignment, yet they have developed their own GAME (2007) plans and are researching using the Internet and savvy “notemaking” (Eagleton & Dobler, 2007, p. 240) skills.
As far as a monitoring through a reflective (1-5) rating of lessons, how did I fair? This week I would give myself a “3” and no higher because logically and honestly “what’s good for the goose (my students) is good for the gander (myself).” Goals must be set high or else one becomes complacent, which breeds begin stagnant and ordinary. I am working towards having the “attributes of a great teacher” (Kottler, Zehm, & Kottler, 2005) and that will come through daily practice and reflection of my GAME plan (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2007) and being flexible with “high standards” (Kottler et al., 2005).
My journey has just begun.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful classroom
use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Eagleton, M. B., & Dobler E. (2007). Reading the web: Strategies for internet inquiry. New
York: The Guilford Press.
Kottler, J., Zehm, S. & Kottler, E. (2005). On becoming a teacher: The human dimension.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Stiggins, R. J. (2007). Student-involved assessment for learning. New York: Prentice Hall, p. 72.