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Chapter Six: Implications

Educators in teacher-centered settings may tend see student-centered settings as lacking in structure and not focused enough on the mastery of basic foundational skills. Educators in student-centered settings may tend to see teacher-centered settings as overly reliant on basic skills and missing out on deeper learning. Students actually get the best of both worlds through democratic classrooms. Structures do exist in student-centered settings, but they liberate students because they are intentional in encouraging student voice and mastering skills through authentic forms of learning, like project based-learning. Learning has a meaningful context, and becomes interdisciplinary and relevant. This relevancy cannot happen without students telling us what they feel matters. Teacher-centered structures create complaint citizens but confine students by limiting voice and choice. Student-centered structures create confident and critical thinkers who can help shape not only their own learning, but their experience of the world. These are the types of citizens we want in our democratic society. Below Ive outlined characteristics of a typical teacher-centered classroom, and shared a few student-centered norms and routines to help any educator reach the Andys, Annas, Charlies, and Abbeys in your class. As you try them out, you may discover your own alternative to these ideas depending on your students. These ideas are not intended to box you into one way of operating, but to help you create a learning environment that is responsive to your own students voices.

TeacherCentered

StudentCentered

Classroom Norms and Routines

You spend time planning, moving Classroom Environment furniture, and setting up where materials are placed before the first day of school.

Co-construct with students how each wall or area could be used to support what you are currently learning. This should be done throughout the year. Helpful Tips Use the following guiding questions

How do we want to use the room to help us (learning skill)? Where in our room would this be the most helpful to find? How should we use this area to help us (learning skill)?

Co-construct a class map, designate areas, and its uses together

Behavior Mangement

You rely on the following to create order or to convince students to do the work Behavior color cards or clips Table points Behavior contracts Punishments in the form of losing privileges (i.e. recess)

Try the following alternatives to enable students to feel invested in the learning community through trust and freedom to solve their own problems Praise specific actions or the work instead of the person to encourage a growth mindset: o Do Praise Action: You worked hard at o Dont Praise the Person: You are smart! Use community meetings to talk about class conflicts, list student driven solution ideas, and invite students to choose an idea to try for a week and check in to see how it went a week later Designate a space in your room where students can talk privately about their problem and solve them together Model how students can express their feelings through I statements and discuss what listening-to-understand looks and sounds like when in the private area in your room Helpful Tip When class management is difficult, use it as an opportunity to collect data with students Tell students what youve been noticing and how it affects your learning community Ask students if they notice yours or other concern and invite them to share ideas on how to change the behavior Draw a table to collect data for the discussed desired and undesired behaviors. Invite students to collect the data with you. Revisit the table

in the beginning of the day to talk about the goals for the day. Revisit the table at the end of the day to see the progress and what contributed to it. Praise what was accomplished.

Curriculum

You rely on district adopted curriculum, units of study you created one year but repeat year after year, pacing guides, and test readiness materials fills your planning book before you meet the students

Use student passions and curiosities to design curriculum that involves deeper learning through project based learning. Slow down and re-teach student stated needs from exit cards or through your observations Helpful Tips The following resources connect you to other more helpful resources PBL Guide on http://naf.org/files/PBL_Guide.pdf deeperleanring4all.org

STUDENT VOICES IN PROJECT-BASED LEARNING


WHEN I THINK ABOUT THIS PAST YEAR, I REMEMBER HOW MY STUDENTS USED THEIR VOICES TO HELP ME GUIDE OUR PROJECTS. HERE IS THEIR ADVICE TO US
DISCOVER WHAT WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT THROUGH PLAY!!

PHASE ONE: DESIGNING THE PROJECT

COLLECT WHAT YOUR STUDENTS WONDER ABOUT ON THE CURIOSITY WALL AND CATEGORIZE THE TOPICS. CAN THE IDEAS BECOME A PROJECT? ASK YOUR STUDENTS TO CHOOSE THEIR TOPCS. LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF STUDENTS PER TEAM.

WE LIKE COMING UP WITH OUR

BRAINSTORM PRODUCT IDEAS

OWN RESEARCH QUESTIONS.

WE CAN THINK OF TEAM JOBS TO SHARE THE WORKLOAD.

LET US LEARN HOW TO RESEARCH THROUGH EXPLORATION.

PHASE TWO: STRUCTURING THE PROCESS...

USE EXIT CARDS TO SEE WHAT STUDENTS NEED MORE HELP WITH.

SLOW DOWN TO MODEL AND TEACH SKILLS STUDENTS SAY THEY NEED MORE TIME ON AND FROM WHAT YOU OBSERVE.

PHASE THREE: FACILITATING CRITIQUE AND FEEDBACK

WE CAN GIVE KIND, HAVE STUDENTS CRITIQUE EACH OTHERSDRAFTS BASED ON A COCREATED RUBRIC THROUGH A GALLERY WALK. WARM FEEDBACK AND COOL FEEDBACK THAT IS SPECIFIC AND HELPFUL. POST THE STUDENT FEEDBACK FOR STUDENTS TO REFER TO AS THEY REVISE.

INVITE OLDER STUDENTS TO HELP CRITIQUE TOO

I LIKE HOW YOU

I NOTICE THAT WHAT IF YOU TRY


HMMMI DIDNT THINK ABOUT THAT!

PROVIDE CRITIQUE STUDENT FORMS

USE EXEMPLAR MODELS TO REFER TO AS STUDENTS CREATE PRODUCTS

HAVE STUDENTS CRITIQUE EACH OTHERS EXHIBITION PRESENTATION

GIVE US THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE HOW TO TEACH THE AUDIENCE

WE DIVIDED OUR ROLES SO WE KNEW WHAT WE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR AND WHAT TO PRACTICE.

ASK STUDENTS TO CHOOSE AN AUDIENCE THAT WOULD

PHASE FOUR: EXHIBITION AND BEYOND

BENEFIT FROM THEIR PROJECT

PROVIDE GUIDING QUESTIONS FOR THE AUDIENCE TO GIVE KIND, HELPFUL, AND SPECIFIC FEEDBACK AT EXHIBITION.

HAVE STUDENTS THINK OF WAYS TO GATHER FEEDBACK FROM THEIR AUDIENCE

USE FEEDBACK FROM THE AUDIENCE TO REFLECT ON WHAT WENT WELL, WHAT COULD HAVE GONE BETTER, AND NEXT STEPS FOR FUTURE PROJECTS WITH STUDENTS.

I NEEDED TO GIVE UP CONTROL TO WITNESS EMPOWERED STUDENTS WHO CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR CLASS COMMUNITYS LEARNING EXPEREINCE. ITS WORTH TAKING THE TIME TO ASK, LISTEN, AND RESPOND TO YOUR STUDENTS VOICES.