We have hit the ground running with our first facilitations of the new school year. What better way to start off than with classroom management.
Foster Student Perseverance – Teach the Habit of Effort
We are approaching the end of the semester. Any chance you might have this experience? Students are receiving their grades for the semester. As your students are leaving your classroom you hear a couple of your students say, “I can’t believe Mr./Mrs. (insert your name) gave me a C.” In your mind you are thinking, “GAVE YOU! GAVE YOU! You earned that C or didn’t earn a B. You think of all the times you attempted to assist this student so they could “earn” a higher grade – but John wasn’t willing to try harder – wasn’t willing to persevere.
This leads to the age-old question: Can perseverance be taught? Van Overwalle & De Metsenaere, 1990, found that students who were taught about the relationship between effort and achievement increased their achievement more than students who were taught techniques for time management and comprehension of new material.
Students generally contribute their success or failure to one of four causes:
Teaching students how to link effort with achievement will lead to the skill and habit of perseverance.
Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I had the opportunity to continue my work at a FABULOUS school in New Mexico. In working with the instructional coach and principal, we decided to do a bit of a “flip” learning experience – observe then learn the concept rather than learn the concept then observe.
First a bit of background. This is an elementary school that I have been working with for several years. This year our focus has been refining classroom management (focus) and fully implementing active student engagement – student to teacher and student to student (tasking) in order to move to implementing depth of knowledge.
Tuesday, I observed every teacher for student engagement (follow up) and for depth of knowledge. The focused rate (students sitting where they are supposed to be and not bothering anyone), for the teachers at this school is AMAZING! The overall average was 92%!
Wednesday, I met with teachers in grade levels. They each received their individual data. I then trained them on Depth of Knowledge with them utilizing their own data. They analyzed what had gone well especially with active student engagement (follow-up) and then as they learned about depth of knowledge, they were able to refine their data to incorporate the higher order thinking into their taught lesson.
They learned about depth of knowledge by:
1. Highlighting the verbs they use regularly in yellow and also identifying the depth of knowledge verbs they use synonyms for in pink. They created a plan to use the “correct” verbs so students recognize the task on a core test. Each grade level also suggested five verbs for the preceding grade level to emphasize.
- Teachers read an article on Depth of Knowledge and then taught each other the essential elements for each depth of knowledge (1 – recall, 2 – skill/concept, 3 – strategic thinking and 4 – extended thinking) that are “keepers” for their grade level.
- Teachers then returned to their data and infused higher order thinking into the taught lesson and planned for future lessons.What an enlightening day.
I am working with a faculty at an elementary school in Southern Utah and having a blast!!!!!!!!!!! Why? We are learning to develop common formative assessments for the standards that they had previously unwrapped – a challenging complex task. They have jumped in with both feet! These teachers are collaborating within grade level teams, as well as across grade levels. They have dug deeply into learning and applying the technical aspects of producing a variety of assessment items that are aligned with essential concepts and skills in their curriculum standards. These teachers are chomping at the bit to apply this knowledge to their own curriculum. You might wonder what produced this level of excitement to do this challenging work? I believe that engaging these teachers actively in learning the new knowledge and skills is a major contributor to their level of excitement. They had fun learning and learned at deep levels – a recipe for success!