Summer Reading 2014 debrief: learner choice and voice (part 1)

We know student-learners need and deserve differentiated learning opportunities.  Don’t all learners?  How do we model learner choice? As a team of 150 learners charged with a responsibility of developing and maintaining a learning community for ourselves and the 650 children that we love and care for, we read and learn over the summer.  As we return to school, how do we share what we’ve learned?

We have planned a two-part summer reading debrief and sharing experience.  Part One has adult learners meet and share what they gleaned from a common read.  Our plan is shown below.  Notes and resources are collaboratively documented using Google docs so that all notes are available to every adult learner.

Here’s a sampling of our collective aspirations:

  • be flexible with everyone in the classroom,
  • know that we’re all on different stages as learners.
  • sequence in a logical order to facilitate understanding for all.
  • select high quality (low floor, high ceiling) tasks that offer many pathways for success.
  • use terminology like “yes and” instead of “no but”.
  • draw to get it on paper.
  • illustrate what they want to say and for comprehension.
  • plan for more prototyping and creating.
  • offer students enough time to think things over.
  • allow the kids to give feedback, there’s always time to make improvements.
  • use I like… I wish…
  • incorporate more nature into learning.
  • make time for students to create and problem solve without much instruction.
  • develop growth-mindset and reflection.
  • continual consciousness of modeling, building respect, patience.

Part Two will be a session in September where each group will share from their common read so that each member of our community has a sense of the salient points from each book.

What if we share what learn with others? How might we leverage communication tools to learn and share? What action(s) will we take based on what we learn?

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