For the past nine weeks, our school has been different. We are learning to use technology differently to communicate, connect, facilitate, assess, and learn. We are teaching, and they are learning.
We focus on learning. We know we have taught when we have evidence that they have learned. It’s not about intent; it is about impact. When we focus on learning, we move to the sideline and watch. We
know learn if students are independent or dependent. Our goals are independence, confidence, and competence.
On his own, a dependent learner is not able to do complex, school-oriented learning tasks such as synthesizing and analyzing informational text without continuous support. (Hammond, 11 pag.)
For the past nine weeks, we have been working to intentionally plan and facilitate learning experiences to help dependent students grow into independent learners.
See that window?
Over the last break, I wanted to learn to make something that I’d seen my smart, creative brother make back in the summer. Jeff, my brother, believes in learning by doing. He prototypes and seeks feedback. How often do our learners do that or get to do that?
So, when I asked to learn, we went to work. I received a 5-minute mini-lesson on the Kreg jig and pocket screws where I watched and asked questions. Then, I was handed the Ryobi drill.
Generally speaking, one of our family rules has been that Jill cannot use anything that has a blade and a power cord. So I predicted that Jeff would help me. By that, I mean stand right there beside me to keep me from making a mistake.
Nope. He was busy; working.
He did come right back to explain that the drill was a variable speed drill and asked me to slow down. And then, he was gone again. Who knew? Variable speed so I could work at a speed where I felt confident. Amazing! I experienced success and a few failures and one do-over.
Remember that window?
Consider that window…
For the past nine weeks, we’ve had to look through the window, that screen, and analyze the video to see learning. Our students have grown in independence.
It reminds me of this question and the following chart from Zaretta Hammond’s Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students.
How do we make opportunities, time, and space for our learners to become independent learners?
Here’s evidence from today. How do you think we are doing?
Hammond, Zaretta, and Yvette Jackson. Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. Corwin. 2015.