I recently heard someone compare Learning Goals to a GPS, and I thought, “Absolutely!” After all, it is the job of a GPS to help us arrive at our destination. Consider the following scenario… a woman and her husband are on a road trip where he becomes thoroughly lost, and of course, is unable to admit it. In an attempt to help, the wife turns on the GPS in their rental car. Her husband insists that he is not lost and that the GPS is not needed. He knows exactly where they are if she would just trust him. After [...]
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So far Lindsey Hampton has created 10 blog entries.
Don’t forget that all students need time for strategic review. This might mean for semester or final exams, or it might mean after a series of related lessons. When it’s time for review, don’t revert back to the “old way” of doing things -- worksheet packets or a silent study hall. What students have accomplished in your High Performance Learning-Focused Lessons will give them just what they need to be successful with review. Think about all the “props” students have gathered throughout your lessons: graphic organizers, notes from Assessment Prompts, vocabulary activities, and other documents. Here are three quick and [...]
An important time to support struggling readers is during guided reading. However, just because you are doing guided reading does not necessarily mean that you are supporting your struggling readers. Here are six common guided reading mistakes you might be making. You are using books that are too difficult. If the books that are being used during guided reading time are too difficult for students to read, guided reading isn’t really happening. Why not? If the book is too difficult, the teacher is doing most of the reading, and the teacher is the one who is practicing reading, not the [...]
Why Is A Lesson Essential Question More Effective Than An Objective? Chances are that if you have been in education long enough, you have been asked at least one time or another, to display the standard(s) you are currently teaching on the board for students to see. The rationale behind posting the standard on the board is to ensure students understand the learning goals of the lesson, right? Through my classroom teaching experience, I didn’t find this to be true. What I found to be true was that objective was really for me, the teacher. My students did not seem [...]
How can the use of scaffolding support student achievement? “Start with where you want them to be (the grade level standard) and make it learnable.” (C. Boyles). As educators, we have the very complicated task of ensuring that all students are successful learners, but how exactly do we do that? How do we make sure students learn what is expected? One effective strategy is to purposefully scaffold instruction. And one poignant example of just how effective scaffolding really is can be found in one of childhood’s most enduring pastimes; t-ball. If you’ve never had the experience of watching a t-ball [...]
Why is writing such an important part of instruction? The Common Core Standards set the expectation that students will be adequately prepared for a 21st century economy and the demands of college and careers. In regards to writing, standards require students to “produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience.” Meeting this expectation requires educators to redefine their understanding of rigor and embrace the notion that challenging students is not about inundating them with more work. Instead, assignments must be created that are standards-driven, infused with higher level [...]
How can students write to learn?As students learn new knowledge and skills, and then complete tasks to show mastery, they do two types of writing: writing to learn (during the lesson) and writing to inform (after the lesson, in the assignment).Robert Marzano wrote an interesting article in the February issue of Educational Leadership (2012) entitled Writing to Learn. This article is about a 5 phase process where students are writing to learn in order to support comprehension and content retention. Marzano (2012) observed many teachers using writing-to-learn activities and in so doing identified five phases which support retention and deepen understanding [...]
It takes more than one-and-done professional development to make a true impact. The goal of all professional development is for teachers to acquire new knowledge and skills, and most importantly, translate their new knowledge and skills into classroom practice. Clearly, without classroom implementation, there is no impact on student learning. Unfortunately, professional development is often provided as a one time experience with unreasonable expectations that teachers should be able to immediately implement what they have learned with quality. Exemplary professional development, however, distributes the learning over time to allow teachers to continuously strengthen and refine their professional skills. Learning-Focused is [...]
How do you start making your classroom super supportive for differentiation? Before you can begin to build support for a classroom where customized assignments are the norm instead of the exception, you must learn all that you can about differentiation. Develop your own professional knowledge. There are numerous resources available such as books that offer support and information on the topic and workshops like the Learning-Focused Differentiated Assignments training. However, you must understand the “why” before you can begin to make the transition from a traditional classroom approach to one that supports the uniqueness of every student. By understanding the value of [...]
How can scaffolding help struggling students become successful with grade level curriculum? When I think of scaffolding, I think of the temporary support structure erected on the side of a building that allows workers to access parts of the building that they may not otherwise be able to reach in order to accomplish a particular task. Once the task or job is complete, the scaffolding is removed. It is the same idea as providing scaffolding for struggling students. All students have access to the same high standards, but those who struggle with meeting the demands of those standards are provided [...]