It has been a month since FWSU held their first annual Ignite Session to kick off the November inservice. The theme of inservice was Igniting Innovation, and the first “spark” of the day featured 4 Ignite sessions. Ignite is a style of presentation in which the presenter uses 20 slides in five minutes to share innovative practice. Our teacher-presenters spanned grades PreK-High School, representing all 3 of our schools. Our Ignite Session focused on how instructional innovations are driven by the 4 targets of the FWSU Action Plan.
In this 4-part series, we’ll begin with the first target explored by Eric Hadd, Grade 8 Social Studies teacher at GEMS.
Eric: “This is what I believe student-centered learning looks like. Questions are the building blocks of learning. When students are asking questions, they are beginning to design learning. Research and information literacy skills are critical to the process. Students learn to collect, sort, and process information to create meaning, gain understanding, and ask deeper questions. Inquiry aims even higher, students identify problems and propose solutions.
Teaching changes, too. Formative feedback and personalized mini lessons are given as needed (teaching skills that students use immediately). It also makes the final products much better.
Students need to share their work; learning sticks because of it. Student work and effort matter because of it. And the skills it teaches are so important – speaking, listening, and giving feedback. Schoology discussions are a great option for sharing student work; all voices are heard. Students can attach almost any electronic product such as an ebook or a video to their discussion.
Our students need connections–they seek them out; it is how they learn. Real learning rarely happens in isolation.
In an Inquiry and Project-based environment, students learn not only content like History and Geography, but transferable skills like communication self-direction, citizenship, and integrative thinking.”
As we work together to grow and evolve student-centered learning into proficiency-based personalized learning, what does it look like in your FWSU classroom?
In January, I’ll revisit preschool teacher Kristie French’s look at Student-Centered Learning Environments through the Reggio-Emilia lens.