Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Show Me

your visual visionary, Suzanne

I learned how to change the hubcap on my car from an eleven-year-old boy on YouTube.  It doesn't stop there, I've learned how to better apply my eye make-up (don't look closely), tone my arms (again, don't look closely), and more efficiently fold laundry all thanks to the wonders of YouTube.  I'm the kinda girl where I need you to show me how to do something and then I've got it.  
Last Friday, we had a visitor at school, Dr. Marcia Tate of Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites notoriety.  Get this- she came to teach a lesson...to our students...in our classrooms! *Insert instant street cred.*  A group of teachers and I watched her teach a 30 minute mini-lesson to 4th graders, and then we met to discuss.  Her model came from her experience teaching in Singapore.  There teachers regularly get together to watch, reflect, and improve the lesson cycle.  After a lesson, teachers answer the following four questions:
1.  What did you notice in the lesson? (practices and strategies)
2.  What were the lesson's strengths?
3.  What were the lesson's weaknesses? Or how could it be improved?
4.  Questions and Answers

I love this!  Our job is 90% marketing.  When I attend a training or conference, I notice not only the strategies that are used.  Many times I think or say aloud to myself, "I like the way she said that!"  I might also pick up on the sequencing or pacing of the lesson.  The bottom line: I'm gaining so much more than if someone were merely telling me about the practice.

What an impact this practice would have on our own PLCs and learning communities!  I offer you this challenge- make modeling a regularly part of your planning.  Even better, invite team members into your classroom to see strategies in action.  I learn more when you show me.

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