Monday, September 7, 2015

Empower Students to Take Charge of their Learning

Having students take charge of their learning is the goal of every teacher.  Encouraging students is important.  Everyone needs that encourager in his or her life.

Encourage students to set goals.  It only takes a moment to recognize students when they achieve their goals but it's important to do.  Ultimately, we want students to be intrinsically motivated. Young learners want to know that you notice them.  It means the world to students when you notice the and the hard work they've put forth.  It's the little things!  Just whisper kind and encouraging words for the effort being put forth.

Put students in charge of tracking their progress towards their learning.  Give them the tools and assist them with data tracking.  Use graph paper and a few colored pencils.  It's easy to see growth using two different colors graphed side by side.  If you have students keep their own data notebooks, these graphs are easy and ready to use.   Notice the pride when students figure out how much they've learned.  If students need to re-learn a concept, just graph the new score on top of the old bar graph column (see column 3.OA.D.8 PostTest score).  You can have students draw a horizontal line on the mastery level.

Learning is hard work!  Celebrate success and improvement with your students.

There's nothing better than to have students lead their own conferences.  It's powerful to hear students tell their family members what they're good at and what they need to get better at.  More on that another time.  :)


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