Maggie Kay Hall-Librarian, Mother, Life-Long-Learner and Literacy Advocate
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I am sharing this because I am grateful for those who taught me these strategies and I use them regularly. I believe they promote the learning process.
In my view... The days of 'sit and get' for students and 'sage on the stage' for teachers are long gone. I think that the whole virtual instruction format has become a hindrance for embracing some of these strategies listed below, and understandably so.
Some in our field may call it whole brain teaching, some call it instructional strategies (lLead4ward), or perhaps call it Kagan Structures. What do they all have in common? Intentional structured opportunities for student conversation and collaboration.
I also call it making students an active participant in their learning... and it may often look like structured chaos. Because these are strategies, they can be applied across content and grade levels. This can also be done while being Covid-safe if well prepared.
If you walk through the library during one of my lessons, 9 times out of 10 you will see that the students are busy and buzzing working in collaboration (yes they are also talking)... which is exactly how I designed it to function. Students will never have an empty desk (unless transitioning) and always leave with a tangible product in hand. Of course this product could be virtual as well.
The most recent research in education tells us that teachers should be facilitating learning and students should be talking, engaging, and interacting with you, the teacher, and one another frequently. If a teacher is posing a single question and having a single student respond- where is the learning ownership for the rest of the class? These strategies are so important because we do teach so many tiny humans at one time and need for them all to be held accountable.
Trust me when I tell you (as someone who teaches just about all students on campus) there are some students/classes that are not ready to do all the fun interactive learning activities that I have planned for them as they are not willing to comply with my expectations for the LMC. In these cases, I assess behavioral/structure concerns and spend my next class revisiting my expectations and requirements until we learn how to get it down together. When students lose the privilege of participating in fun and engaging activities, it will usually motivate them to turn it around for the next opportunity.