Friday, March 3, 2017

Student-Centered Classroom

To an extent, I've used the idea of a student centered classroom throughout the past years of my teaching career.

My students are all seated in groups facing each other.  I've never had them in rows, except during testing, and even then (at times) I've had students collaborate on their quizzes.
Mr Bailey's Class

Participation is a very big part of my grading.  From bell to bell, I carry a tablet and annotate a photo of my seating chart with dots to record student participation during small group and whole class discussions.

For each unit of study, I try to implement at least one project-based learning opportunity.

And I try to take time during every class period to sit at an empty desk and talk with my students.  Usually my conversations begin around the subject of school or our activity on hand, but I always try to steer them for some time toward something beyond our class in a sincere attempt to learn more about my students and develop a relationship based on respect and trust.

But today will be different!  Today I plan to take this idea of a student-centered classroom to the next level!

This will be my 8th time teaching this content.  Every time I've taught this content I've made adjustments -- some major, some minor.  But never have I attempted to make such a radical adjustment as I intend to make today.

Because today, I plan on not teaching!  Yes, your read that right.  After 7 times teaching this stuff, I honestly feel more capable and better prepared than ever to teach this content.  And that is the precisely why today I won't be teaching it!

In preparation for today's student-centered class, I've created a new Google Slide loaded with guided questions, images and hints.  Armed with their prior knowledge, collaboration with their classmates and the power of Google Search, I expect my students will guide their own learning and discovery in order to complete today's lesson with increased student-engagement, improved understanding, and (perhaps most importantly) the rewarding sensation of accomplishment and achievement.

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