Friday, March 26, 2010

What do students say?

A valuable moment in teaching is having the opportunity to have a colleague visit your class to later share insights on the learning that is occurring in the classroom. This year, I had the chance to learn about a protocol called "Looking for Learning." The focus of the visit is not to "observe" the teacher; rather, it allows to chat informally to students about their learning. The visitor speaks one to one to a student and asks a set of questions; these start a conversation to reflect on what they are doing in the classroom. In the few visits and debrief meetings I have been part of; I have been amazed by the comments, connections and reflections the students came up with. After, the chat with the teacher has not only been a worthy professional conversation, but it has also lead to self reflection to what goes on in my own classroom.

I had the opportunity to have Kim Cofino, 21st century literacy specialist at our school, come and chat with me before and after she observed one of my language classes. Although her visit was geared to the Coetail course; she mentioned she will be using some of the protocol questions from Looking for Learning with my students. She shares her observations in her blog post; where she explains in detail the process to observe my class.

This particular experience went beyond the conversation about the value of integration of technology in a language class; it also enhanced the connections students make from their core classes, and how they value what they do in class. I was able to get a clear insight on why the students think we are doing a task, or if they feel they are learning something new...or if what we do makes sense to them . This; in their own words.

This conversation brought up valuable points to help me reflect if my lesson (shared in the previous blog) was successful; but most importantly how it can be improved for the next time.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love those looking for learning conversations. They give such insight into what students are thinking and what they ultimately have learned from all of their classes. It's wonderful to hear their personal reflections, and to speak to several students in one class to get a student's eye view of the class as a whole. Glad I was able to come in and chat with your students!