Friday Focus!

The 14th Friday, November 27, 2015

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.” Ancient Chinese proverb

“Teach child content and he will pass a test. Teach a child HOW to learn all content and he will pass ALL tests.” Beth Richardson

A good teacher teaches students how to become their own teacher.

Remember that the highest level of learning is evidenced by being able to teach someone else. This is why some kids and adults are successful and some aren’t. Some know how to teach themselves (learn) whatever needs to be learned; others don’t have that skill.

Teachers share a great and honorable mission in life. We are here on the planet to help people learn how to learn” and, in effect, become teachers.

Remember these?

Prior knowledge, Defined purpose, Active learning, Active reading, Discussion, Writing, Reorganization, Meta-cognition

CRISS (Creating Independence for Student-Owned Strategies).

The list above spells out the key elements of learning (Project CRISS, 2005). These are elements that need to be present in a good learning or studying activity if you want the information to stick in the brain. Think of them as the solid foundation for real learning—learn­ing that stays with a person and can be recalled when needed.|

Guide the students in asking themselves the following questions: ~Did I make the grade I wanted?

Did the learning stick? Will I really remember this in six months or a year from now?

Do I need to do something else for myself to make the knowledge stick?

Could I use this strategy myself at home (even if the teacher didn’t tell me to do it) when studying for a social studies test? Science test? Math test?
Ask the students these questions:

1- Are you studying at home but then not doing as well on the test as you would like?
2- What are some of the things we do in class that really help you to remember material?

After discussing the answers to these questions, encourage students to do something that hits several areas on the Key Elements of Learning list:  

  • Talk about what they learned with someone, re-organize it a different way, make a visual organizer, and so on.Remember, it’s a good learning or studying strategy if it hits several of the elements on the list, but it certainly doesn’t have to include all the elements at one time. To me, this is teaching students how to be lifelong learners!  This is teaching them how to learn anything that comes their way in the next 50 years, some of which we can’t even imagine.This is what it means to be a teacher—not a deliverer of facts, but someone who shows them the way no matter what a future teacher or boss (good or bad) throws out to them.Please take the extra five or even 10 minutes to address the how and why you “do it this way” with your students.Don’t think of it as losing time for content. Think of it as giving them a better future—a way to survive without you.You will be bestowing on them a gift far greater than a high score on a standardized test (which, for the record, will improve anyway with this approach).You will be giving them the gift of how to learn and teach themselves the unbelievable amount of content that awaits them in the future.

    You will be fulfilling your great and honorable mission in its highest form.

    Thanks, for all you do to make Almadina one of the best places to learn!

Jamal