Maybe we need to rethink how we plan all the pieces of good teaching that need to be planned.

Maybe we need to rethink how we plan all the pieces of good teaching that need to be planned. Instead of each lesson needing:


  • Target
  • Relevance/interest/curiosity
  • Purpose
  • Evidence of learning
  • Success Criteria
  • Feedback for that evidence
  • An opportunity to try again
  • Closure and reflection

Many of these pieces need to be taught as routines of self management with choice of evidence and accountability for goal attainment. We need to teach then how to learn  (which is what the CCS are really intended to achieve) rather than specific lessons, selections, assessments at a previously defined pacing not designed for my students but designed for the average student.

Students everyday need to: pexels-photo-355952.jpeg

  • Read
  • Write Legibly
  • Learn about words
  • Make meaning
  • Build knowledge
  • Have conversations
  • Communicate clearly
  • Know what they are doing and why
  • Learn content
  • Feel seen, cared for and safe
  • Problem Solve
  • Work with numbers

Students need to read broadly. Different genres, text types, media source, article, advertisements that help them learn about scientific content or social studies (studies about society) content most importantly learning how to respectfully,  purposely communicate (through speech, text and visual images) with a variety of audiences (peers, familiar adults, professional adults) for a purpose. And they need to be safe to QUESTION all of it and be able to view it from multiple perspectives (points of view) I am telling the story, I am telling the story to you, or an observer or narrator is telling the story-1st, 2nd, 3rd

Students to to use numbers to reason with quantities and amounts to solve real world problems or perform everyday things.  Why does place value not get combined with money? Count by 1’s 5’s and 10’s Compose amounts, decompose amounts and be able to clearly explain the sequence of steps used to solve that problem but most importantly to learn from their mistakes in order to persevere through challenging concepts.

Students need time to think! And to not be rushed!

The problem is stopping all of them at once, and moving them along at the same pace. What if students moved to independent tasks once group assigned task is complete. A small group of students who are ready receiving the next step of instruction followed by an assignment that can be completed without teacher intervention as evidence rather than everybody forced to learn it at the same time.. Then a new group while students are responsibly completing various tasks at a reasonable voice level.

Imagine if they were self managers to the point where you could work with a group. Then take a walk to do hip-to-hip check in and interventions with students on the standard they are working on and continue to pull an impromptu small group if needed or continue with the next scheduled group.  Imagine if students could do this for 90 minutes. 3 20 minute groups and time to settle in and do hip to hip check ins comfortabley built in.  Students would have to know what they are working on and be accountable for it.


Imagine what kinds of change in data that could provide. If each kid is intently working towards goals and strategies that will help them heighten their current skill level. Whatever the periodic assessment students will show improvements and if not there will be a record of all they have attempted. Currently, students spend time witnessing behavior corrections, waiting for peers to transition, listening to me answer a few questions posed by other students about information they may not understand and often don’t care about, completing assignments that are dictated rather than chosen often at a level that is not in the zone of proximal development. They get small bites of time to show evidence of learning that haven’t achieved or have too easily achieved. All this under the misunderstandings that all students need to receive the same lessons at the same time in the same classroom and even worse across a grade level. Where is the personalized learning in that? No. Where is the learning? No wonder the data is difficult to budge.


Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a world in which I could at least try to do this.

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