Thursday, June 11, 2015

Learn Like a Pirate: Common Concerns about Student-Led Classrooms

(I would like to apologize in advance for the long post!!)

I am joining The Primary Gal the next chapter in Learn Like a Pirate! This week we are discussing some of the common concerns with a student-led classroom. I was excited to read this chapter and see if any of the concerns that Paul Solarz mentioned were concerns that I had myself.....SURPRISE....they were! It was great to read it and know that the concerns that I have are valid concerns and I really enjoyed hearing the response to the concerns. In this chapter 13 different concerns are discussed....I am going to touch on the four concerns that I also had :) 
This was a huge concern for me but after reading this chapter I am a bit more at ease with making mistakes. I have always tried to show my students that it is ok to make mistakes and I know that next year I will be making more of an effort to show them how to handle themselves when they make mistakes. I agree with Paul when he says that "failure and mistakes are an important part of the learning process." Students (and teachers!) need to make mistakes and fail every once in a while to learn from those mistakes. 

FALSE!!! This is definitely something that you can do!!! Like Solarz says, "teaching is hard no matter what we do." So why not try something new?!

I don't know about you but I am completely overwhelmed! Even though this will be my 5th year teaching I feel that I am always trying something new and learning new strategies to implement. Paul recommends trying to start out small and allow the students to have permission to interrupt a discussion when they feel that they have something to say. I think that this is an easy way to start and I will definitely be trying this at the beginning of the school year! I think that it is important for the students to feel that their opinions and voices are being heard. 

If your day is anything like mine there isn't a spare minute! I have to jam pack so much material into each day that I was not sure how to begin to implement a student-led classroom. This year I began to integrate science into my guided reading groups and after reading this chapter I am going to continue to try to incorporate other content. Solarz says in this chapter that the student will retain more because the content is not taught in isolation and I believe this statement whole heartedly. 

At the end of the chapter Paul Solarz discusses the benefits of a student-led classroom. Some of the benefits that he discusses are:
  • Increased retention
  • More time for feedback
  • Positive teacher evaluation
This was a great chapter and I am looking forward to learning more about empowering my students and creating the best environment that I can for them :) 

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