Our teachers at Greystone are becoming very skilled at helping our students understand the targets we set for their learning. We have been learning how to co-create criteria with our students so that they will understand what we are looking for when we assess their learning. We know that our students will be able to better meet the standards for high performance when the target is made clear to them and when we work with them throughout the learning process, to provide ongoing feedback and opportunities to improve their work, so that they can hit the targets we set.
The same thing is true for our teachers. When we talk about what kind of teaching needs to be going on in our classrooms so that we can make engaged learning come to life – we need to set some targets for ourselves as well. We have taken on this process of co-creating criteria for engaged student learning during our Professional Development Days this year. We are getting further along in developing our shared understanding of what we should expect to see in our classrooms when we are providing an engaging learning environment for our students. Here’s a snapshot of what our teachers have come up with so far:
Risk Taking - Learners are persevering to grow outside their boundaries.
Providing Evidence – Learners are an active part of the assessment and feedback process.
Learning Authentically – Learners are emotionally and intellectually invested in their work.
Questioning – Learners’ natural curiosity is leading them to explore deeper learning.
Collaborating – Learners are open-minded to different perspectives.
Creating – Learners are thinking, acting and engaging with ideas.
We are now developing specific actions that would be taking place in our classrooms to demonstrate each of these key areas for engaged learning. Once we have developed our action plan, we will be able to use this document as a tool to assess ourselves and provide feedback to each other as we continue our professional growth.
This is taking a long time, but the process is definitely providing us with lots of excellent opportunities for dialogue about best practices for our classrooms. I am confident that once we are finished, the criteria we have established together will be a valuable tool in helping us hit our target of getting it right for today’s learners.