Sunday, January 29, 2017

I’ve Given Students Autonomy and Choice, but It’s Not Working for Some of Them

Excellence in Education: I’ve Given Students Autonomy and Choice, but It’s Not Working for Some of Them
Genius Hour. Project-Based Learning. Passion Projects. For some students these don’t always work and more often than not, it’s because they don’t possess the necessary skills to be successful.

Many students lack the skills to be successful on self-directed or autonomous learning projects. Requiring curiosity, executive functioning skills, drive, and higher-level thinking it’s our responsibility to teach students these skills. For below grade-level students, who struggle with the academic content, projects are often even more intimidating.

So how can we help students learn the necessary skills to successfully complete autonomous projects, and more importantly acquire real-life skills.
  1. Recognize some students will thrive with increased independence while others can’t be expected to work independently.
  2. Scaffold the process by slowly increasing student independence by starting small and slowly giving students more autonomy.
  3. Develop a student check-in system to diagnose stumbling blocks and support students through the entirety of the project.
  4. Knowing your students’ strengths and weaknesses will help your provide additional supports. Be purposeful in developing and implementing strategies to assist these students. This may include checklists, a partner to work with, graphic organizers, drafting students for Mustang Morning, etc. And no, these students will not be embarrassed by the extra supports; they know their weaknesses and want to be successful. They’ll appreciate your support.  

Need to Knows:
Madison House Each year we partner with UVA’s Madison House to provide free tutoring to some of our students.  Teachers, students and parents can make a tutoring request at the following link:  Deadline is Monday, January 30!

Golden Apple Nominations, a program designed to honor outstanding educators, are now being accepted. One winner will be selected from each school. Each award recipient will receive a Golden Apple and gift certificates from local businesses. Additionally, eight winners will receive $1,000 Golden Apple Grants, which can be used for classroom materials or to support the recipient’s professional development. To access the information packet and nomination forms, please go the Albemarle County Public Schools website at and you will see the link under the Spotlight section. February 2nd deadline.

Positive Referrals: With the end of the first semester, it’s a great time to recognize students!

Portfolio Assistance If you have a student who needs assistance setting up his/her portfolio, click here

Technology / Website Permission Request Form Please use this form to request use of a website that requires student log-in if the site is not already on the approved list. DART approved list

Calendar and Memo Items

February 20 and March 31 are NORMAL school days now.

Help Save The Next Girl: 9th and 10th grades, Feb 28; 11th and 12th grades, March 1 Here’s a draft schedule; you may comment on it directly or email me before it is finalized. Please note, we’d like every student to see one of the two Help Save the Next Girl presentations. Because of mixed grade classes, it is possible that a student’s class goes on both days or neither day; please use your discretion and professionalism in determining how you would like to deal with these situations.

February 5: CeCe Brown (Cafeteria)

Worth Your Time
Internet Usage in Class Tide to Lower Test Scores : Research at Michigan State (sorry Ms. Ye) showing problems with computers in college classes; here’s the link to the research paper (Innovating?)

As educators we should always be on the lookout for ways to increase student relevancy and sparking curiosity. I came across this picture, and figured it has a lot of potential. What are some ways you increase relevancy and spark curiosity?

Good Advice on De-escalating the Power Struggle in Classrooms  (Embracing)

No comments:

Post a Comment