Skip to main content

Do 10 Year Olds Who Need Driver's Ed.?

Meanwhile, a teacher begins her lesson by presenting the learning outcome ...

Teacher : Today’s learning objective is "I can drive from the capitol building in Madison to Miller Park in Milwaukee in time for the game tonight."

Student 1: Why are we starting in Madison? We all live in different places?

Teacher: Ok. Let’s go with, "I can drive to Miller Park in Milwaukee in time for the game tonight."

Student 2: I don’t like baseball, why do I have to get to Miller Park?

Teacher: That’s true, how about I give you some choice in where you go. I can drive to a major landmark in Milwaukee in time for the game tonight.

Student 2: If I’m not going to the game why do I have to get there in time for the game?

Teacher: That’s true, how about I give you some choice in where you go. I can drive to a major landmark in Milwaukee in 12 hours.

Student 2: Where did you come up with 12 hours?  Seems kind of random.

Teacher: True, it is kind of random. 

Student 3: Does it really matter when we get to where we want to go?  

Teacher: I guess not as long as you get there. I can drive to a major landmark in Milwaukee. Better?

Student 4: I have always wanted to go to visit the Washington Monument. Do we have to stay in Milwaukee?

Teacher: No way. I can drive to a major landmark.  Alright, let’s get started.

Student 5: Um, none of us know how to drive.

Student 6: What is the point of this objective?

Teacher: I want you to be able to navigate to a location of your choice.

Student 5: So, why do we have to drive?

Teacher: I guess you don’t have to.  I just thought it would be a useful skill in achieving your goal.

Student 5: But, we’re all 10 years old.  We won’t be able to drive for another 5 years. Can’t that skill wait a few years?

Teacher: Alright, I can navigate to a major landmark.  Good?

Student 20: But I wanted to learn to drive!

Teacher:  No problem, lets head to the simulator.

If you can take away some of the unnecessary limits in your course objectives, it becomes easier for your students to add choice.  Remember start with the why of the objective and build it from there. 

Use verbs to define skills, but don't try to measure skills and content knowledge in the same objective.

In science, I have to separate objectives which ask to students to design experiments,  analyze data and apply theories.  These are different skills and are measured differently. 

Popular posts from this blog

Waves of Innovation in Elmbrook Part 1

As a part of a graduate project, I am looking at innovations in education within my school district, Elmbrook Schools. I am specifically focusing on those looking to provide learners with more ownership over their own learning (a.k.a. personalizing learning). I've completed 4 interviews so far.  I had no intention of sharing them via this blog.  But, I think the stories and insights of these educators really are important for all.  They were vulnerable in a way that shows their passion for what they are undertaking.  They want the best for all learners not simply students, but educators who may hear their words.  So, please take the time to listen to their stories.  

In this video, Jeff Ortman a teacher in his 22nd year, discusses implementing strategies to give students ownership of their learning in his high school English classroom.  He discusses why he wanted to change his learning environment, his first steps to bring change, how choice and feedback are key to his classroom, a…

Can I Believe These Numbers?

Our union put out the results of a recent district survey.  The number of those who responded to the survey was low in comparison to the total number of certified staff. But the number and comments related to personalized learning struck me as troubling.

Based on this data, over half of the district staff polled are not onboard with the district's vision for personalized learning.  I would argue that not knowing the district vision for personalized learning is synonymous with not understanding what personalized learning is. The mission of the Elmbrook School Districtto inspire every student to think, to learn and to succeed.  By personalizing learning, we hope to achieve that mission.
I begin to question have we put the phrase before the meaning?  Have we thrown out this word without intention?  Have we made it to much of another thing to do rather than a method to achieve our shared vision.
These numbers shake me to the core.  After the recent presidential election, I realized I was…

How to Personalize Learning Part 3: Knowing How a Classroom Learns

Now, it may seem contradictory to state that teachers should create a classroom learner toolkit.  All individuals in our class have their own profile. We can’t simply design on blanket profile for the class.  That is very true.  That’s why Bray and McClaskey take a different approach to what a classroom learning toolkit looks like.  It is a 3-step process Class Learning Snapshot Preferences and Needs Class Learning Toolkit

Class Learning Snapshot In this model of designing tools for a whole classroom, the authors first recommend the teacher identify 4 learners who are diverse.  The Class Learning Snapshot records the specific strengths, talents, interests, and challenges of those four learners. If a teacher could meet the needs of these diverse learners through UDL, the needs of the other students in the class would probably be met.

Student Strengths, Talents, and Interests Challenges 1 It's easier for me to understand content when I am taught by a teacher and then am able to get informati…