TEACHER, AUTHOR, EDUblogger "I want to (read and) write books that unblock the traffic jam in everyone's mind." ~J. Updike
So, you want to be a teacher that can deliver quick, thought-provoking lessons that will have your students raising the roof to learn more and find deeper meaning on their own?
See, yeah, I heard that…… MMM-hmm that….the: “Wh-wh-what is she talking about?!”
Hang with me a sec now, okay? Well, gimme five minutes to explain……see what I did there? 😉
I have recently had the fantastic opportunity to read a book written by Mark Barnes on just this topic…….What a coincidence!
In his book, Barnes lays out for the reader ideas and strategies for creating a student-centered learning environment where the teacher (in theory) only spends about five minutes “on the stage” and the rest of the time works as the “guide on the side.”
Now, ideally, in a utopian school environment world,this sounds absolutely right on spot and amazing! In fact, many homeschoolers have used this instructional method for years with tremendous success. However, we all know that although our hearts reach for that ideal and long for that ideal, that we really teach in a politically driven world of high stakes testing and regulations….be honest, you know it’s true.
One example of this clash between utopia and reality is the focus Barnes presents regarding observational assessments as opposed to structured assessments. In the reality,where we find ourselves teaching, this is not completely possible. In fact, most districts now require you to submit your structured assessments into the gradebooks. In addition, you are required to submit a certain number of approved assessments. However, here is my thinking on that…. we all know that as qualified, highly effective teachers we are doing observational assessments all– the– time! Those observational assessments guide not only our lesson planning but our structured assessment planning. Therefore, I propose that this is not an either/or situation. At least, in my eyes, it doesn’t have to be.
In the book, Barnes argues that most classroom discussion is controlled by the teacher or, in some cases, by the loudest, most out-spoken student. I can see what he is saying. I can also hear what you’re saying also: I have a pacing plan to stick with, lady! Yes, I know. Yet, this again, does not have to be an either/or situation.
Teaching from a prescribed curriculum with dictated state and district timing does mean that we cannot completely hand over curriculum choice and control to the students. However, this “guide on the side” learning can be accomplished through best practice techniques which involve teacher guided rather than teacher directed instruction. Such strategies will include scaffolding, differentiation, collaboration, gradual release of responsibility, and reflection practices (by both the students and the teacher).
In this way, knowing your students and their learning strengths/style you can begin guiding your students learning. Furthermore, teachers are able to give students more choices as to how they will learn something and are able to clearly explain why what they are learning is important. This will take a lot of keen observation and effective feedback to succeed. So the teacher will need to be AWAKE…….yes, I said it… the teacher. Don’t sputter at me, you all know teachers who are on cruise control and asleep at the wheel. So you stay awake, okay? I’m not saying this is easy. We knew that when we signed up for this calling. But the result? Your students will be more engaged, taking responsibility for their learning and AWAKE.
For myself, I will take what works with my personal teaching/learning style and use my strengths to motivate, activate, and maximize learners and achievers. —See what I did there? 😉
Let me explain:
Well, enough of this rambling. It is my hope that you got the gist or were inspired to learn more of what I was trying to share with you. Below you will find a few links that will guide you on an exploration of what this “5-Minute Teacher” business is all about. Take control of your learning, teacher, and follow those links! 😉
Happy Teaching! 🙂
@Teacher ToolKit <——-This link will take you to @TeacherToolKit which has many links to various informational sites regarding this subject.
As seen on the @TeacherToolKit web site:
“The demands placed on us in the classroom, by meeting the needs of students; or systems and management, can create unnecessary bureaucracy. The original 5 Minute Lesson Plan was designed to reduce planning time, whilst give the teacher an overview of what is important. It is here, that this concept has evolved into all the variations that you can find below.”
*This information is all via the ever talented ( I look up to his genius), Award winning Assistant Headteacher; Author of 100 Ideas: Outstanding Lessons. Creator of the #5MinPlan; @SLTchat; #TMLondon; @MyEdHunt; @SLTeachMeet; and writer for The Guardian Education.
Licence: @TeacherToolkit Ltd. by Ross Morrison McGill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on all work published at www.teachertoolkit.me.
Learn It in 5: Mark Barnes
5-Minute Teacher Resources and Helpful Websites <—–This link is a page that contains a tutorial for using screencasting programs, screen casts used to help students and links to other important tools, mentioned in Mark Barnes book, The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom, by ASCD.
Don’t miss Learn it in 5 editor Mark Barnes’ critically acclaimed book, ROLE Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom, now available in the ASCD store, Barnes & Noble and at Amazon.com