Thursday, July 17, 2014

11 Ways to Include Students in Planning Their Learning Experience

 Project Based Learning, Flipped Classroom, and Gamification are just a few of the strategies teachers are using to facilitate student centered instruction. As an educator I have dabbled in all of these areas and have found one component that is crucial; including your students in the planning process. 
As simple as this might sound, we are not utilizing students in our schools as much as we should. Educators stress and plan over new ideas that will ultimately effect students. Why not ask them what they think? There are many ways to go about this, the following are only a few ideas that may work for you. 

As a Classroom Teacher: 
  • Student Advisory Committee for Planning Projects, Creating Videos for Flipped Classroom, and Creating Relevant Game Components to Support Gamification: This can be as simple as opening your classroom during lunch ocasionally for students to give input on an upcoming project. 
  • Student Created Tutorial Committee: Encourage your students to create resources for other students that focus on the content they are learning. 
  • Classroom Design TeamChallenge students to redesign the physical environment in the classroom to support their learning styles. 
  • Class Social Media Team: Students can plan class blog posts, provide content for class Twitter and Facebook Page, ect...
  • Students as the Teachers: Enlist and train your students to tutor and assist their peers. If your students are given guidance, they can be a great resource for RTI intervention groups. 
  • Student Feedback on Lessons: Encourage your students to reflect on the Lesson after it is over. Encourage them to discuss how deep they were able to dig, what did they like, what would they do differently? (Make sure that some of their suggestions are reflected in future lessons and activities.) 
As a Campus Administrator:
  •  Student Technology Team: Help teachers and their peers with new Apps and Tech Tools.
  •  Campus Advisory Team: Bring issues and solutions to the table that Administrators and Teachers may not see. 
  •  Student Design Team: Students can brainstorm and design spaces throughout the school that reflect the personalities and learning styles within the schools. 
  • Student PD Team: Students can lead PD opportunities for teachers on the campus. You will get a higher level of engagement in your after school meetings if a student is doing the talking. This is also a platform for your students to become better public speakers. 
  • Student Public Relation Team: Selected students go out and send out updates on school happenings, sports, events, and celebrations for the campus. 

There are many ways that educators can include students in planning their learning. I challenge all educators looking to create a more authentic learning experience to ask the experts on their class roster! 

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