New Year…

The first month of the new year is coming to an end and our cohort is finding their place in different classrooms with new students. As I begin to lesson plan, I try to find ways I can build upon the students’ understanding of science as I enter into their classroom half way through the year. I am looking for designs that let me bring my theory and ideas into the classroom, but not throw off the balance that is already there.

As a preservice teacher, the one thing I find I can not get enough of is material. I am always searching for a variety of thoughts and ways to really prepare, scaffold, and engage students in learning. This semester I am going to try to use my blog to offer ideas, and share what has worked and what has not worked. Please feel free to share the same.

In one of my classes at Warner we were discussing how we should make goals visible to students. As I have been going over the goals for the unit on Minerals and Rocks, I have been thinking of ways to make them explicit to the students.

As I was reading through articles I found a suggestion. Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock discuss a teacher who uses a learning journal with her 6th graders. She used the following format to not only share goals with her students, but also let them set their own personal goals.


silly(Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, p. 148, 2011)

I thought it could be useful now, or even in a future classroom setting.


Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom

instruction that works: Research-based strategies for

increasing student achievement. Alexandria, Va: Association for

Supervision and Curriculum Development.

3 thoughts on “New Year…”

  1. I love the idea of the students writing their own goals!

    We are teaching about evidence for evolution on Monday. The plan as of now is to start the class with the Big Idea up on the board for learners to copy down, which they are used to.

    From reading your blog, though, I am inspired to do something different. We could start out by briefly mentioning that we know that evolution is a debatable topic. How might we figure out whether we are for evolution or against it? We could guide the kids towards realizing that they could look for evidence for or against. This would likely lead to them better remembering the lesson because they thought of the Big Idea by themselves.

    In reality, I don’t want to take too much control of a classroom that has an established norm, and I haven’t even met all of the students yet because of testing, so I probably won’t make this change this time, but I might in the future!

  2. Yes, it is hard to believe that January is already over! But you are off to a great start in 2015…. searching out materials; thinking of ways to be explicit about the learning, goals, objectives; sharing a resource; and giving us all something to consider…. this is why I said you are off to a great start in 2015… this is all excellent food for thought!

  3. I really like the idea of making the goals visible and in a language that the students understand. I really want to work on emphasizing the goals throughout a class period. I think adding in Andrea’s idea where she had us rate ourselves at the beginning of class and at the end of class with smiley faces could be a neat addition to what you’re talking about!

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