Our district PD day was facilitated by Roland Case from the Critical Thinking Consortium on Engaging High School students. I have worked with the Critical Thinking Consortium for the last five year with the implementation of the new social studies curriculum To say that I am a fan, is a huge understatement. It has changed how I teach.
Engagement in the last years has topped edu-buzz words along with 21st Century Learning. But what does it mean, look like and change? My big take away from this session was this question that Roland posed. “How do we tell the difference between engaged, educationally engaged and on task?”
Cracking 21st Century Schooling shared by gcouros
So Roland challenged us to do two things (challenge accepted by the way)
- Reduce off putting tasks – eliminate marginal topics and educe demands of tedious tasks
- Provide more meaningful learning opportunities – Negotiate meaningful (intrinsic) plans, build in real life implications & consequences and problematize the subject matter
Luckily our school based PD, the day after district PD, built on this. We spent the better part of the day talking about concept development and cascading curriculum. Josie put together this fabulous presentation to guide us through the process.
PWA PD – Cascading Curriculum on Prezi
This model allows me to problematize my concepts, focus on the curricular outcomes I need to meet and what I am going to do to meet them. Using this template
we planned out our grade 9 cross curricular project. Today I tackle social 9 and The Federal System. I have used a lot of different planning models, this one works for me.
Engaged or Educationally Engaged?
If you were to look into classroom there would be varying levels of engagement, depending on task or time of day or interest level. I think that I do need to start looking closer. I use a lot of technology in my classroom and I think sometimes I am mistaking time on task for engagement.
This is my challenge and focus for the year. I am not reinventing the wheel, adding to my workload but reflecting on what I am doing with a framework to focus our work in the classroom. What about you?