As I've engaged in discussions with principals and teachers about next year, and as we've considered the district and school foci as outlined in our strategic and school plans, the conversations keep coming back to instructional practice. It is because of this that I have been thinking and writing about different ways to better engage students in class through things like Lego.
The reality is that we as teachers are in a state of flux, moving from being instructional planners to being instructional designers. This means we are moving away from reading the textbook and answering questions, even if those questions are presented on the Smart Board. Instructional planners are teachers that can take resources, such as textbooks that have already linked to the curriculum, and create lessons that cover the material and supposedly facilitate the learning. Under the new curriculum design, however, we are no longer going to be able to simply be good instructional planners; we need to become effective instructional designers. This means we need to be able to identify individual student learning needs within our classes, choose specific resources that will be appropriate for a variety of learners at different levels, and then design activities that will help them all to learn and develop the skills/competencies as they are outlined in the new curriculum.
This seems like an overwhelming task. I get that. But... the differentiation of instruction is not new. And we are not alone in this. This is why I am writing about this now, hopefully planting a seed that can be nourished and grow over the summer.
When we come back in the fall, my intent is to continue to use Literacy Look-Fors as I make my rounds and observe teachers in action. In addition to my observations, feedback, and showcasing of quality work on The Literacy Hub, I have also starting working individually with teachers in regards to planning and delivering quality classroom learning activities as they work to become effective instructional designers. We are planning now to be ready for the fall.
The following are links to videos and resources that can facilitate reflection on the idea of inclusive education, the differentiation of instruction, and how to become an instructional designer. There are also aspects of including technology into the classroom as a way to engage students in meaningful learning.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like more information on these topics, or if you would like me to come and work with you more closely - either now or in the fall.
Also, a big shout out to Shawn Wittal for sending me the link to this information .
Click the following link to access videos:
How can teachers move from instructional planners to instructional designers?