November 14

Aiming to Increase Student Engagement

Winterboro High School attends the Secondary Powerful Conversations Network sponsored by the Alabama Best Practices Center.  At our previous meeting we were introduced to the book, Leaders of Their Own Learning by Ron Berger.  The highlight of this meeting was Learning Targets.  Members were tasked to relay this information to their faculty and staff in a way that was meaningful to their school.  What better venue then Teacher Academy?!?!?

On November 7, 2014, we met to discuss the difference between Objectives and Learning Targets.  Objectives are the verbose definitions given to teachers in a particular grade or content.  Ron Berger defines Learning Targets as “ goals for lessons, projects, units, and courses.”

We read the literature presented by Ron Berger. Some very insightful points were brought out and discussed in Teacher Academy based on Mr. Berger’s research.  They were:

-Learning Targets increase student motivation in the classroom

-Learning Targets “shift” the ownership from the teacher to more of a partnership with the teacher and the student.

After reading the literature, we analyzed objectives that we used in our classrooms from the previous week and discussed ways we could have altered the objectives to create learning targets.  . We practiced writing learning targets for our lesson plans for the upcoming week.

If you have not read Leaders of Their Own Learning by Ron Berger, I highly recommend this book.  It will allow you to easily assess your current lesson plans, impact daily instruction in your classroom, and impact your school culture to promote engaged learning! The next post we will discuss how we took Ron Berger’s literature to the next level in our all day staff development day!