I read a lot. Some of the titles that I am currently reading are: Dare to Lead, Blindspot, Educating English Learners for a Transformed World, and Falling Over Sideways.
As a leader, I believe it is important to share what I am learning. Since I have a personal blog that captures what I am currently learning, thinking and growing in as a leader, I will occasionally post what I am learning here:).
This weekend, I finished reading the article “Access + Equity: Promoting High-Quality Mathematics” published by Anthony Fernandes, Sandra Crespo and Marta Civil with the support of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Although this article is written with the audience targeted toward math teachers, the elements highlighted below are universal.
What Fernandes, Crespo, and Civil want the reader to walk away with is the following:
- Wait time matters.
Students need time to process, think, respond and discuss. Find a system to help track wait time in the classroom; this will make a difference for students. Want to read more on this topic, check out the article “8 Ways Silence can Improve Student Responses”
- Create Conceptual understanding in the classroom.
Students need opportunities to explore + create a conceptual understanding of what they are learning. It is not just about knowing the right answer, what will create the “stickiness” for students is being able to see the concept brought to life.
- Know the standards.
Students need to know what the standards are and how they can work towards mastering the standards. Don’t level the standards down because it appears that the students aren’t there yet. Scaffold. Reteach. Maintain the standard.
- Students need a mentor.
Students need to connect with adults at school that can go to both for academic and/or social emotional support. Students want to know that they have someone that they can go to inside the school. Side note: If you haven’t seen the TED talk: Every Student Needs a Champion by Rita Pierson, this is worth the listen!
- Connect the content to student interests.
Know your students. Know what they are interested in, what they dislike, what they do for fun, what music they listen to, who their friends are. Find ways to connect the content to their lives. Real and authentic problems help students connect with the concepts being taught.
In summary, what we do as educators in and out of the classroom makes a difference in students gaining access + creating equity to learning.
Want to read more? Check out the article here.
Until next time; cheering you on in your work with kids!