I've really been taking a step back lately and looking at the way that I run my classroom. I've been thinking about how the type of assignments I give. I was coming up with a research assignment where I would give the students a graphic organizer for them to complete, filled with questions that I came up with. Once they finished, I would have my students create some type of product that I decided, whether it be a Glog or a Voki or some other type of multimedia. Yes, I was using technology. Yes, I was using research. Yes, I was using 21st Century web tools. But I wasn't giving my kids any real freedom. I was in control of every step of the assignment. Then one day I read a very interesting quote...
"When we ask all students to do the same learning task in the same way, we have no idea what individual children are capable of." ~Dr. Bertie Kingore
This hit me like a slap in the face! I had been asking all of my students to do the same thing! I decided it was time for me to let go of control. That same day I revamped the way I ran my entire classroom. My students are now in control of the learning. I give them an assignment, but they are the ones inquiring, researching, and creating a final product that best suits their information. I am trying to align my lessons to the Bloom's Revised Taxonomy and giving my students a variety of tools to use for each step in the process. I have to say that, though I have just started, I am amazed at the way my students are taking control of the wheel. It was a little scary, at first, for me more so than for them, just because I had to transition from being the teacher to the facilitator and sometimes even the student!
Have you had any moments like this in your teaching? I'd love to hear how you individualize your instruction in your classroom!