Saturday, July 20, 2013

Top 10 Must Dos to Foster Forever Fans of Learning

This week I attended the National Conference for Differentiated Instruction in Las Vegas, NV (hosted by Staff Development for Educators) and I had the honor of listening to one of the great DI gurus, Rick Wormeli.  I read many of his works while working on my Master's in Differentiated Instruction.  Clearly pursuing a MA in DI meant my door was already open to DI strategies, but reading works by Rick Wormeli and Carol Ann Tomlinson blew the door off the hinges for me!

Needless to say, I was beyond excited to see Rick Wormeli present.  When I tweeted a post before his presentation and he tweeted back for me to come on up and meet him I did my best to not look like a rock star groupie excited to meet an idol for the first time.  When I went to shake his hand and he said "oh no, I hug!"....well, I didn't exactly swoon, but it did inspire me to write this post.  His presentation of meaningful content combined with his ability to connect with educators from a simple shout out on Twitter to hugging in lieu of shaking a hand has made me a forever fan.

This conference inspired me to reflect as to how educators can foster the same kind of forever fans of learning inside the classroom.  Here are my...

Top 10 Must Dos to Foster Forever Fans of Learning

10. Facilitate learning instead of disseminating content
 9. Use student grouping frequently so students seek knowledge collaboratively
  8. Redos and Retakes are the norm not the exception
7. Descriptive feedback outweighs the number game of percents
6. Embrace mistakes instead of shaming mistakes
5. Reality checks (aka formative assessments) guide instruction
4. Teach each student from his/her own level of readiness
3. Class discuss the phrase "fair is not always equal"
   2. Establish & share levels of understanding for each learning objective

  1. Every student must believe you care and you do!

I invite you to inspire and foster fans of learning by embedding these top tens in your instructional practices!  Merriam-Webster (2013) defines inspiration as "the action or power of moving the intellect." Inspiration is the intangible return one receives when an author, speaker, teacher or a administrator arms the intended audience with tools or ideas to put into action.  Thank you goes to Rick Wormeli for fanning my flame and to my principal for sending me to the conference.

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