How do you typically instruct your students? other learners (e.g. teachers)? Have your instructional practices changed over the years? Why or why not? And if so, in what ways?
I have been teaching for almost 5 years now. Admittedly when I first starting teaching I was just trying to stay afloat. There were so many new things to learn and so many expectations. I used a lot of direct instruction and textbook worksheets. I did use a bit of music in my lessons and classroom management. I would write songs with my students to help them remember key concepts as well as Bible memory verses. Now in my fourth year of teaching grade 5, I have been able to try many more instructional strategies with my students because I am more familiar with the curriculum and outcomes. I have been able to find more creative and engaging ways to teach my students. I use even more music in my classroom as well as collaboration, cooperative learning, competition, PBL, green screen filming, audio recording, Genius Hour, reader's theatre, mapping strategies, and integrating more technology tools and going on more field trips. I feel my teaching is much more well rounded, learner centered, and engaging for my students now than it was in the past. I still have a long way to go, but being in my Master's Program and being exposed to new strategies, ideas, and amazing teachers, has helped in taking my own teaching to a new level.
What research do you use to support your instructional practices? What evidence do you have that indicates that
your instructional practices help students achieve and be successful?
"In A Theory-Based Meta Analysis of Research on Instruction, Robert J. Marzano analyzed the results of more than 100 research reports on instruction, involving more than 1.2 million subjects" (Brabec, Fisher & Pitler, 2004). In this article they discussed a few very effective types of instructional strategies including: Identifying similarities and differences, note taking and summarizing, setting objectives and providing feedback, generating and testing hypotheses, questioning and advance graphic organizers, and reinforcing effort and providing recognition. These were just a few strategies, among others, that I have used that have been proven to help students achieve and become successful.
What work do we have to do as instructional leaders in this area to ensure that students are receiving the best instructional practices in our buildings/districts?
I believe that it is vitally important to continually be collaborating and working together not only with our own staff, but we staff from other schools. We need to seek out useful professional development opportunities and never stop learning and growing. When we're excited about teaching and education as well as providing the best learning opportunities for our students where they are engaged, motivated, and involved in deep learning, then we are helping them become successful. As instructional leaders, we need to make sure to ' model the way' and lead by example, especially as new changes are approaching with the curriculum redesign.
My name is Jonathan Bolton I am an elementary school teacher in Red Deer, AB. I am also currently doing my Masters of Ed. as a cohort program through City University of Seattle. I am passionate about teaching, learning, creating, and growing.