Last night, I attended a Chris Bodie jazz concert at the legendary Blue Note jazz club in NYC. As the talented musicians played and improvised, I was prompted to reflect upon this school year. All that jazz (pardon the pun) and improvisation reminded me of all the changes that I have made in my elementary art room. This year, I am teaching grades 2-5, and embracing student choice in my art room. Honestly, sometimes it feels like I am teaching and kinda winging it at the same time. It is a bit scary, but I am doing it to increase student responsibility, engagement and learning through visual art.
Well, I had been teaching art with the gradual release model for many (like 20!) years. As a reminder, that model consists of:
- I do it (the teacher)
- We do it (practice as a class)
- You do it together (everyone practices,) then finally…
- The students do it alone.
What can you do in your classroom to flip responsibility to your students? It is like turning a classical piece into rock and roll. We know we should increase student engagement for more student learning so let’s take a cue from music improvisation: let go a little so you can to let your students own their own learning.
Let me know what you think about increasing student choice and voice
in your educational setting. Write a comment below!
This blog was first posted on Education Closet.