Monday, April 3, 2017

I'm sorry for the sit and get...

If you find yourself saying this to your audience of learners, immediately following the lecture, reflect upon your lesson design.  Ask a few participants to tell you a more collaborative way to get the same results.

If you are doing most of the talking, rest assured that the audience ends up doing very little listening.  Your students are not a TED Talk audience.  You may be a great story teller, but even TED Talks are limited to 18 minutes!  In an elementary classroom, limit yourself to three minutes before your kids get a chance to talk.

Challenge yourself!  Choose a lesson, and design it with the following question guiding the way:  What is the least amount of words I can say in this lesson?

This doesn't mean to shorten a lecture.  It is more than that.  Get away from lecture altogether.  Design a different type of learning activity.  It means to challenge yourself to talk a lot less and get the kids talking a lot more.

I have seen a 4th grade classroom with deep engagement for over an hour to start the day before the teacher ever addressed the whole group.  Her systems were solid, her students owned the class, and she created and designed lessons that were self-directed and engaging.  Imagine a classroom that could run itself!  She deeply wanted her classroom to be a place where her students constantly challenged themselves to learn.  She designed learning activities that were relevant and required much thought and much communication.

Talk less.  Make your kids talk more.