When I was an administrator of Special Education Services in the Roseville Area Schools our district embarked on a program to improve educational effectiveness based on the teachings of Madeline Cheek Hunter. Hunter, who died in 1994, developed “Instructional Theory into Practice,” a model of teaching that was adopted by many school districts throughout the U. S. during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Hunter believed that the foremost job of teachers was decision making, and that each teacher makes thousands of decisions each day.
All the decisions a teacher makes can be put into one of three categories: (1) content category—what you are going to teach; (2) teaching behavior category—what you as a teacher will do to facilitate and execute that learning; and (3) learning behavior category—how the students are going to learn and how they will let you know that they’ve learned it.
Following my author visit to Scandia Elementary School on March 28, 2018, third grade teacher Kelly Duncan asked her students to write “reflection papers” about my visit.
Their first-draft reflections provided the teacher with valuable information about how well her students can articulate a shared experience visually and in writing. The papers provided me with valuable information that I can use to plan effective classroom presentations in the future; a continuous cycle of teaching and learning.
I would have liked to have displayed copies of every child’s reflection in this blog post; each was unique and special in its own way. The three I chose nicely illustrate how the students put their hearts and minds into what they saw and heard during my presentation.
Other favorite observations written by these delightful third graders were:
- She told us about how to write a book, and make sock monkeys. I think I’m going to do that when I get home.
- She carries a journal everywhere she goes.
- She gets her character ideas from her life.
- We saw all her artifacts.
- She said to use your imagination.
- She showed us it’s pretty much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle to make a book.
- I asked her a question about why the judge (Annaliese’s father) is mean.
- She talked about how she came up with ideas. She writes whatever comes to her mind, which I like that.
- My favorite part is when Annaliese makes a costume for Great-Grandmama’s 90th
- She is a grandmother. She was fun!
- The book is great so far. I wonder what the end will be like.
*PS: Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota! Purple crocuses are pushing through the last layers of snow. A wild turkey spent the morning wandering about our backyard. The little girls from next door rode their pastel pedal bikes with sparkly streamers for the first time. Baby birds and rabbit kittens will be here soon. Enjoy!