Learning Focused Classrooms

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Maryhf, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    32

    Jul 19, 2007

    I just attended a workshop about making my classroom a "Learning Focused" classroom. I wondered if any of you have experience with the various strategies and can give me any insights. thanks!
     
  2.  
  3. goopp

    goopp Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 19, 2007

    I went to classes last year for LFS. The main thing they told us is not to try to implement everything you learned in every subject or all at once. It's just too overwhelming. Start with posting an Essential Question for each lesson, using Graphic Organizers, and then pick a subject (maybe one of your school improvement goals) and a unit. Then start creating lessons for that unit that impement all of the various types of lessons. Take it slow until you get a feel for it, then expand.
     
  4. sdzbgdr

    sdzbgdr Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 20, 2007

    Focus on Learning. Had to go to a workshop for that?

    Haven't we all thought this after the tons of workshops? But it is right after the workshops that we have to practice all the stuff all at once, especially when the principal is walking around checking. Then probably the principal reports that we need a workshop on not creating to many distractions at once.
     
  5. goopp

    goopp Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 20, 2007

    Our trainers actually told us to do it that way. I've moved to a new school this year and they don't use LFS.
     
  6. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    32

    Jul 20, 2007

    I feel lucky - my district is giving us 3 years to implement the strategies. the district my kids attend implemented in 1 year with principal inspections throughout the process. I actually taught a unit last year with some of the ideas and it went very well. I just wondered if people had some insights, ideas, advice of things that work well.
     
  7. goopp

    goopp Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2007

  8. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    32

    Aug 3, 2007

    That is really helpful! I hear that many schools in Georgia are into this. My administration toured several schools there. Thanks for the link and keep me in mind if you find more. I've just been put on a planning committee for our school.
     
  9. goopp

    goopp Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2007

    The school district I teach in is split into areas, and each area superintendent chooses what they will focus on. The area I was in last year sent me to LFS training, but I've changed schools and it has not been adopted in our area, yet.

    I would like to get a position in the county I live in, and they are Learning Focused Schools, so I know the training will come in handy.

    There is a lot of good info in LFS, but I think the most important thing I learned was to adapt what was taught to my way of teaching, not just to adopt a formula and use it whether I was comfortable with it or not. Posting Essential Questions, using graphic organizers and numerous hands on activities, those are all things I do any way, so it shouldn't be too hard.
     
  10. devama

    devama Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 15, 2007

    I just had my training on this the last two days. As a first year teacher, I think implementing it with one subject is do-able. I am kindergarten so I asked specifically for ideas of how it looks in younger classrooms.
     
  11. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2007

    Hey Goopp! Come teach in Douglas County, Georgia. We are all trained LFS teachers and schools, and have been for three years. We've gone beyond the curriculum planning of LFS and in to empowering the teachers in the classroom to make decisions that affect their own schools. We are a data-driven system with mostly outstanding administrators, teachers, students, and parents. We push vertical teaming, and I've never worked with anyone that wasn't willing to share and learn. If you want a leadership in the school, you step in and help take charge. New schools are opening since it's growing in population. Thirty minutes from Atlanta, and no traffic jams, straight shot into the city. I love the attitude of passion around here.
     
  12. goopp

    goopp Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2007

    I'm in Cobb and I love my new school! The collaboration on my team is outstanding and the administration is wonderful.

    I live in Canton, so the drive to Douglas County would be a bit much. It's already long getting to NE Cobb.
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2007

    Cobb County schools are great! I think, though, they should have just trained all the teachers at once with LFS. I have been teaching 22 years, and I bought into this right away. I particularly use the EQ's, hooks, and graphic organizers with almost every lesson. If you start using those, you'll be a step ahead of everyone when it is implemented, and everyone will see that it is a good philosophy that doesn't involve throwing away all the good practices you've learned throughout the years. They'll probably make you an LFS facilitator though! Lots of meetings trying to convince some reluctant teachers to give it a try. I had a lot of trouble with the kindergarten. They really thought it would be a change from what they were doing and weren't listening.
     
  14. little317

    little317 Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,289
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 17, 2007

    This sounds interesting. What exactly is Learning Focusd Classroom. I'd be interested in learning more about it.
     
  15. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    I'd say that it's main philosophy, what should drive your instruction, is focusing in on what and how the student learns, and not on how the teacher presents. You are always looking at lessons from the student's point of view. At first, you think that there's not much difference, but there really are things that sometimes good teachers do instinctly, or need to be reminded of.

    For example:
    1. Modeling and thinking aloud. Acting as if you are the student taking in the information.
    2. Using pairs of students to reflect and discuss ideas.
    3. Using lots of graphic organizers because the learner's brain prefers to keep information in a manner that is not jumbled but already ordered.
    4.linking to prior knowledge (very important) so the brain accepts the new information as a part of what is already known.
    5. As often as possible, using a "hook" to capture attention and allow the student's brain to engage. (Like anticipatory set)
    6. Post essential questions in order to make the learner a partner in the new knowledge instead of just a recepient. If you pose a question that is not just a "yes" "no" one, the learner reads it and usually starts puzzling and speculating the answer. They then want to engage in the lesson in order to answer that question that they've just asked themselves.
    7. Use on-going assessment, frequent stops to absorb and indicate understanding, and always a quick summaryat the end of the lesson.
    8. Always addressing individual needs--like in math you let kids tell you how they solved it differently or you say it, show it, do it so all learning styles are addressed. Use some kind of pre-learning for some students so that gaps in knowledge are not as wide.
    9. Engaging in vocabulary study prior to lessons so that all words used to convey the point are familiar and don't get in the way.
    10. Offer 2-5 extending thinking suggestions or activities.

    Anyway, those are some of the main practices. You could probably google to get more info, and the company that puts out a lot of the reference materials for teachers who are training to become Learner-focused teachers is LCI Solutions, inc at www.icisolutions.com

    Sorry for the length. I really like the philosophy and embrace it completely. There's a lot more than I've shared.
     
  16. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 18, 2007

    This sounds sort of like what our school is adopting. We have adopted a program called Explicit Direct Instruction by the DataWorks program. Basically, it's sort of like Matalyn Hunter's lesson plan. You state the objective (our version of the essential question), present the major concepts, model, explain, etc. Then you do your closure. Yours seems more detailed than ours which I like.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. bella84,
  2. nstructor,
  3. Ms.Holyoke
Total: 384 (members: 7, guests: 352, robots: 25)
test