Lynette Community Of LearnersPresentation Transcript
To Create a Community of Learners Lynette B-V WMWP Invitational Summer Institute 2007
Senior high school class, 12 th grade
Some students planning on going to four-year colleges
Others planning on attending community college
Still others will join the work force
Shakespeare is not on their list of “top ten” for the year.
( Unless, perhaps, the scene is REALLY steamy…)
To Boil It Down and Put It Bluntly: or An Epiphany of Sorts:
How can a self-directed classroom change student apathy in senior high?
How can collaborative learning change student apathy in senior high?
What IS a Self-Directed Classroom?
Focuses on student-driven work, both individually and in groups
Enables and encourages students to engage themselves independently in their learning
Allows for choice: in literature, writing, editing, discussion, or assessment
What IS Collaborative Learning?
Learning to work respectfully, responsibly, and with investment
Nancy Steineke, on collaborative learning:
“ [O]ne reason to collaborate is to capitalize on the already overwhelming desire that teenagers have to talk to each other rather than listen to a teacher talk… the greatest thing about tapping into this natural desire is that the result of good collaboration is increased learning and a positive classroom climate” (3).
-- from Reading &Writing Together: Collaborative Literacy in Action (2002)
How Deborah Stern describes the “cocreative classroom”:
A cocreative classroom is one that supports the value of the “low-resolution classroom,” a classroom where students perform individual tasks and assess themselves individually, where they “…play more of an active role in selecting, determining, and evaluating their tasks” (9).
-- from Teaching English So It Matters: Creating Curriculum For and With High School Students (1995)
What Might It Look Like in Mrs. Varnon Land?
Class-designed classroom rules
Student-driven reflection papers and process notes
Student and teacher portfolios
The Important Factors:
Classroom collaboration and cocreation rely intrinsically on modeling.
These practices are ones that rely not only on academic girth and freedom in curriculum, but also on classroom environment and student interactions.
“ [I]f students can have classroom experiences that allow them to consider their own choices and give them the tools to make future choices critically, school will have been real, life affirming, and important to them” (Stern 9).
In Addendum: Sage Advice from Steineke ( and something I’ll take to heart) :