|Posted by Miss Norbutas on January 6, 2010 at 2:19 PM|
As with any ‘new’ classroom change, I found myself nervous, yet excited about this shift .The more information I received about the program, the more eager I became to implement it in my 3rd grade classroom. I am amazed at the ease in which my students had with the shift. I love that they are as enthusiastic as I am about Dunlap’s new view.
Together, we have started shifting from teacher-directed instruction into a more student leader focused learning community. I am thrilled at their desire to take ownership and responsibility within their school day.
After introducing the idea of the Continuous Improvement Plan, my students were thirsty to get started. We came up with our own definition and expectations of a Quality Student and a Quality Teacher, which correlates with the rules we created the first day of school. I often refer to situations as “What would a Quality Student do?”
Surprisingly, that has worked more efficiently than conducting “mini conferences” on a behavior or changing colors on a behavior chart. Now I hear my students ask each other that question when self problem-resolving instead of tattle telling or involving a teacher.
Since the beginning of the year, we have participated in a morning meeting, which is now lead by a different student each week.
During the meeting we have a student chosen morning greeting, discuss the daily schedule, give any announcements, show and tell, discuss the Plus-Delta chart about the previous day, and discuss the day/week’s objectives in “I can” statements. They enjoy the responsibility to kick off our day.
The data folders are used to track progress on Spelling and Reading Theme tests. This allows the students to reflect on the amount of effort necessary to achieve their desired scores.
Our mission statement is very representative of my class. We are goofy and creative, yet serious about school. It is a great motto and definitely excites the class each time we say it.
Of all of the currently implemented parts of the Continuous Improvement Plan, my favorite is the Plus-Delta chart. It is very helpful to get feedback on what is working and what is not. It also gives the students a voice on what goes on in the class.
Overall, my experiences with Continuous Improvement have been awesome. For a program with so many components, it sounds overwhelming, but when it is approached piece by piece, it has been an exciting and smooth transition. It has always been my philosophy that students should be held responsible for their grades. Giving them ownership with in the class and daily procedures, as this frame work does, my students are now asking for more and more responsibilities. The Continuous Improvement Plan has given my students an intrinsic reward, which has allowed praise to become a secondary drive for their success. I am extremely excited to be a part of this new paradigm, but even more excited that my students are just as eager!