As I further analyze the constructivist theory and other areas of research, it reinforced in abundance the idea of being student centered versus teacher centered. Now I might think I’m teaching with a student-centered philosophy but my goal this week was to analyze my day and see when I’m being teacher directed and if/how I can change that to be more student centered. I never want my classroom to feel out of control and I worry that the more I let the students take over, the more chaotic things will get. Now that may sound silly to you but it’s a true concern. So on the idea of trying to be more student-centered, this week I also tried something new with my learning centers. Instead of me choosing their “have to” work, I allowed the students to create their own “have to’s.” It has been so interesting to observe the students to see what they choose to do, whom they choose to work with or not work with, and what they create. Several of my students use the whole time creating many “have to’s.” They are engaged in using skills they’ve learned all year including writing signs for their pie shop they created, making patterns at the science center with the insects, creating math problems to solve and working cooperatively to play games and build puzzles with one another. I made an interesting realization, the more times I found myself engaged in student centered activities, cooperative groups, and especially during my implementation of new effective instructional strategies, I found myself truly enjoying learning and teaching. I was still there guiding and managing behaviors but the kids were sharing, discussing, and actively engaged. It was also reassuring to me that the behaviors did not increase and in fact seemed even better. They seemed happy and were enjoying the learning process. This is what I want for my classroom and it’s exciting to make this realization and be more intentional in the future.
Time To Celebrate!
2 years ago