On Friday, my teaching partner and I met with our principal for our team meeting. While we were discussing what was happening in our classrooms, our principal asked us, “If I were to come in and ask the students why they’re doing what they’re doing, would they know?” My initial thought was yes. Ever since school started, my teaching partner and I have made deliberate attempts to explain the rationale for everything that we do and/or let the students work with the curriculum documents to understand the purpose of the activities.
Today though, I thought that I would “prove it.” While I was working with groups of students during literacy centres today, I took some short videos of the students explaining what they were doing and why they were doing it. I love listening to the students sharing their thoughts, but even more so, I love watching the team work and independent work in action. Students need to be able to discuss their learning, but they also need to be able to show it. I like that I can and hear see both!
I will definitely be doing more videotaping as the year goes on, so that all students become comfortable sharing the why behind their learning and adding more details to their explanations. Do your students know why they’re doing what they’re doing? How do you know? Thanks to my principal for really getting me thinking about this!