Sunday, November 27, 2011

How To Help Your Students Experience Success...What We Can Learn From Football

I watched the Ohio State vs Michigan game this past weekend.  I saw what happens when a coach miscommunicates with his team. I saw what happens when players are asked to make plays they may not be ready to make.  I saw what happens when all the players on the field are not all on the same page of the playbook. I saw what can happen when players don't work together to make big plays.   It was not a happy day in the Shryock household. 

As teachers, I think we can learn a lot from the game of football.  As we work on interpreting the new Common Core standards over the next few years, we need to deconstruct those standards into learning targets, much like a coach breaks down plays to teach his team.  We need to figure out the best way to communicate these standards to our students.  We need to look at our students as players who must be able to master these standard "plays" and apply them in real world situations, often with a lot of outside distractions and pressure affecting them. How can we set up practice situations that will allow them to develop mastery and build confidence in their knowledge?   Just like a football team, we have students who are good at some things, and not so good at others. They come to us with a variety of prior experience and knowledge.  There are always all-stars and bench players. How can we take advantage of each learner's strengths to help them work collaboratively to accomplish our learning goals?  Our role as teacher in the new Common Core model is to truly be more of a learning coach, developing a game plan, communicating expecations, providing  specific feedback, cheering our students on and making sure that they are prepared to succeed when they are asked to apply their learning in new ways or in real world scenarios.

It was a hard weekend to be a football fan in Cleveland, but this week is a great time to start to build a winning game plan for your classroom!  To learn more about the Common Core, or find resources for your classroom - use the Common Core tab at the top of this blog, or the resources links in the right sidebar.

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