I saw Primary Gal's book study for Learn Like a Pirate and I had to jump in and share my thoughts. When this book arrived last week I read it all in one day. There were so many ideas that were generated and also a lot of questions. Paul Solarz (@PaulSolarz) did an amazing job of sharing what he does in his student-led classroom.
Chapter 1 focuses on what a student-led classroom is.
"A student-led classroom is one in which students make decisions and choices throughout the day without consulting the teacher."
This is the classroom I strive for but have fallen short each year. I learn from mistakes and we make adjustments as we go. However, I'm still the one making most of the decisions. It was great to hear that student-led classrooms don't happen overnight because I've been working towards that goal for years. I guess I'm taking the "baby step" approach but I'm now ready to jump in with both feet! I've always used small groups for students to collaborate and share what they are doing, and I'd like to think that's a step in the right direction for student-led.
Solarz also mentions that students must feel "safe, appreciated, and connected to their teacher" in order for this to work. In my classroom we spend a lot of time talking about how we are a family. We share stories about how family members sometimes have disagreements but in the end we still love them because we are family. My students know I expect the same thing in our classroom. I know this is a message that gets across to my students because this year we did the Together We Soared Awards that they wrote for each other. Here's one that talks about being family.
I'm ready to go in all the way with the student-led classroom but I still have questions. I'm planning to continue to participate in this book study. Also, Paul Solarz is hosting a book study via Twitter Chat #LearnLAP on Monday night 7-8pm CST. Paul has been ready and willing to share ideas and answer questions that I've tweeted so I encourage you to join this Twitter book study as well.
Thanks to the Primary Gal for allowing me to link up for your book study!