Three Teaching Strategies Without the “EDUspeak”

For the last two years I’ve had the amazing opportunity to return to the classroom from my consulting position as a sessional teacher with Brock University’s Faculty of Education. It has allowed me to continue to share my passion for quality health and physical education at the ground level, get creative with awesome teaching tools I’ve learned over the past few years that I’ve been out of the classroom, and it’s given me the opportunity to continue to learn – from my students.

Here are three classroom strategies that my students shared with me to use when teaching educational best practices, but without the teacher jargon:

1. Glow and Grow

A cute rhyme which supports the opportunity for students to provide self and peer feedback. This strategy helps frame the students feedback in a way that is informative and constructive,  as well as inclusive and caring. We’re not talking about what is good and bad, we are identifying strengths – areas that “glowed”, and areas that need further improvement, or “growth”.

flowerNow these next two acronyms go hand in hand. I was introduced to these “friends” by a student who shared them during the Minds On of his lesson, stating that as with every class he has brought his friends ‘WALT ‘ and ‘WILF’ to help explain today’s learning focus, so here they are.

2. WALT (We Are Learning Today)

WALT is a creative acronym to use when sharing the lesson learning goals with students.  Rather than using the typical “By the end of the lesson I will be able to…” line, WALT is creative and fun and ensures that the language is framed in a student  friendly manner. If you’re worried that your goals aren’t student friendly, consider having your class reword the learning goals before you put them on display for student reference throughout the class.

3. WILF (What I’m Looking For)

WILF, similar to WALT, is an student friendly acronym, but the goal of this “friend” is to highlight what the teacher is looking for in their assessment, otherwise known as the success criteria. We know educational best practice includes telling students what we area assessing in a way that leads to no surprises, and WILF helps us communicate that. So whether it is active participation, goal setting, or the preparation, execution, and follow through for an under hand throw, WILF helps us communicate lesson success criteria to our class and eliminates assessment surprises.

Do you have any cute strategies you use for communicating educational best practices with your students? Please share them in the comments!

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