14 Jul How to Support Every Learner
Using Formative Instructional Practices and The Student Experience® Survey to Support Every Learner
Meet Claire. Even at the age of eight, she is a confident, self-reliant learner. Claire’s favorite subject is science, but as she would tell you, she is working on her writing skills every day. With 20 writing pieces in her portfolio, she is anxious to share two stories that show her ‘strong use of voice’ during an upcoming learning showcase where students share their progress with each other.
Although Claire is somewhat shy, she thrives when serving in the role of facilitator. In a recent small group book talk, Claire used question stems to keep her group focused during a text-based discussion. When a classmate gave an answer based on his opinion, she quickly redirected him to the learning target: I can use evidence from the text to support (back up) my answer.
She is quick to share that she loves listening to music, playing soccer, and spending time with her big sister. When she grows up, Claire wants to be a either a doctor or a teacher because “I’m really good at helping people.”
What if all children could experience school in the same way as Claire? They CAN.
In Claire’s school, teachers focus on the whole child. This focus includes the development of students’ academic and non-academic knowledge, skills, and mindset. The educators in Claire’s school made a commitment to implement Formative Instructional Practices (FIP) and The Student Experience® Survey.
Together, formative instructional practices and feedback from The Student Experience® Survey equip teachers with the tools, information, and ‘know how’ to create a classroom environment that fosters supportive relationships, student ownership of learning, and student engagement.
Students succeed when teachers utilize formative instructional practices combined with strategies to foster hope, engagement, and a sense of belonging within a well-managed classroom. In classrooms such as Claire’s, teaching and learning is guided by collected evidence of academic learning, as well as evidence of non-academic dispositions gathered by The Student Experience® Survey. Also in these classrooms, teachers make learning targets clear to students, so overtime students gradually assume responsibility for their learning and become increasingly motivated as they see evidence of their own achievement and growth. Students monitor their own progress, set goals, navigate obstacles, and identify multiple pathways to success. Students’ sense of connectedness to the classroom—which is captured by the Survey as emotional engagement—increases as they feel their strengths are recognized and others in the classroom care about them. As students take on a more active role in their learning, they begin to feel more connected to and motivated by the content, their teacher and peers, and the possibilities for their future.