Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Where Great Teaching Begins

Subtitle: Planning for Student Thinking and Learning
Author: Anne R. Reeves

For those non-teacher types, this is not a book recommendation for you.  Sorry.  Save yourself a few moments of reading and move on. ;)

This book was one of the ASCD Select Membership selections for the 2011-2012 year.  This means it arrived in my mail box at some point over the school year and it travelled from the table at the front door, to the hallway table, to my desk, to the upstairs bookshelf, to the office bookshelf...and no matter where it rested, I was in a state of unrest--or guilt, more accurately--for not finding time for professional reading.

Now, summer's here!  (Cue Alice Cooper....).  I've got a stack of books to read and the motivation to get through them.  I made this my BookADay selection for today and--seven pages of handwritten notes later--I'm glad I did.

It's worth noting that the first half of the book is all about defining/creating/designing learning objectives.  Essentially, Reeves argues that a good learning objective is half the battle when it comes to planning.  The other overarching message of the book is making sure that student thinking and learning is the focus of our planning.

Assessment should be based on the learning objectives.  We need to stop thinking about lesson plans as lesson plans and start thinking of them as plans for student learning.

I would recommend this resource to any beginning teacher.  (Five years into my profession, I'm still counting myself as a beginner!)  I've compiled my notes into a Google Doc, so that I can access this info when/where I want it (and anyone who follows that link can, too).

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