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Study Abroad

Teaching All Students to Develop Their Voice

January 17, 2020

This week at the Adele school and T.N. Kirnon school we have been looking at how to best support and teach all of our students in both schools. One aspect we have been trying to teach is allowing the students to have a voice and take ownership of their work. This is shown in a variety of different ways because our students are so diverse in their abilities. It has been extremely exciting and rewarding to watch our students get so excited over the work they are producing. They also have shown us that they have enjoyed exploring themselves. 

In one of our classrooms at the Adele school we had two of the students write bio poems about themselves. When the lesson was explained, they were visibly happy and excited to talk about what they love, who they are, and what they want to explore.The students produced impressive work and you could see the pride and ownership they took in it. They wanted to show everyone the bio poem about them.

Allowing them to have their own voice, while it worked on their literacy and writing skills, was like hidden teaching. They were engaged, eager, and focused the entire 45 minutes. We noticed that all our students are capable through pushing them and allowing for creativity and ideas to be their own. 

In another one of the classrooms we were able to read a book to the students, and throughout the story we would continue to question the students about the story we were reading. At first the students didn't understand the questioning that was happening during the story but after continuing this method they began to engage more and express their opinions about the story. Even when the book ended they were eager to hear another one. Giving them the opportunity to share their opinion allowed them to open up and want to express their thinking. 

Overall this week has shown us that allowing students to have a voice and take ownership of their work, engages them more in lessons. We look forward to what tomorrow has to bring but sad that this is coming to an end.

Group of nine students holding new supplies.

Sarah Cullen's students at Adele in the pre-vocational class holding new supplies