Yesterday, we discussed framing the lesson as a two-part process for giving students a clear map and goal for each lesson. Making students aware of their goal at the beginning of the rehearsal – and showing how they accomplished that goal at the end – helps engage students and ensures you’re teaching to standards.
No matter what the journey is, we all benefit from knowing where we are headed, are reassured by directional signs along the way, and appreciate a “you have arrived at your destination” affirmation at the end of the drive!
Similarly, students will learn more – and perform at higher levels – when they have these kinds of markers in a lesson.
In the arts, a great work may begin without a clear end in mind—the splashes of color or the arcs of sound seemingly emerging from the artist or performer spontaneously. If it were only so with teaching students! While there may be artistic flair and creative gesture in conducting a school ensemble, our ultimate goal as teachers is to foster student learning.
Distracting or disruptive student behavior eats up time and is probably what teachers blame the most for keeping us from reaching our instructional goals. If we get those students in line and doing what we want, all the fabulous learning and achievement will just happen!
Of course this is easier said than done.