Friday, September 07, 2007

Routines and Procedures

Elementary teachers are amazing! Our school year here began this Wednesday and I marvel how, after only three short (and very hot) days the students have already been trained in some regular routines. It almost seems like they never left the building and we're back to business as usual.

As I think about those routines, I think about some parallels between them and the ways we learn to use technology. Here's what typically happens with these simple classroom routines:
  • Teacher explains what the expectations for performance are (no talking in the hall, walking in a straight line, hanging backpacks up on the appropriate hooks, sharpening pencils before the day begins and whatever else)
  • Teacher guides students through the appropriate performance step by step
  • Teacher helps students practice and supports the learning of those individuals having difficulties with the performance
  • Students are expected to perform independently
  • Teacher shapes further performances as needed
I think about how that applies to the learning of skills that we teach in technology. We follow the same sort of process whether we're teaching reading strategies or teaching technology skills. If we could take students through the procedural knowledge they need for performing with technology tools with the same intent as we teach them the steps in using a particular reading strategy or walking from the classroom to the cafeteria we could save ourselves so much more time in the long run.

One of the primary teachers I work with recently moved from 1st grade to 2nd grade. She spent a lot of time exploring technology tools with her students and carefully helping them to build some basic skills while in 1st grade. Since she has most of her former 1st graders in her new 2nd grade class she can really see how the development of that procedural knowledge is helping her to move into the use of some more advanced tools with ease.

If we could only take a little extra time at the beginning of the school year to establish technology routines, the payoff throughout the school year would be tremendous. Not only would that benefit the individual teacher but it would set the stage for the next grade level and beyond.

Powered by ScribeFire.

1 comment:

Casino Games said...

Speak directly.