Today I was visiting a 5/6 MULTIGRADE classroom during a math lesson. The teacher divided the class into the two different grade levels and taught a separate math lesson for each grade level. While teaching one grade level, the other level was purposely working on their assignment, seeking help from their classmates if they needed it. It was calm and the slight noise from the grade level NOT receiving instruction did not disturb the students who were working on the lesson with their teacher.
Curious, I asked one student why he was playing a math game on the Xoom tablet instead of completing his worksheet like so many of his classmates.
"Mr. ___ trusts us to know that if we work on the Xoom instead of doing our homework, we will need to do it at home tonight. I don't have a computer at home, so I would rather do this."
"What happens if you don't complete your homework?"I asked.
"Well, the you lose the chance to use the computers," he smiled, "and I wouldn't want that to happen."
So that's the WONDERFUL thing I saw today...students knowing they have choices, and realizing their responsibilities in order to make those choices. I also saw a teacher who trusts his students to make good choices and provides a consequence if they don't live up to their responsibilities.
Trust + Responsibility = Self Directed Learning