Goals, Evidence, Learning Experiences, Learning Environment (GEL2)
- What we want ALL students to know and be able to do where they are challenged at their grade level or above, exceeding their own view of their personal potential.
- A clarified goal is essential to achievement. What do we really want our students to learn and take with them when they leave my classroom, this grade level, when they graduate high school, and as they head off into 2040? What knowledge, skills and understandings will be needed to accomplish this long-range goal? How do I plan backwards from these long-term goals and create monthly weekly, and daily goals to support this learning?
- In 27J Schools, we do this work collaboratively with colleagues, and we bring Curricular Frameworks, Learning Blueprints, and resource materials into these collaborations. Doing this work in isolation and independent from collaboration decreases our ability to create a consistent goal for ALL 27J students. The creation and clarity of the goal gives focus toward the intended learning for all students.
- The evidence is as important to student learning as is the goal. Its role is to clarify the expectation outlined in the goal. How will a student demonstrate that he or she has learned the goal? What methods will we use to gather this information? What indicators can we (teachers, students, parents) tune into to inform us of progress, or course correct us toward learning? How will we use more frequent evidence from Common Assessments and common formative assessments?
- We, again, work collaboratively with our colleagues and resources, work to determine what student demonstration will give evidence of learning. The evidence aligns tightly to the goal and offers teachers, students, parents authentic "proof of learning." These key players also monitor and adjust their supports to a student based on the student's evidence of learning.
- Once clear about the goal and evidence, the teacher can begin thinking about the learning experiences that a student would have to be engaged in to meet such an expectation. Students will need the expertise and thinking from their teacher, and they will also need high doses of think time, a carefully crafted task to accomplish, an activity to engage with, time to process and work collaboratively with their peers, time to practice in authentic ways, feedback from their teacher and their peers, as well as time to reflect on their learning progress.
- This sort of teaching demands a very intentional use of class time and a thoughtful plan of how each student interacts with the teacher, the text, their peers, their own thinking, and the resources available toward the learning goal.
- The climate and culture that promotes effective working and learning conditions. A place where all students matter, where they are believed in and cared for by those around them, and where they come to invest in their own learning.
- Equally as important to the academic development of students, is the learning environment within the classroom and the school. A thriving learning environment would be a place where ALL students feel valued, included, safe, respected, and personally responsible for.
- A successful career and life in 2040 largely depends on the social and emotional development of our students. The mindsets that we develop in our students, the way they treat, accept, and respect one another, the risk taking, the perseverance, etc. are all essential outcomes for every 27J student.
GEL2 working together provides a very necessary framework for teaching and learning in 27J Schools. It is imperative for us as educators to be incredibly clear about the goals that we have for student learning, the evidence that demonstrates it being learned, and the learning experiences and environments to promote these intentions. Engaging in this level of thinking and collaborative professionalism, requires the very best of our teachers and leaders.