Sunday, August 7, 2016

Visible Learning for Literacy

Chapter 1
This is my fourth online book club this summer. I am excited about this type of PD. I can learn at my own pace. I can have constructive and powerful conversations with people from around the world related to teaching reading. I can build new relationships with people who share the same professional interests as I do. The book club for Visible Learning for Literacy is on Facebook: The Literacy Teacher Book Club. We have ongoing conversations about how to improve student learning. Please feel free to join us.

Visible Learning for Literacy by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie focuses on implementing strategies that work to accelerate student learning. Chapter 1 lays the groundwork for visible learning for literacy. The main purpose of this book is to maximize the impact teachers have on student learning. There are three ways the authors say we can maximize our impact on student learning.

1. Levels of learning: Surface, deep, transfer. These points of learning require the student to process information in different ways. Knowing which teaching strategy works best at the different points of learning will maximize student learning. All teaching strategies have an effect size, but some strategies work better and are more powerful at different points of learning. For example, phonics instruction is better used at surface level learning instead of transfer level because students need basic knowledge and understanding of how print works before they can dig deep with comprehension.

2. There are Standards of Influences on students that impact student learning across the board.
Teacher credibility (.90).  The extent to which students trust the teacher.
Teacher/Student Relationships (.72). The extent to which the teacher develops a rapport with students by setting fair expectations and holding students accountable in an equitable way.
Teacher Expectations (43).  The extent to which teachers set high expectations and rigor that stretches students within their reach.
These standards of influences support a classroom culture where students are comfortable taking risks with their learning. When students feel liked by their teacher, the teacher sets clear expectations and are trustworthy students can thrive.

3. There are Global Factors that impact student learning. These factors include the challenge level of the work with feedback, self-efficacy or confidence of the learner and teacher clarity of the learning targets.  These factors are important because they focus on the learner and how they perceive the tasks, what is expected of them and their confidence level. They should be taken into account for every learning situation in a classroom.

In conclusion, teachers have choices (33). We have choices to implement sound instructional routines and procedures that are proven to accelerate learning in one school year or more. We have choices to create a classroom culture that students feel safe in. We have choices to “extend students’ learning in deep ways and facilitate the transfer of their learning…” (33). Making the best choices for my students will help them grow and learn throughout the school year.