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Teaching

Six Teaching Principles: #6 Include Students in the Learning Process

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Tuesday, May 25, 2021

girls reading standing up in a classroom

Definition

Students are not passive receptacles to fill with information. They come to class with their own frames of reference.

Their unique experiences and knowledge affect them as learners and should be taken into account. Therefore, during every exercise, teachers should accept student input as much as possible. Teachers should justify assignments, accept suggestions, solicit ideas, and provide ample time for students to share ideas. They should include students in assessing their own progress by reviewing test results, written reports, and educational plans. Creating and improvising opportunities to involve students in the learning process allows students to become aware of how they learn and why certain skills benefit them. As a result, students are motivated and more likely to apply those skills when working independently. In short, an included student becomes an invested student who is eager to learn.

In Practice

“Setting goals has proven to be a successful way to get students to buy into academic tasks, reduce complaints, and encourage progress.” —Deb Chandler, academic advisor, Elementary•Middle School
“In our ongoing quest to foster healthy decision making and destigmatize conversations around mental health, we invite students to co-lead discussion groups and to serve as ambassadors to the larger school community.”  —Dan Larson, counselor, High School

example of landmark school teaching principle #6 Include Students in the Learning Process

take a look at Landmark's other Teaching Principles

#1 Provide Opportunities for Success

#2 Use Multisensory Approaches

#3 Micro-Unit and Structure Tasks

#4 Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review

#5 Provide Models

 

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Six Teaching Principles: #5 Provide Models

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Definition

Providing models is simple, yet very important. It is one of the most effective teaching techniques.

Models are concrete examples of what teachers expect. They do not mean that teachers are doing assignments for students. They are standards to which students can compare their own work. A model or an example of a completed assignment serves as a springboard for students to begin the assignment. For example, teachers should give students a model of a sequential paragraph when teaching basic sequential paragraph writing.

In Practice

“In our Early Childhood Education class, we asked students to create children’s books explaining ‘how babies are made.’ We read them a few examples to provide visual and oral structure, and then gave them blank, hardcover books. The assignment provided students with an opportunity to be creative and explain a complicated process using simple language. Their final products were terrific!” —Ariel Martin-Cone, High School academic dean

explanation of landmark schools fifth teaching principle: modeling

take a look at Landmark's other Teaching Principles

#1 Provide Opportunities for Success

#2 Use Multisensory Approaches

#3 Micro-Unit and Structure Tasks

#4 Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review

#6 Include Students in the Learning Process

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Tags:  modeling in the classroom landmark school's six teaching principles

Six Teaching Principles: #4 Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Tuesday, May 25, 2021

boy jumping on chalk squares with numbers

Definition

Automatization is the process of learning and assimilating a task or skill so completely that it can be consistently completed with little or no conscious attention.

Repetition and review (spiraling) are critical. Sometimes students appear to understand a concept, only to forget it a day, week, or month later. It is not until students have automatized a skill that they can effectively remember and use it as a foundation for new tasks. Teachers must therefore provide ample opportunities for students to repeat and review learned material. For example, the Landmark writing process emphasizes practice and consistency. Students always brainstorm, map/outline, draft, and proofread in the same way. This provides them with an ongoing, consistent review of learned skills. 

In Practice

“In language arts we use card-sorting and Go-Fish games daily and weekly to practice different parts of speech and grammar rules. This strategy utilizes several of Landmark’s Teaching Principles. It’s multimodal (#2), helps micro-unit the information (#3), and supports students’ practice and review (#4). Students are also forced to “figure it out,” which gets them to move beyond learned helplessness without even realizing it, because they are having fun!” —Kaleigh Mangiarelli, High School faculty

take a look at Landmark's other Teaching Principles

#1 Provide Opportunities for Success

#2 Use Multisensory Approaches

#3 Micro-Unit and Structure Tasks

#5 Provide Models

#6 Include Students in the Learning Process

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Tags:  landmark school's six teaching principles Automatization

Six Teaching Principles: #4 Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Tuesday, May 25, 2021

boy jumping on chalk squares with numbers

Definition

Automatization is the process of learning and assimilating a task or skill so completely that it can be consistently completed with little or no conscious attention.

Repetition and review (spiraling) are critical. Sometimes students appear to understand a concept, only to forget it a day, week, or month later. It is not until students have automatized a skill that they can effectively remember and use it as a foundation for new tasks. Teachers must therefore provide ample opportunities for students to repeat and review learned material. For example, the Landmark writing process emphasizes practice and consistency. Students always brainstorm, map/outline, draft, and proofread in the same way. This provides them with an ongoing, consistent review of learned skills. 

In Practice

“In language arts we use card-sorting and Go-Fish games daily and weekly to practice different parts of speech and grammar rules. This strategy utilizes several of Landmark’s Teaching Principles. It’s multimodal (#2), helps micro-unit the information (#3), and supports students’ practice and review (#4). Students are also forced to “figure it out,” which gets them to move beyond learned helplessness without even realizing it, because they are having fun!” —Kaleigh Mangiarelli, High School faculty

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Tags:  Automatization Landmark's Six Teaching Principles

Six Teaching Principles: #3 Micro-Unit and Structure Tasks

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Tuesday, May 25, 2021

landmark high school guidance counselor with student

Definition

Effective teaching involves breaking information down into its smallest units and providing clear guidelines for all assignments.

This is especially important for students with learning disabilities. Micro-uniting and structuring are elements of directive teaching, which Landmark consistently uses with students. Micro-uniting means analyzing the parts of a task or assignment and teaching those parts one step at a time. Teachers organize information so that students can see and follow the steps clearly and sequentially. As students learn to micro-unit for themselves, they become less likely to give up on tasks that appear confusing or overwhelming. Consequently, these strategies enable students to proceed in a step-by-step, success-oriented way. 

In Practice

“Students worked through the five-step writing process for three separate papers over the course of 10 weeks. They followed templates for each step of the writing process, participated in many rounds of edits, and adhered to both progressive and final due dates. Once done with the written elements, they created additional elements for their magazines and wrote poetry, designed ads, and generated a variety of other creative pieces. Their favorite (and perhaps the most frustrating) part was putting it all together, and seeing their work in a real magazine format.” —Lauren Morrow, High School faculty

explanation of landmark schools third teaching principle: micro-uniting

take a look at Landmark's other Teaching Principles

#1 Provide Opportunities for Success

#2 Use Multisensory Approaches

#4 Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review

#5 Provide Models

#6 Include Students in the Learning Process

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Tags:  micro-uniting lessons directive teaching five-step writing process

Six Teaching Principles: #2 Use Multisensory Approaches

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Monday, May 24, 2021

chris woodin teaching hands-on math lesson

Definition

Multisensory teaching is effective for all students. In general, it means presenting all information to students via three sensory modalities: visual, auditory, and tactile.

Visual presentation techniques include graphic organizers for structuring writing and pictures for reinforcing instruction; auditory presentation techniques include conducting thorough discussions and reading aloud; and tactile presentation techniques include manipulating blocks and creating paragraphs about objects students can hold in their hands. Overall, implementing a multisensory approach to teaching is not difficult; in fact, many teachers use such an approach. It is important, however, to be aware of the three sensory modes and to plan to integrate them every day.

In Practice

“We recently talked about physics (motion, momentum, speed, velocity, Newton’s Laws, etc.) in my physical science class. I had my classes participate in a roller coaster competition, in which they built roller coasters out of paper and tape to get a marble around a loop, over a hill, and around two turns, based on their knowledge of the physics concepts that we had talked and written about. Using multiple modalities allowed students to see the concepts come to life, and they were engaged and interested. Students were also engaging in teamwork, accessing their long-term project planning skills, and utilizing vocabulary in context.” —Michelle Boucher, High School faculty

landmark school teaching principle #2 illustrated

take a look at Landmark's other Teaching Principles

#1 Provide Opportunities for Success

#3 Micro-Unit and Structure Tasks

#4 Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review

#5 Provide Models

#6 Include Students in the Learning Process

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Six Teaching Principles: #1 Provide Opportunities for Success

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Thursday, March 25, 2021

landmark high school student advocates presentation

Definition

Providing students with opportunities for success is key. Failure and poor self-esteem often result when teachers challenge students beyond their ability.

Landmark begins teaching students at their current level of ability. This approach improves basic skills and enhances confidence. As Landmark teachers introduce each new skill, they provide basic examples and assignments to build confidence and keep students from becoming overwhelmed. As the information becomes more challenging, teachers assign students easier problems to supplement the more difficult ones. In this way, those students who are having trouble with the material complete at least part of the assignment while they work at understanding and learning to apply new information. Teachers provide students with whatever structure is necessary to help students be successful, such as study guides for tests, templates for writing, and guidelines for projects. Only with a solid foundation of basic skills and confidence can students make progress. That is why it is key to provide them with opportunities for success.

NOTE: Providing opportunities for success is the most basic of the building blocks of the Landmark approach. If the other five principles are applied effectively they should all lead to the student experiencing and being aware of their success. 

In Practice

“Academic advisors use goal sheets to help students make positive decisions. This allows teachers to provide constructive and positive feedback in person and on the goal sheet. They also allow the student, teacher, advisor, and parents to be informed of the patterns of behavior and the goal(s) that the student is working toward.” —Geoff Russell, EMS academic advisor

example of landmark school teaching principle #1

take a look at Landmark's other Teaching Principles

#2 Use Multisensory Approaches

#3 Micro-Unit and Structure Tasks

#4 Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review

#5 Provide Models

#6 Include Students in the Learning Process

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Tags:  landmark school's six teaching principles opportunity for success scaffolding feedback

Landmark's Six Teaching Principles

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Thursday, March 25, 2021

By Rob Kahn

landmark high school steam lab

Many professional visitors to Landmark wrap up their visits by observing: “It’s really remarkable to see the same materials and methods used by teachers in many different classes.” That’s no accident. Visualize Landmark as an inverted pyramid. The pyramid’s wide base is 475 students and 250 teachers in hundreds of classes going about their business each day. Below the surface, the pyramid’s base narrows to an underlying point. Despite widely different experiences and individualized classes, all teaching at Landmark tapers to that origin point of Six Teaching Principles™ that have existed since the school began. These core principles inform the school’s deep-rooted philosophy. Their influence and expression are what visitors perceive, whether they visit a second grade or 12th grade classroom, a study hall, a dorm, or a sports venue at Landmark.

Visionary Founder Led By Example

The Six Teaching Principles™ are the result of reflection and mentoring by a dyslexic student who became a teacher. Charles Drake thought about what did and did not work for him and others like him and formulated a practice. First, don’t repeat the errors of traditional teaching when confronted with diverse minds. Let students experience success, not repeated failures, so they build confidence and resilience while acquiring language skills. Successful interactions are key to establishing trust and motivation.

Second, recognize that traditional teaching—text-based and lecture-oriented—is adequate for some learners but leaves out others. Teach through multiple senses—vision, hearing, movement, and touch—to reinforce brain connections. Learning can take many forms, and more paths to the desired end maximize reinforcement.

Next, beware of paths where increments are out of sequence, oversized, or poorly paced. A success-oriented teacher should have a clear chain of micro-units, each building logically from those preceding, so that students are inevitably led to the goal. Realize that skills must be reinforced until they are habits, the result of hours of practice and review. Automatized learning is learning at the deepest level, a level that relieves the strain on working memory because the response is ingrained. That review and practice must be meaningful, based on models for the desired result that guide students to produce successful outcomes.

Finally, give respect and credit to your students by partnering with them in the endeavor of learning. This principle fosters self-advocacy, perhaps the most often-cited tool, along with reading proficiency, that students take as their legacy from Landmark.

Why have these six principles endured for 50 years at Landmark? They are essentially a recipe for the population, mission, and secret to Landmark. They are logical, sequenced, and comprehensive. Recognize that all students aren’t served well by one way of teaching, and that a history of school failure has terrible consequences for individuals and society as a whole. Reclaim education for all learners by meeting students where they are and looking for ways that all can learn. Finally, recognize that diverse learners have gifts and talents to offer, in their personal learning process and for the world at large. What Landmark provides is the confidence and tools to move forward and unlock their potential.

Learn more about each teaching principle, see examples of each, and find tips on how to implement them in your classroom.

#1 Provide Opportunities for Success

#2 Use Multisensory Approaches

#3 Micro-Unit and Structure Tasks

#4 Ensure Automatization Through Practice and Review

#5 Provide Models

#6 Include Students in the Learning Process

Tags:  landmark school's six teaching principles dyslexia charles drake Landmark School

Dear Teaching

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Thursday, December 10, 2020

 

high school students in covid classroom wearing masks

Dear Teaching,

This year has been a tough one for us. Our relationship has been through so much over the past 12 months. We’ve been forced to change our ways, go long distance, and test our commitment to each other like never before. Yet despite all that, my love for you remains strong. 

Before the pandemic, loving you was easy. It was familiar and routine. It was the feeling of walking out of a classroom and knowing that I executed a near-perfect lesson. It was seeing a student smile at one of my stupid jokes or seeing that figurative light bulb go off in their head when they made a deep connection to what we were learning. It was giving high-fives and fist bumps in the hallway or sitting next to them at their desk to help them stay focused. 

Now, with one-way traffic patterns, limited social interaction, and an ever-changing combination of in-person and remote learners, I’ve come to see you in a whole new light. My passion toward you has only grown stronger as we've navigated these changes together. That same love I had before is still there, it just looks a little different. It's the challenge of planning engaging lessons, for students both in the class and at home. It's the comfort of a new routine that includes sanitizing every square inch of my classroom multiple times a day. It's the unpredictability of each day, like when a student says, "I didn't think your face would look like that," after seeing me without a mask for the first time. (I'm still not sure whether that's a compliment or an insult!) Finally, it's the surprising resilience of young minds that I've come to love most about you during this time. Seeing a community of teenagers adapt to a constantly changing world has been a beautiful thing to witness. 

So what I'm here to say, Teaching, is that my love for you is unconditional. It is not dependent on a physical space or the use of certain materials. It has no expectations for what the future may hold for us because I know whatever it holds, we'll face it together. And I know this love is mutual, because I feel it everyday. I love you, Teaching, and I always will. For better or worse, in sickness and in health, through COVID and beyond. 

Yours truly,

Scott Blanchette

scott blanchette landmark high school

Scott Blanchette attended Assumption College, where he received a bachelor's degree in English Literature. He has been working at Landmark High School since 2015, teaching Expressive Language Arts classes and is also a member of the Residential Department. He enjoys reading, writing, exercising, and watching sports in his free time. 

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Why I Don't Teach Tolerance

Blog Type:  Teaching Date Posted:  Sunday, October 13, 2013

Submitted by Ariel Martin-Cone 

I was asked to write this blog piece about teaching tolerance, but I want to start by changing some vocabulary. Teaching tolerance promotes that idea that you just need to put up with something you don't particularly value or enjoy (Brussels sprouts, regular exercise, etc), but you don't have to like it. If, instead, you teach, promote, and encourage understanding and acceptance, you can challenge a student to understand another perspective and find value in diversity – not just tolerate the presence of difference.

Teaching people to understand and value things or people that are different is a difficult conversation at any age. Starting each school year with clear expectations and standards for acceptable behavior and language enables you to have a positive, constructive conversation – rather than just respond to the inevitable issues with a predictable list of consequences. Establishing a Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) shows students and staff that the community wants to recognize and support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) teens, staff, and family members, and can provide crucial support to students and staff alike. However, the goal of a GSA should be for the community to monitor itself, not for one committee to be in charge of deciding who or what is appropriate. A GSA can inform the efforts of teachers and parents working to help students see their peers as individuals, each bringing a unique set of values, beliefs, and behaviors to school right alongside their binders and sports equipment.

The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) provides a wealth of information and resources, as well as hosting yearly events to raise awareness and foster acceptance on any campus. Starting the year with Ally Day (check it out here) clearly sends the message that you don't have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender to care about gay rights, and that anyone can be an Ally. Turning the pledge into a poster, or handing out stickers or bracelets to indicate your support is a great way to make your campus into a welcoming environment. Fostering this environment isn't easy, and requires patience and vigilance on the part of students and staff alike, but starting with acceptance can make all the difference.

ariel martin-cone headshot

Ariel Martin-Cone is a Landmark High School teacher and academic adviser.

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Tags:  acceptance Ally Day bisexual diversity gay Gay Straight Alliance GLSEN lesbian tolerance transgender understanding

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