So for each unit that we immerse ourselves in, I make the time to discuss the purpose with students and create a chart listing their ideas for "why?" we have this unit of study and what is the purpose. Trust me, I know that time is of the essence in the classroom, but this is time well spent because the students' engagement and motivation levels increase when they understand the purpose of "why" they are doing it. When I stop and think of myself as a learner, I also put forth more effort and motivation towards a task when I understand the purpose of why I'm doing it.
Today we launched books clubs in our classroom for our Social Issues Unit. Staying true to my promise of always making the purpose clear to the students, I had them turn and talk about "why" they think we have book clubs and why it is important. As I listened into their partner conversations, I jotted down some ideas students had onto the chart paper that was titled, "The purpose of Book Clubs - Why do we have book clubs?" These were some ideas my students shared:
- To share and deepen our thinking as readers
- To change our thinking by listening to different perspectives
- To learn how to have good conversations
- It will help teach us how to keep an open mind instead of being narrow-minded
- It will help us work better as a team because teamwork is important
|Chart with students' thinking about the purpose of book clubs
I'd love to hear other examples of how you share the purpose of lessons and/or units with students so they understand the "why" behind it and see its connection to real life.