Starting with a Vision
A shared vision is the “Why” or the overall goal of a classroom. A few great conversation starters to have with students are:
“Why do you come to school?”
“What do you want to learn this year?” or
“What are your goals for this year?”
Amy Peak, 4th grade teacher at Lambs Elementary, created the class Shared Vision by brainstorming with students. They decided which traits Mrs. Peak and the students should demonstrate throughout the year. They discussed how the Shared Vision is the big goal that they wanted to achieve. Justin Seagle, a 1st grade teacher at Lambs Elementary, began by having his students write in their journals, “What are your goals for first grade?” Once students had brainstormed their ideas, they used the Affinity Process, and each student used Post-its to write down their ideas. As a class, they read the ideas, organized them into categories, and then voted on the priority of the three categories they created.
A Code of Cooperation replaces the “rules” that we all used to have posted on the walls. It is the “How” component. Students follow their Code of Cooperation to reach their Shared Vision. A typical conversation or prompt for students to answer may be, “What rules do you think we should have in our room?” or “What do you think a perfect class would look like, sound like, and feel like?” Mr. Seagle repeated the Affinity Process with his students by giving them the prompt “What rules should we have in our classroom?” After they made their Code, they wanted a way to remember it. They used the acronym WAVE to help and made the motion of a wave as they recited the Code, but that wasn’t good enough. So Mr. Seagle posed the question to his class and a student came up with the idea to make it into a song. So they did! When they got to music class that day, the students were so excited about the song, the music teacher helped them put their song to music on the piano. Of course the kids jumped at the chance! So now 1B has a musical Code of Cooperation!
Advice from Teachers
Peak offers some great advice to teachers:
“Take the time to get to know your students. Work cooperatively with students on your shared vision, code of cooperation, and SOP’s. By taking the time to make these with students, they get to know you better and begin to trust you. “
“Trust the process! Dive in all the way to personalized learning, because if not, you won’t see the same great results. When you are trying to figure out how to implement these components into your classroom, think of what the end result is first. What do you want to accomplish or what is the purpose, then personalize it to make it your own.”