#SOL19: Who’s Doing the Work?

Who’s Doing the Work?

Seven little bodies.

Three coaches.

Wouldn’t that be a lovely classroom ratio?

Met at the beginning

With a high five

a personal greeting

by name

and definite eye contact.

Personal Greeting.

For 45 minutes

A delightful mix:

Whole group

and individual work.

Teams

and individual work.

Familiar groupings?

Skill work:

“Knock the cones over with your ball.”

And they did.

Formative assessment & feedback from the coaches.

“Return to base.”

“Reset the cones.”

“Return to base.”

And again.

Knock the cones over with your ball.”

“Feet.”

And they did.

Formative assessment & feedback from the coaches.

Repetition:

“Return to base.”

“Reset the cones.”

“Return to base.”

“Once more.” 

Transition warning.  Activity will be ending.

Knock the cones over with your ball.”

And they did.

Formative assessment & feedback from the coaches.

Scrimmage time:

Two teams

Attempting to score

Two teams

Alternating possession

In patterns of threes.

With a transition warning before the final time.

Little athletes helping set up the environment

Always moving,

Always with a purpose for actions,

Four year olds learning soccer with drills and scrimmages

And perpetual action, feedback and coaching!

As a grandmother sitting in the stands, I was mesmerized.  These coaches had children athletes of varying knowledge, skills, and developmental levels, practicing and working together.

Was it perfect?  No.

Were they learning?  Yes.

How could I tell?  Each repetition improved. Each round of applause fueled their excitement.

Athletes doing the work.

Coaches could have reset the cones, but they didn’t because it was one more opportunity for the athletes to move. One more opportunity for the athletes to “do the work.”  No scaffolding required. Just part of the expectations.

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Why does this matter? 

What work are your students “doing for themselves”? 

What work can they do independently? 

What work should they be doing independently?

What work has “transferred” because you have taught the work to independent levels? 

Check out your “suppositions” as you reflect on this year’s learning and plan for “Who’s Doing the Work” next year!




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers and readers here.

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8 responses

  1. There are so many similarities between sports and school, and we can learn SO much from studying the formative assessment, transition moves, allowances for approximations, and more from athletic coaches that could work in classrooms. Somehow, there’s so much more room for mess and process on fields and courts than there is in classrooms. We need to work on that.

    1. Agree! So much responsive instruction! And that approximations are the expectation! So interesting as I have zero knowledge of soccer . . .

  2. dianeandlynne | Reply

    Yes! I love this analogy. Athletes learn by doing; so do our students. Good to remember that. Thanks, Fran.

    1. You are welcome, Diane! So much to observe and learn in life!

  3. So often we want to do things for our students that we forget that they learn more by doing for themselves. We are there to encourage , guide and cheer them along. Learning happens everywhere not just in the classroom.

    1. YES, learning is everywhere when we encourage, guide and cheer the learners! 😉

  4. I’ve always thought we could learn a lot about educating kids by watching coaches. I prefer to call myself a coach rather than a teacher. It makes it more fun, too.

    1. Margaret,
      So much of “coaching” is a cycle of instruction and performance . . . honoring the process! Love your thinking!

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