Thursday, 3 December 2015

The power of a debrief

"An activity is just an activity unless you have a debrief!"

This was from a wise colleague of mine and what sparked this post.  I often hear in my many conversations about math that it is all about the kids voice and though I really agree with this statement I also disagree. I disagree because the role of a teacher is even more critical in Inquiry than any other time.

The act of inquiry, though innate in many of us, is not really that natural. Sure we wonder but often it stops at finding answers. We often need guidance to take any of our inquiries further, the same applies to our kids.

For inquiry to have a impact on our students we as teachers need to be planning thoughtful and critical questions to guide them through the learning.  This also includes a thoughtful and engaging debrief or consolidation phase.

This is the most critical part of any lesson. It is where the teacher really shines. Because you have planned and thought through kids learning, development and possible misconceptions you are able to guide the learning that you have seen in the lesson so far.

A debrief can be any length (a lot depends on kids and age). The key though is that as a teachers you are helping kids make connections to the big ideas and thoughts you planned or saw unfold in your lesson.  It is the place where you are purposefully guiding students through their tall and strategies. Students still have a voice but yours is the one that is really speaking.

Here are some of my consolidations.

I know for myself that I can tend to forget to debrief the learning but I have to remember "that an activity is just an activity without a consolidation."