Deliberate Instruction Pays Off

This past week, I blogged about having a specific and purposeful game plan for teaching my students how to craft an organized science fair display board.  After several years of less than great trifold displays during our class science fair, which was usually attended by several parents, I realized the importance in being more deliberate about teaching this particular portion of the project.  Creating an organized display board is a skill and not an art or just something someone does to get it done, which is how I had approached it for many years.  I made sure to provide the students with plenty of time to conduct their experiments and draft their lab reports, but I gave them very little class time and direction regarding their display boards.  So, I changed things up this year and devoted an entire class period of about 40 minutes to the process of crafting a neatly organized display board.  I created an example board and found digital images of other brilliantly organized display boards.  I even had the students follow step-by-step instructions on how to complete their board.  I wanted to be sure they knew how to craft an effective display board and felt like they had enough time to accomplish the task.  I was deliberate and purposeful in my instruction, in hopes that my students would learn a vital academic skill.

After four days of hard work, I’m pleased to see that each and every group in my class created a beautifully organized display board, showcasing their learning.  I was blown away today when I saw their finished products.  They are amazing, and far better than my example board.  They clearly devoted much time and effort to making organized display boards that showed their learning and careful attention to detail.  They spent even more time in class today, refining their boards to make them better, which I didn’t think was possible.  My students seem to fully understand the importance in creating a detailed, organized, and well done finished product, especially when it will be on display for others to see.  It’s like creating work for publication.  We don’t allow the students to post updates to the Goodreads website unless they have been proofread and are free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes.  I want my students to understand the importance in being proud of everything they complete.  Clearly, this message was received by all of the students loudly and clearly.  Their display boards are, by far, the best I’ve seen from students in many years.  Below are some examples:



The moral of the story here is that being reflective and recalling the outcome of certain lessons from past years, allows one to be more deliberate and purposeful in how they plan for a similar lesson or activity in the future.  Because I remembered the difficulties my students faced in years past when crafting organized display boards, I was able to create a specific and detailed lesson this year on the topic to help my students better understand how to create amazing display boards that will wow their viewers.  I can’t wait to see how well my students do tomorrow during our science fair as they are so excited and prepared to impress their parents and faculty members.  I am so proud of my students and the hard work, effort, coexistence, and fine communication they utilized to complete such amazing display boards for tomorrow’s big event.


One thought on “Deliberate Instruction Pays Off

  1. amorozco says:

    Reflection is always a valuable part of being a teacher (or really, a human being). One thing I used to do was take photos of all student projects, and use them to show to the next year’s class what I was looking for. Having examples is a great way for students to have a clear picture of what you want (and what aspects you are specifically looking for). I know as a learner, if I can see an example or two, I have a MUCH better idea of the end product expected from me.

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