Marzano and Bloom have both affected my teaching, and will continue to affect it in new ways.
The school where I teach has very specific requirements about posting our objectives (we call them learning targets) for every single lesson every day. By doing so, our students know what they should be able to do by the end of the lesson, and this sets a good expectation for them. Our learning targets are written as “I can” statements such as “I can investigate at least two reasons for migration to the New World.” After the “I can”, we have to have a strong verb that describes what the student will do, and the learning target must be measureable. During the debrief part of our lesson, students must decide if they have met the learning target and describe how they know they have met it. We have had several professional development classes about writing strong learning targets. Knowledge of Bloom’s has greatly helped me to be able to write effective learning targets, which tell my students exactly what they will be expected to do at the end of the lesson.
I first read the Marzano book when pursuing my undergraduate degree at Regis. I have referred to it often when writing lessons because it is sensible, and supported by research. Also, Marzano gives specific examples from other teachers that helps to spawn ideas for use in the classroom. The chapter about setting objectives goes hand in hand with the use of Bloom’s in my learning targets. By setting “instructional goals that narrow what students focus on(Marzano, Pollock, and Pickering, P 94)” I am giving students guidance on what the expectation for them will be at the end of the lesson. They know exactly what they will be doing and what they will be assessed on.
The other strategies that Marzano outlines make sense, and are all easily incorporated into daily lessons. Good teachers are already using these strategies. I will continue to use these strategies as I strive to become a better teacher. I currently use a lot of cooperative learning in my classroom in most areas except Math. I am going to try to find ways to use cooperative learning in Math, possibly giving real life problems to groups to solve, as a fun way to use the concepts we have learned. My students need work on summarizing. They do not like to delete information, and this is something that I can work on with them right away. I have recently introduced two column notes to the class, and it is a strategy we are working on now. They are learning how to leave out the trivial information to include only the important things, but this is still a struggle for them. With more practice, I think they can become very successful and this will benefit them greatly in the future. As I move forward, I see how each of these strategies can easily be implemented into my classroom, and what a benefit it will be for my students.
Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.