Characteristics of a Community of Learners
A classroom community has specific, identifiable characteristics that are conducive to learning. The table below lays out the teacher's and student's roles in a classroom community.
|Characteristic||Teacher's Role||Student's Role|
|Responsibility||Teachers set guidelines and expect students to be responsible. They also model responsible behavior.||Students assume responsibility for their learning and behavior in the classroom.|
|Opportunities||Teachers provide opportunities for students to read and write in genuine and meaningful activities.||Students actively participate in activities, for example, reading independently and sharing their writing with classmates.|
|Engagement||Teachers nurture students’ engagement through authentic activities and opportunities to work with classmates.||Students become more engaged in literacy activities and spend more time reading and writing.|
|Demonstration||Teachers model what good readers and writers do using think-alouds to explain their thinking.||Students carefully observe teachers’ demonstrations and then practice by modeling their thinking for classmates.|
|Risk Taking||Teachers encourage students to take risks while exploring a new idea and de-emphasize the need to always get things “right.”||Students understand that learning is a process of taking risks and exploring ideas.|
|Instruction||Teachers provide explicit instruction through minilessons and provide opportunities for guided practice.||Students participate in minilessons and apply what they’re learning in literacy activities.|
|Response||Teachers provide opportunities for students to respond to books they’re reading and to classmates’ writing.||Students respond to books in reading logs and grand conversations and listen attentively to classmates share their writing.|
|Choice||Teachers offer choices because they understand that students are more motivated when they can make choices.||Students make choices about some books they read, projects they create, and compositions they write.|
|Time||Teachers organize the schedule with large chunks of time for reading and writing.||Students understand the classroom schedule and complete assignments when they’re due.|
|Assessment||Teachers monitor students’ learning and set guidelines about how students will be graded.||Students understand how they will be assessed and often participate in self-assessment.|
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