The Learning Ladder is a “visual” system to help us as teachers think upon so to achieve goals for our class and students as individuals in 30-day intervals. In a daily hectic and fast-paced classroom, this visual tool will help us keep the goals in mind and Its prime components are having “daily learning targets,” “confidence and engagement” and “formative assessments.” Each of these components creates a synergy that builds on the other to eliminate any learning gaps while identifying strengths and ways of accomplishing the tasks. The goal is to use this system to support and communicate to students the ways and means for success. The rungs of the ladder represent the steps a student takes to achieve instructions and their corresponding learning goals. As each step builds upon the other.
The “daily learning targets” will help us as teachers stay on task as a means to give practice sessions and lesson assignments that builds upon the goals of the class.
The “confidence and engagement” will help us see the steps to help students receive the coaching from the teacher and their peers. Then on to practice what needs to be understood. Then both teacher and student know when to move on to the next step on the ladder of success. “Formative assessments” can be used to see where the student is at and how to intervene with instructional strategies to help them achieve the goals and lesson targets. Such as tests to see what has been learned. Feedback from the teacher so they have a better understanding of their part in this adventure and how to achieve better scores because they are a better student.
The “what” prefaces the leaning ladder and any continuous improvement for teacher and students. This is critical for my personal goals, reasons, and motivations fit in and are made better for more effeteness. What are my concerns, care and even love and fun? The “what” I need to do for effectiveness applies to the “what” of students and parents alike. Then this becomes the “what” my students need to do. Then, as a teacher, how do I engage, set the rules, tone and communicate learning goals, and then how I measure my ability.
After the what is discovered and applied, this Learning Ladder System can be combined with the “Continuous Improvement Cycle,” as tools for self-improvement for the teacher and student. How and why something happens; then, to be reactive to the data and how to plan for instruction and create better strategies. This is not about what is being done “to” them; rather “for” them. This will help students to “own” their learning for their betterment. These will be good tools to create a meaningful learning environment that does not burden the student or over busy the teacher. Moreover, I believe this will help us create success for our schools. This will help students gain confidence and the willingness to achieve success in the classroom, be being more engaged students that will better prepare them for college and life.
Dr. Richard Krejcir is an Author, Researcher, seasoned Special Education teacher and the Director of a nonprofit that does educational training in third-world countries. He is also a STEAM teacher and a father of a son with autism.