Some Strategies for Implementing ACE My Academics

Here is one possibility.  Teachers can customize based on their own unique understanding of their needs.

 

Teacher Dissemination to Student Model

I do.

We do.

You do.

Repeat as necessary.

 

The goal is to develop an internalized system that lets students work independently and interdependently, reducing classroom management issues and promoting more academic learning time.  Throughout, utilize transparent teaching, where students come to understand the why of your pedagogy in order to build meta-cognitive awareness.  Integrate the social-emotional and academic concepts delineated within this system in your daily lessons, in your teacher-student communications, and in student practice.

 

Phase 1: Introduction & Recurring Theme

Discuss the students rights to grow their potential as thinkers, inventors, researchers, authors, etc.  Formally teach how skill-building and repetitious practice of skills lead to developing such a potential, the seeds of which already exist in the student.  Enliven students’ inner instructors so they can take an active part in learning with a deep understanding of the rational behind the system as a whole and with each strategy in particular.  Remind them of the hope, faith, and optimism that lies within them that can help them overcome challenges and be resilient and successful.  These themes should be repeated throughout the learning process, especially through the lens of the General.

 

Phase 2:  Pre-Reading

Develop each of the Advance Team’s strategies into a 2 – 5 mini-lesson unit.  Model each strategy (using Think Aloud techniques) and gradually release it to the student.  Combine strategies in the latter lessons of the unit to build integration of skills. Have students work in whole group, small group, pairs, and individually.

Throughout, begin to discuss the General’s role in meta-cognition and self-regulation, utilizing the chart.

 

Phase 3:  Reading

Utilize the Advance Team for all reading activities, especially modeling the Advance Team Plan.  Develop a 2 – 5 mini-lesson unit for each of the ShowTime Crew’s strategies. Model each strategy and gradually release it to the student.  Note the parallels between pre-reading and reading strategies.    Sequence the strategy teaching per overall needs.  Create short assignments based on the strategies for written and oral work. Have students work in whole group, small group, pairs, and individually.

Throughout, continue to discuss the General’s role in meta-cognition and self-regulation, utilizing the chart.

 

Phase 4:  Combined Pre-Reading and Reading

Utilize short- to mid-length texts across content areas to combine the General, Advance Team, and ShowTime Crew’s strategies.  Develop short assignments that harness graphic organizers and are applicable to written and oral expression.  The focus is on idea production, integration, and communication. Have students work in whole group, small group, pairs, and individually.  Apply to longer texts as comfort develops, breaking down text length into meaningful units to drive learning.  Perform assessment through review of written and oral work.  This phase is ongoing.

 

Phase 5: Adding in Post-Production Written and Oral Work (Can work in parallel with Phase 4)

Use structured writing techniques with purposeful assignments that make meaningful connections to a variety of texts.  Showcase how high-quality writing is a natural extension of solid pre-reading and during-reading work.  Create assignments that are targeted for specific reading strategies at first and then combine strategies to increase assignment complexity. Foster connections between professional authors and student authors drawing parallels between the qualities of model texts to student writing, such as theme and text structure. Have students work in whole group, small group, pairs, and individually.  Work through writing process to improve capabilities.  This phase is ongoing.

 

 

Personal Development through the Learning Process

 

“What lies behind us,
and what lies before us,
are tiny matters compared to
what lies within us.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

— Ernest Hemingway

 

We need to adhere to an educational system that celebrates the whole person, whether she be a child, an adolescent, or an adult, looking to promote and integrate growth in the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical realms.

Let us celebrate the student for who she is and for who she can become, seeing the excellence that lies within.  Let us promote enjoyment of learning as it unfolds, so that process is valued.

Honoring the learner and the educational process builds curiosity and engagement and improves patience and perseverance, so there is an ongoing desire for the student and the teacher to invest themselves in development. This philosophy builds positive feedback loops to increase individual and social change that is filled with hope and optimism.

 
 

ACE My Academics in the History of Effective Teaching Practices Research

To summarize the research from 1960 to the present, it can be said that effective teaching behavior means taking into account the context of the situation and selecting the right methods from a menu of possibilities.  Effective teachers are constantly monitoring the goings on of the classroom and that of the individual students, along with the goals and objectives of the curricula, often teaching in a direct, structured manner.  Concepts need to be introduced clearly and, through repetition and practice, they are learned.

While there have been several valuable outcomes of effective teaching research throughout the decades (Brophy, 1988; Brophy & Good, 1986; Harris, 1998; O’Neill, 1988; Seidel & Shavelson, 2007) that are helpful for teachers to this day, teaching is not an exact science and lacks the prescriptive ability to lead to 100% success for achievement for all students.  This predicament drives the desire to improve educational product development to raise student outcomes.

ACE My Academics draws upon this research and teaches a system of reading and writing that addresses key strategies and tactics for academic success.  The system is meant to be used flexibly, and skills should be called upon as needed.  As students learn these skills, they are able to apply them based on context in a way that builds mastery and critical thinking skills.  In addition, with ACE, teachers have structures in place to create a meaningful curriculum that improves communication and increases understanding.

Spontaneous Structure

Two competing philosophies on education present themselves.  One emphasizes spontaneity, the other emphasizes structure.  Together, they form a 2 x 2 matrix of educational possibilities, yielding 4 results.

Structure

                            High                                Low

High                       Innovation                     Disorder

Spontaneity

 

Low                           Evolution                       Dullness

 

Tony Wagner Passion, Purpose, Play

 

General Colin Powell

How do we reconcile both?  We need to position our students towards being able to be innovative and evolutionary.  They need to have structures in place to to understand conventions and to have a means for exchange and tools for academic and social discourse.  They also need to be flexible to choose how and when to use these tools to make new discoveries.  The ACE My Academics platform supports both.

Model of ACE

 

modelforace3The team consists of a General, the Advance Team, the ShowTime Crew (the Joiner, the Director of Key Terms, the Storyteller, the Information Architect, the Lawyer, and the Journalist) the Post-Production Unit, and the Training Ground.

The key concept is to turn reading and writing into a narrative process with a beginning, middle, and end, where the process is broken down into tasks that can be remembered through a character-based system.

Copyright 2011-14 Matthew G. Mandelbaum