Recently, DL member Sandy Lewis sat down with Milford teacher, Sherry McKee. Here's what she had to say about LFS and its implementation at the high school.
“Honestly, after 27 years of new initiatives, this one makes sense. There are sound educational materials and activities. Some of them, I already use and if not, I should be and this encourages me to do it.”
For now, Sherri McKee pulls the bits and pieces of LFS that work best for her and her students. The essential question and learning map are noticeable in the classroom. The EQ is included in the daily agenda and the learning map is used to help students keep track of vocabulary and of the progression of the current unit of study.
Sherry has been testing a variety of activating strategies to lead students into their instruction. She tries to keep the activities fun and they can be as simple as a lively discussion of a real-life application of a skill or a more involved problem requiring the use of a calculator. Contests with an unexpected reward have been popular with the students, too.
One of the nice things about this model is that Sherry believes that it can fit with all levels of students. She currently uses it with advanced students and it is working well. “When I see that it is working with kids – Wow!” Not long ago after using a graphic organizer with a lesson, students said, “This makes sense. Thanks! That really helps.” While other students in other classes may not actually say “Thanks,” Sherry believes that all students benefit.
The biggest drawback to LFS is the time teachers have to dedicate to implementing it. Sherry says that for her, the area she needs to spend more time developing and practicing is the summarizers. Usually she simply runs out of time to include them, but she is working to improve this because her students have told her that it helps them remember the skills.
Sherry summed things up by saying, “I like to see things flow or I’m not comfortable, and that’s what this model does for me—it makes things flow.”
Written by Sandy Lewis