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During the first days
of a class or a group coming together for the first time, several processes
take place: Initiation, Goal Setting and Assessment. During the goal setting
and assessment phases, skills that students need will be identified. Because
being explicit about what is being taught and learned is important and
because students need to be involved in making those decisions, teachers
and students practice negotiating and prioritizing the skills to be taught.
Here are several ways this
1. Connecting skills directly
identify their goals, ask them what skills they think they will need
to achieve them? Student brainstorm a list and the teacher can add to
the list filling in gaps they notice. Following some initial assessment,
toghether they can prioritize the most important skills and focus on
them first. The teacher can assist students in relating these to IvCANS
skills and talk about how the same skills that students need to
achieve their goals are useful in their personal life, community involvement,
and in the workplace.
2. Investigate a master.
After identifying a broad
content for the class: i.e.: job readiness, reading, math etc., ask
skills does a person have who is a master or pro at ________?"
Together they can
brainstorm a list and then identify someone they know who is a master
or pro. This could be a friend who is a good reader or a teacher or
a relative who is good at getting through job interviews. They interview
the sperson, sasking them to identify what skills they use when reading
for example. The students report back, compiling a list, assessing their
current competence, and then negotiating and prioritizing which they
would like to learn.
3. Teacher presents
a skills list.
The teacher could
select some of the IvCANS skills that meet the goals of the class
and ask students to discuss them. After doing some initial assessment,
they could add or delete and once again prioritize the list..
Using the lists
The teacher and/or
students copy the final list and keep a copy in the students' working
folders. The skills can be taught during a theme or any other activity
where they are needed, or can be part of direct or one-to-one instruction.
After an activity either as a part of a theme or otherwise, ask the students
to turn to the list and discuss/identify which skills they think they
The list can also be used as
part of assessment. Pre and post assesment can be designed or assessment
may be from observation or a collection of regular application. The students
and teacher can look at the lists over time and note the ways the students
are using each skill, both in class or outside.
Proof of application of skills
can be included in student portfolios. This application may come from
class assignments or projects. Students should be able to discuss how
those skills can be used in the community and in the workplace.
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