LDC Lead & Learn Fellow Perspective: Brooklyn Generation School
At Brooklyn Generation School, we began using Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) as part of a school-wide initiative. There was naturally some hesitation around the usefulness and implementation of the tool with specific regards to our school, but after learning more about the LDC tool, we became more excited about working together and figuring out how to incorporate it. Once we were presented with the opportunity to present at the 2016 convention, we immediately agreed that we wanted to present on the aspect that we found most challenging: how to make tool applicable and meaningful in various disciplines.
There were several meetings where teachers searched the LDC Library and felt as though there was “nothing that I could use.” Our task as a team was to work collaboratively to come up with ways to include reading and writing in each class. LDC weekly meeting times were extremely important for us in this work because we all needed the support and input of other teaching professionals to reach our goals. As professionals, we sometimes get stuck thinking in terms of our specific discipline. LDC reinforces the idea that teaching and learning are more effective when teachers work together.
Teachers who incorporated LDC into their classroom teaching found it to be more useful than first imagined. Using the LDC CoreTools library as a launching point for planning instruction afforded teachers with the opportunity to collaborate and discuss student work across disciplines. Not only did teachers find the mini-tasks and modules useful but they found that the student products were some of their higher level work for the term. LDC gave teachers the opportunity to consider the end product that they wanted students to create while breaking down the tasks into multiple pieces to allow for student success. Students felt more confident in their work and they seemed to be able to provide more meaningful feedback to one another than they had previously done.
As teachers it is imperative that we continuously set goals, not only for ourselves, but for our students as well. For the 2016-2017 school year we have decided to focus on increasing our use of interdisciplinary lessons and units. This past year has taught us that teachers need to make connections across disciplines transparent for students. With the relationships between disciplines clear and deliberate, we anticipate student improvement across content areas.