Learning Contracts for Elementary Students: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
In today’s educational landscape, students are often given more autonomy in their learning. One way this is achieved is through the use of learning contracts. A learning contract is an agreement between the teacher, student, and parent that outlines the goals, expectations, and activities for a particular learning experience. Let’s explore how learning contracts can be used effectively in elementary education.
Why use learning contracts?
Learning contracts offer several benefits for elementary students. They give students a sense of ownership and control over their learning, allowing them to take an active role in setting goals and determining their success. Learning contracts also provide a framework for teachers to differentiate instruction, as they can tailor activities and assessments to meet individual student needs. Additionally, by involving parents in the process, learning contracts can strengthen the home-school connection and support students’ academic growth outside of the classroom.
Steps for creating a learning contract
1. Identify learning goals: Begin by identifying the learning goals for the unit or lesson. These goals should be specific, measurable, and achievable.
2. Determine expectations: Next, determine the expectations for the student. This might include the number and type of activities that need to be completed, the timeline for completion, and the criteria for success.
3. Plan activities: Once the expectations are established, plan the activities that will help the student meet the learning goals and expectations. Consider how the activities will engage the student and how they can be differentiated to meet individual student needs.
4. Define assessment criteria: Define the criteria for success and how the student’s progress will be assessed. This might include rubrics, checklists, or other forms of assessment.
5. Sign the contract: Once the learning contract has been developed, sign it and make sure all parties involved have a copy. This includes the teacher, student, and parent.
Tips for success
– Keep learning goals specific and achievable.
– Be flexible in your expectations and activities. Allow for student input and adjust the contract as needed.
– Provide support and feedback throughout the learning process.
– Celebrate successes along the way.
Learning contracts are a powerful tool for empowering elementary students in their learning. By involving students and parents in the process, teachers can create a more personalized and meaningful learning experience. Give learning contracts a try in your classroom and watch your students take ownership of their learning!