It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the . . . crane? What?
Here is one of my favorite people in education, Geoffrey Canada talking about leadership. This is awesome.
I love his take on how we get one defining moment that will forever change our lives . . . and we don't get a retake.
Four small steps one can take to create a state of "Flow" in the classroom. Great article.
Here are the steps
1. Stop lecturing.
Lectures can be great. But just like anything, if you do them too much (just like giving Powerpoints or work days or showing videos) it become monotonous.
2. Have team projects and give them choice over the product or topic.
You always get more buy in when the kids feel that they have a choice.
3. Set up class like an extra-curricular event.
I never thought of this! Set up your class to have a clear challenge (just like in sports or music) and then guide students toward accomplishing that challenge!
4. Allow for strategic silence
Sometimes when students are all in on an assignment and they lose track of time because they are intently focused on their task . . . that is the great stuff. But that means putting away electronics and really working mentally hard on something.
I know I don't do enough of this in my own life and with my students.
Here is an interesting read called "Before You Assign That Homework - What Students Wish You Knew." The last reason stings.
And it's true.
Finally, they wish teachers actually did their own homework. That they tried the assignments so they could see how difficult or confusing they may be. That they worked through it with kids, not in a pretend way, but really, and then shared their own learning with students. That teachers truly felt what it means to live the life of a student, along with the pressure of homework, to understand why homework continues to be a problem for some.
I don't ask good enough questions in my classes. I'm getting better at not asking so many one response questions or asking questions where the students are just trying to guess the right answer that I have in mind.
This article is a great one for thinking about designing questions.
In fact, when I had my formal observation this year, one of the pieces of feedback I wanted was on questioning.
As Mr. Zutz and I visited, I knew right away how I could have improved. The class discussion was actually quite good and everyone contributed, but Mr. Zutz pushed me on how I could have improved. That was when it hit me, "I should have asked Isaac what he thought of Jacob's answer," I said. "Then I could have asked Elle to come up with a rebuttal to Isaac's response."
This little tool will help me develop better levels of questions and follow up questions.
Love this one on the paradox of unlearning.
How do we handle that moment of cognitive dissonance where we push our kids into new knowledge that makes it seem like they don't quite know as much as they once thought they did.
Fortunately, this moment is only temporary (hopefully) until the new connections occur and the students comprehend the new knowledge.
It's messy and the hardest thing about teaching, but when a kid gets something and you see that imaginary light bulb go off, you can't put a price tag on that!
As this author illustrates the process of unlearning, it looks a whole lot like Seth Godin's Dip.
And speaking of Seth, here he is. I could listen to him all day.