Monday, April 25, 2016

Teaching Tip #153

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #153
Another danger of limiting beliefs in teaching is that when something doesn’t work for one class it will not work for another class.  Or worst of all, it will never work with any of my other classes.
One of the best things I’ve taken to doing recently is our final Linchpin boards.
I stole this idea from the final presentations of my Teaching and Learning 250 class at UND, only I applied it to the final text we read in College Comp II, Seth Godin’s Linchpin.
When I initially taught it, the students loathed it.  To be fair, they were pretty stressed out, coming down to the final few weeks of the semester.  Not the ideal time to read a big, heavy book like Linchpin.
Then when I hit them with the daunting final assignment and presentation, they were having none of it.  They wanted to coast the final few weeks.
But I told them to suck it up and that if my UND students could do it, they certainly could do it as they were earning college credit just like my UND students.
The boards were amazing, but the students complained all the way (until the boards were on display in the training center and the kids started getting feedback from parents, teachers, and peers).
When I taught it for the second time, I spent more time on the front end explaining to them how important this was and not to begin complaining.  This time only a few of the boards were great, but the overall assignment went better.
Last year I decided to teach the book earlier in the semester, which greatly helped the overall attitude of the classes, and even the lousy final boards were better than most of the boards from the previous semester.
Had I let given in to my limiting belief after the first time I had students do the final Linchpin boards, I would have never done the assignment.  But because I knew I could tweak it and revise it and adapt it to each specific class, I knew I had to stick with it.

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