I sat in professional development today – county mandated professional development – to “learn” how to “use” our newly adopted math series. We’ve all been there… in a cold room listening to a publishing rep tell you all about the great new series your system has adopted. It is a “one size fits all” type of thing — this one was not even personalized to my grade level. As a learner, I was yearning to be taught something new and innovative to take back to my classroom. Even if the presenter (bless her heart) was going to tell me something of value – I probably wouldn’t have known because I checked out within the first thirty minutes.
This frustration led me to think of my little ones starting school with me next week… How do I keep them from doing the same thing? How do I keep them engaged and prevent them from checking out?
I can only hope that my efforts to give them voice/choice/ownership in our classroom pay off. I can only hope that our building of a strong community of learners will keep them invested. How can I do this successfully? Here is what I’m thinking…
I have never really liked the idea that students are sponges – just soaking up everything we teach and tell them. Where is their role in that? I prefer to think of them as gatherers… gathering ideas into their buckets (brains) to formulate their own learning. My vision is that I create opportunities for my students to fill their “literacy buckets” while in kindergarten.
Math – numeracy, methods/procedures/patterns, spatial awareness, application/connections
Science – environment, responsibility, exploration, experimentation
Reading – visual, informational, functional
Social Studies – global, connections between people and nations, roles in society
Play/Social – cultural, manners, relationships
Digital/Media – iPads, internet, digital citizenship
Whew! That’s a lot! Teach me!