As teachers head back to the classroom for the new school year, many are still wondering how they are going to get everything accomplished on their massive to do list. Standards? Technology Integration? Real life application? Engaging learning? How can students get the best of each of these while learning in a meaningful way?
While watching the Indy 500, I began wondering how the amazing drivers got their start. I imagine my two daughters each tucked inside the cockpit of the car revving the engines in anticipation of the start. Over the roar of the engines, I shout my instructions: “OK, girls, here’s what you gotta do. Just step on the gas, hold onto the steering wheel, and stay between the two walls. You got this.” And with a strong slap on the back and push out of the pit, Anna Mae and Lizzie accelerate to 220 MPH, begin zig-zagging around all the other cars - instantly proving they have what it takes to be a IndyCar champion.
Like most kids, my son and daughter can’t wait to get home from school on Fridays! Yes, they look forward to staying up later on Friday nights, sleeping in on Saturdays, and spending time with their family and friends on Sundays. BUT… do you want to know what my kids REALLY look forward to on Fridays? My kids bust through the door of our house
every Friday afternoon and run straight for the fridge...not to grab asnack, but to hang up one thing from their week that they are the MOST PROUD of. This item can be anything - literally anything - that they feel best represents their success and growth over the course of the week. Although both of my children are A students, they rarely choose an assignment or test on which they earned an A to display. More often than not, they choose a piece of their artwork or something that they created (they call them their “inventions”) to display for all to see. Then, throughout the week, we talk about the item on the fridge and we praise each other’s work. This artifact then stays up on the fridge all week...until the next Friday. We take this one step further by taking pictures of our work and sending them to our friends and family via Facebook and text messages (the grandparents love it!). Sometimes, I even post a picture of their work on Instagram!