ISTE19 in Philadelphia has come and gone, but our team is still engaged in invigorating conversations as we process and share the awesome learning that occurred at the conference! Here are some of our learners' top takeaways.
This is the introductory post for an upcoming series about classroom activities that will help raise student engagement and create awesome learning experiences for kids!
Let’s say for a minute that, together, we do some distillation. Let’s boil down learning to what we truly need to make it happen in its most concentrated form. I will name off some of the ingredients in your average school day...Classroom? Don’t need it. Books? Don’t need those. Standards? Nope. Projectors? I don’t think so. Are you getting the picture?
The only thing a teacher truly needs to help make learning happen is a student and a relationship with that student. As teachers, the power to build relationships is always in our hands, but it isn’t always easy. One way to strengthen a relationship is by giving. As teachers we can give students experiences and opportunities that they might not ever be able to access again. In other words, we can create opportunities for learning that will go a long way in strengthening student relationships and result in deeper learning. If we focus on the right things, all of the other outside pressures and influences that we struggle with daily will fall into place.
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 a snack, 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 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!