Sunday, May 1, 2016

Practice Makes Perfect

As I sit here typing this weekly blog, you should probably know that my quads and biceps feel like they were just squeezed in a vice grip for far too long. From 8am – 4pm today, I was competing at my first CrossFit Competition of the year, and good grief was it a post-partum wake-up call!!! My teammate and I signed up in January…knew the general skills we’d be demonstrating today, and decided to compete in the Rx (I.e. Prescribed) division (as opposed to doing the scaled workouts). Little did I know that the transition back to work and travel from maternity leave would totally skew any “regular” fitness routine I once knew.  I haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks but proceeded to complete four beastly workouts today. I’ll keep this brief… I cried, friends. Workout #2, it was only 3 movements of the barbell to see how heavy you could lift and I couldn’t even get 95# to my shoulders. I’ve done these moves PLENTY of times before…even in the last month. And today… nothing. I cried. And as the next tear welled up in my eye, I kept thinking two things:
Luckily, my teammate (in front of me) and my coach (behind me) were shouting louder than the voices in my own head reminding me of the cues that would contribute to a successful lift. And each time I heard a cue, I knew exactly what they were talking about & what it should look like…I just couldn’t quite perform under the pressure (that I’d basically created for myself) and thus, failed my lift. I. Was. Crushed. It took me to a whole different mental place for the other 2 workouts in the afternoon. I did try to focus on my strengths (Pull-ups, deadlifts, running…) and my other gym-mates were completely supportive! At the end of the day, I’m proud of my teammate and I for competing at the level we did, for not giving up even when we knew we were hurting (physically and mentally), for setting new goals for ourselves AND creating an action plan to meet those goals with the support of our coaches. 

We often look at our content standards and find ways to support students in practicing those skills until they have reached mastery in knowledge & thinking. But what about your other learning outcomes: Written communication? Oral communication? Agency? Collaboration? Think about it… in the length of a 3-4 week project, what causes your students the most unnecessary anxiety/stress/TEARS!? 
  • “Teacher, my teammates keep shooting down my ideas!”
  • “I don’t even know what to write my paper about or how to get started!”
  • “I don’t know what to research because I don’t know what I need to know!"
  • “Does EVERYONE in the group need to say something in our presentation?”
Sound familiar?! When is the last time you created a practice opportunity (I.e. A scaffolding activity) for your students around THESE learning outcomes!? How many times do you encourage student practice of these outcomes by designing workshops to teach those skills?! And do you give a chance for them to practice it before the competition day? To really apply their skills and abilities to write, think, own their own learning, and work with others to create new ideas?!? If not…you’re supporting their ability to “pull a Sarah.” SO STOP DOING THAT! Or they’ll feel like they’ve been held in a vice grip too, and it’s not a great feeling!!! 

Think about your project & the performance assessment students are working on. What skills are required for a "1st place finish" at the end of this project? Now, open up your proposed agendas for this week. ….. I’ll wait……… Besides content, How many scaffolding activities do you have prepared for the other learning outcomes you’re asking of your students on “competition day”?  If you answered “hardly any”… Then please, use your prep. Time today or tomorrow to create that learning for your students. AND be sure to formatively assess it as an added practice for them to apply their learning!  Why am I still rambling…you may have work to do, and I need to go find my foam roller…. 

Peace, love, and Kleenex,

Team “Goal Diggers”… Onward!

No comments:

Post a Comment