Sunday, October 2, 2016

Talk to me...

Hello, good to see you again!!! With the beautiful fall weather also comes the first round of stressors of our education system. Yes, you guessed it! First quarter grades! It's even more evident when teachers are focused on ensuring student's gradebook success because their questions and statements to students often begin to sound like, "Did you complete ____?" and "What are you working on?" or event "Have you submitted ____?"

You've heard me talk about this before, but as we get closer to the grading period, it's so crucial that we keep in mind how important it is to talk to students about their growth in learning and not only serve as their task-master to make sure things are done (which, by the way, is probably only "done" with a portion of the effort they are capable of, but they know they have to turn something in and so they do. They are appeasing the system). In that case, why not change the system!? Starting this week, I want you to choose ONE of these questions, add them to your conversations with students, and REALLY LISTEN to the responses they give you! Engage them in conversation about their personal discoveries, their new learnings, and not just how close they are to submitting their task.

  1. What did you learn today that you didn't know yesterday?
  2. What happened today that made you keep on going?
  3. What can you learn from this?
  4. What mistake did you make that taught you something?
  5. What did you try hard at today?
  6. What strategy are going to try now?
  7. What will you do to challenge yourself today?
  8. What will you do to improve your work?
  9. What will you do to solve this problem?
  10. What can/did you learn from your teammates today?
Go ahead...choose ONE. Build it into your whole class conversations, your 1:1s with students as you circle the room, as a warm-up or exit-ticket, and even your smaller group workshops. Next week...choose another question, then another. Before you know it, student's will be thinking with this growth mindset and striving not just to "get things done" but to refine their work in a way that they are proud to present. 

Peace, love, and grading periods,

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