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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Direction

When I am wide awake in the wee hours, I give in to it believing there's a reason to be awake. Generally I sleep like a baby.

The past few days have placed a detour in my path. I was ready to run down a path of new tech and teaching technique, but that was thwarted by a number of events.

Then tonight I woke up with a new direction.

You see, I need a direction, a question and a goal.  That brings me a thirst to keep learning, growing and moving forward. I enjoy that, and my students profit too.

So rather than argue the tech constraints anymore for the time being, I've decided to move in the direction of voice--developing student voice with speaking and writing.  

It's a positive path that shouldn't cause too much friction at the moment since it's standards based, embedded in upcoming testing and focused on essential skills. 

How will we travel this road in thoughtful, student-centered, engaging ways?

We'll begin tomorrow by starting our culture projects which include lots of reading and writing about cultures students have chosen to study, their own or cultures they're interested in. We'll craft paragraphs, titles, captions and even short stories perhaps.

After that we'll create a news spread telling about places you should visit--children always have great ideas for travel, adventure and fun, so stay tuned.

Then we'll create photo essays, advice essays and perhaps weave in some fiction too before we move to our yearly endangered species research projects.

I like that quote from the Sound of Music, "When the Lord closes a door, someone opens a window." Hence, a tech door has been closed for a bit, but the window to developing student voice with more intent and focus has been opened.  Onward!