Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Creative Catch-Up

Students have been reading, writing, and creating at an amazing speed. They, like me, have had a taste of the endless learning possible with both yesterday's and today's tools. Our school, fortunately, is brimming with wonderful resources such as an outstanding library collection, great tech tools, and lots of paper, pens, paints, and clay which sets the stage for this exploration.

I've been wrestling with their spirit lately as I've tried to move the standards forward with strength. Instead I met the natural resistance of children who want to finish a puppet show, prep play sets, invent, build, finalize research reports, perform a piano version of "Over the River and Through the Woods," and simply talk to each other about all this learning.

Last night I rethought the balance. I need to have happy, engaged students to teach well and forward the standards. Hence, I'll give into their wonderful spirit and joy in the next few days prior to Thanksgiving so they have some time to create, express, and share. As they work, I'll catch up with the many readers, writers and mathematicians who have been waiting for final discussions and edits as well, and sneak in some time to forward the standards too.

Teaching is a balancing act of standards and students' spirits. If we don't make the time for children's expression, creativity, and share, we won't gain their investment, engagement, or attention for the many standards we have to teach.