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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Successful Learning Loops

Rather than focused on the details of learning well, I typically jump to the big questions. Yet, with an increased focus on the center of school life and work, I understand that the details are imperative to teaching/learning success. With that in mind, I'm thinking about the learning loops that make learning and teaching successful. I'll start the year with a focus on healthy, productive patterns, routines, and loops like the ones below.

Starting the Day
  • Remove home study accordion folder from backpack
  • Hang up your backpack
  • Organize your outside clothes/shoes on the rack
  • Check the schedule and lunch menu
  • Sign in
  • If you have questions or comments for the teacher, check-in
  • Start your morning study
Math/STEAM Study
  • Check the learning list
  • Gather your supplies from your math drawer, STEAM or math centers
  • Begin starting challenge
  • Attend to the blended learning events
  • Put supplies away
  • Watch end video
Conflict Resolution: First Step, Second Step
  • Identify conflict 
  • Take the first step by using words to resolve the conflict
  • If that doesn't work, take the second step and talk to a teacher
  • Let the teacher help you resolve the conflict
STEAM Center Exploration
  • Find an exploration space
  • Plan the exploration in your STEAM notebook
  • Gather your supplies
  • Explore, invent, create, study, experiment. . . .
  • When lights flash, put away supplies and rearrange work space
  • Ready for class share/closing
  • Discuss the team job, challenge, idea
  • Determine roles and process
  • Get to work, review and revise as you work
  • At closing determine next steps and write those steps down in team log
  • Clean up and prepare for class share
  • Listen to recess choices
  • Get your snack and drink
  • Enjoy recess--make sure you throw away snack papers and put away water bottle
  • Clean up at end
  • Ready yourself for more learning
Going Green
  • Avoid throw-away containers
  • Gather your containers everyday and bring back and forth to school
  • Use water bottles
  • Compost fruit and vegetable leftovers
  • Recycle as much as possible in proper containers
  • Other ideas?
  • Talk to or email a trusting adult
  • Make a plan with that adult to solve the problem
  • If the first plan doesn't work, make another
  • Be kind to classmates 
  • Be a good friend with kind words, invitations for play, helping out
  • Work nicely in learning groups as that's a way to make new friends too
  • Sometimes you have to take a vacation from a friend if you're bother each other--that usually helps
  • Dress comfortably every day; wear shoes, pants, and shirts that you can comfortably move in.
  • Wear fabrics that make you feel good.
  • If you'd like, bring slippers for inside learning.
  • Have a sweater or sweatshirt ready for cooler days.
  • In winter, have boots, snow pants, mittens/gloves, and hats ready.
Health and Homework
  • Eat a good breakfast every morning.
  • Brush your teeth, clean-up, and dress comfortably.
  • Get to school on time. Have healthy snacks and a healthy lunch. Drink lots of water.
  • Relax and play after school. Make sure you make time to move by running, hiking, dancing, playing sports, and other active fun.
  • Eat a healthy dinner.
  • Review assignments and school news.
  • Study by reading books you enjoy, writing about your day or other ideas, and practicing math by making fun and helpful math choices. Pack your backpack and prepare your snack and/or lunch in the evening.
  • Relax with family.
  • Get to bed on time so that you have a good eight to nine hours of peaceful sleep.
Homework Tips
  • Create a homework station, office, or caddy that has all the necessary homework supplies: pencils/pens, paper, notebooks, a computer, calendar. . .(if you don't have supplies talk to the teacher for help)
  • Decide when you'll study each day. Some people like to study right after school. Others like to study after dinner, and some prefer the early morning hours. Choose a time(s) that works best for you.
  • If you get stuck, email the teacher for help.
  • Remember homework is practice and if it's too hard or challenging, talk to the teacher so you can make a better plan.
  • Stick to the amount of time recommended by your grade level. At fifth grade, it's one hour a day of reading, writing, and math (30 minutes reading/writing and 30 minutes math).
When you create positive learning loops, students and teachers spend less time on organization and more time on wonderful learning and study. Practicing those loops at the start of the school year and even during the final days of summer vacation, helps students and teachers have a successful academic year.