Thursday, June 25, 2015

What Sticks?

I check to see which of my blog posts have been read each day.

I typically reread the posts especially if they are old posts, ones I haven't read in a while.

Today as I read about ideas and practice old and new, I was struck by the fact that some of my old posts reflect ideas and practice deeply rooted in my craft while other posts reflect efforts that didn't stick--one-time ideas/practice.

What makes a teaching/learning effort stick?

First, it seems that the simpler the idea is to implement, the more apt it will be that the idea sticks. Ideas that required too much paperwork and too much teacher attention tended to be short lived.

Next, ideas, resources, and practice that motivated students deeply also stuck. When children demonstrate a lot of enthusiasm for a resource, that resource is a keeper. For example I have films I show every year because students always react with enthusiasm and apply the learning in those films to their daily learning.

Also, practices that reap wonderful results stick. For example, I hope to fit in the cardboard challenge and marble maze projects this year because the results were terrific with regard to student learning and engagement. We'll also continue to teach the biography project for the same reason. Over the years we continue to develop these projects with lessons which makes this work become deeper and richer for student learning.

Patterns that deepen students' investment and confidence stick too. For example starting the year with growth mindset and learning-to-learn lessons served to develop a strong, confident learning team from the start so we'll continue to develop and teach those lessons.

Writing a blog helps you to look back, reflect, and assess your work as an educator. Rereading posts helps you to identify the work that sticks--good work that makes a difference. Reflective efforts like this aid an educator in developing and honing his/her craft and collaboration. It's a good process, one I will continue on my own and with my teaching team as we continue to grow the work we do to teach children well.