Thursday, March 30, 2017

Encouraging Learners

Every morning just before I go to school, I think about how I'll encourage learners. Yesterday I told the wonderful story of one of my sons and his band of classmates who continually encouraged each other in school despite some real challenges. I told the students that all of those boys today are doing great and I believe that their success, to a large part, is due to that peer encouragement.

Today, I'll talk about reaching success and doing well. I'll say that doing well in any realm is within our grasp, but that good work takes targeted effort and choice.

I'll use the upcoming fraction assessment as the focus. I'll note that if children complete the fraction study packet with care and in a way that works for them, then they'll likely do well on the test. I will further add that there are many choices to make with regard to this successful completing of the study packet as they can work alone, with friends, at a table, in a comfy chair, and if they desire with teacher support since we have a number of teachers available to support our math learners.

I will remind them that asking questions is a sign of intelligence and not to "stay stuck," but instead get up and ask a teacher or classmate for help if they don't understand. I'll give them all a bit of time to ask general questions, and then I'll let them make their choices and complete the work.

As they work on the packet, I'll position myself in a location where I can see all and help any who come to me. If children seem off task, I'll remind them of how doing this task well will help them to succeed on the assessment, and that if they have trouble choosing a good place to work or helpful peers to work with, I'll then make the choice for them to help them stay focused.

Essentially, I'll remind them that they are the most important people when it comes to their education and success, and it's the choices they make that lead them in the direction of success. However, I'll also say that the teachers are there to help, and it's important to reach out if they need that help. Onward.