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"Look it up"
Growing up we owned an encyclopedia. It was my Google. If it was out of date I guess I wouldn't have known the difference and I guarantee I didn't lose any sleep over it. I enjoyed looking at pictures and reading small articles about random things. Maybe I was a total nerd and didn't know it but I loved to sit and look through that crazy set of books!
If I had a question or needed to know how to spell something, I distinctly remember my mom saying, go "look it up."
I honestly can't remember a time she gave me an answer.
I do remember being frustrated with her sometimes and knowing that she knew the answer. I do remember flipping through the dictionary to spell a word my mom could have easily spelled for me.
It's that "for me" part that I'm conscience of now that I'm a momma. She didn't do things "for me." Clearly she knew I was capable of doing more than I wanted to do. Clearly she knew doing things "for me" wouldn't help me grow or learn.
I learned early on that answers to my questions came from resources, not just people.
...Or maybe she was just a lazy mom.
Either way, it was a win for me in the long run and in today's crazy-paced-super-judgemental-world-of-momma-hood...I'll take that lazy approach on purpose any day.
My kids resources look very different today than they did for me, but information is still readily available...even more available...we just need to "look it up."
Now...back to 6th grade homework.
It occurred to me that my generation didn't really have a delete button for anything. I learned to type on a typewriter (gasp!) and if I messed up they handed us the little white strip that we had to use conservatively because I think it was on a school supply list and we respected "school supplies."
I took pictures with my friends in my teen years, but again, I had to be conservative with the "film" because it cost real money and I only had 24 or 36 shots on that roll before I had to pay real money again to even SEE them!
I did not have social media (thank goodness!) as a teenager so when I wrote my friend a note I learned at an early age my words were forever.
My projects in school had to evolve with my mistakes, sometimes taking on a blessing of a creation I would never have discovered if I had the option to just "delete" that presentation and start again fresh.
We didn't delete or "unlike" our friendships and I pray my boys don't learn to delete their future wife or even unlike them in any way.
We as parents & teachers are pioneers in this digital world because we don't have anyone to look to that has done this before and been successful. It takes a village people.....Or maybe a shared Google Doc?
Delete is in my boys regular vocabulary but I pray it's not in their heart.
A 4th grade class learned how they all can fit in on day 1....As they entered the classroom they selected a puzzle piece & personalized it to match their interests. Then they worked as a group to discover what shape their puzzle created!
We all fit in.
Each one of us is unique but an important part to the whole.
Our strengths/bents will align perfectly with others...but not everyone. We don't have to force ourselves to fit somewhere we don't naturally belong, there is a natural place carved out just for us. Uniquely made just for me/you.
Rooster Springs Elementary School will be participating in the Global Read Aloud (GRA) this year. GRA will run from October 3rd through November 11th.
This project started in 2010 and the idea is simple...for a few weeks, everyone read the same book(s) and discuss/connect globally. Our library will have enough copies in stock for those classrooms wishing to participate.
Ideas to help facilitate this in your classroom are found all over the web....HERE is one to look over and HERE is a Pinterest board for lots more ideas.
For more information visit their website.
In terms of design thinking the term "less is more" is tossed around frequently. This was mentioned at our Visionary Leaders Retreat this morning in reference to education & lesson planning. It made me stop & think how much I value this concept in all aspects of my life.
Less is More Design Principles:
1. Choose high-quality and beautiful material, then let it stand on its own.
2. Choose a single stand-out piece and then let it ... well ... stand out.
3. Choose objects that are simple and pure in design.
4. Give things plenty of space.
5. A little accent goes a long way.
I would not describe my style as minimalist by any means however walking through minimalist design gives a sense of peace I'd certainly admire embracing. I'd love to jump on the "Tiny House, Big Living" bandwagon when we are empty nesters...I'll have to keep selling the concept to my husband in the mean time.
Less is more works because it replaces quantity with quality. As educators we have many demands on our day and the tasks aren't necessarily getting smaller. If we make efforts to strategically abandon the clutter & replace (or only keep) the high quality pieces we may find the peace that minimalist design provides.
Personalized learning is a customized approach to give students experiences that will help shape them & their learning. We worked as a group during our retreat to really nail down a definition but it sounded slightly different for everyone in the room. Funny that a definition regarding something "personalized" couldn't be standardized.
As I begin to wake my brain back from it's summer mode I can reflect on my first 6 months as a Facilitator of Learning & Innovation. The day I found out this role would open up was the day my mind started spinning wildly in what felt like a million different directions.
This role seemed to be designed for me. I was giddy to describe it to previous coworkers from around the state who knew me well...who knew me better than even my current colleagues. The role seemed to include all the things I was passionate about wrapped up into one neat little package. It's part creativity, part STEAM, part literature, & part curriculum design. The chance to be openly creative & share with others was enough for me. I began to prepare for my interview & was consumed with the endless possibilities of this role.
Check out THIS article by ASCD.org titled "Assessing Creativity" by Susan M. Brookhart
"Creativity is a simple concept that can be difficult to get your head around. In its most basic sense,creative means "original and of high quality" ...