I introduced the Zeigarnik Effect to Mariah as she intervenes to prevent students from stalling to answer a question while waiting for her to provide it. Although she’s skeptical that it may not fully apply to math, she indicated she would look it up and possibly share it with her students.
I attempted to reframe Jim’s use of the “clichéd” (his terminology) term life-long learning. Particularly from the perspective of a history teacher, I believe much of what we provide for our students, beyond our content, are environments to practice the life skills they need to be successful adults. I asked him to consider teaching students things such as motive, bias, and critical review (again, history perspective) to move them towards becoming a more informed populace. As I said to him, I think this is much more exciting than teaching “just” content.
Although we weren’t able to converse about it, Jule’s blog really made me think about how educators are often asked to do more with less. Her blog gets to, what I think is, a more fundamental struggle of teaching. While we know there are optimal learning environments, or we hear of great new strategies, we aren’t always able to implement these. I like that she mentioned this as it’s not something we really talk about, but should be…particularly with new educators.
Kendra’s description of the Saxon curriculum sent me on a bit of a rabbit chase. Although part of my concern was based in my misreading of her initial post, I think the conversation brings up interesting questions relating to the efficacy of prescribed curricula when they may not support practices such as differentiation. That said, I hope Kendra realized that she differentiates more than she was aware (or as much as she can in the curriculum).
Chelsea and I discussed the importance of allowing students to struggle with unfamiliar content. After reading Chelsea’s blog (and her confusion relating to the question), I asked her to consider when she would intervene to assist her future students and when she would let them struggle. She made a great point — a student being able to determine if they are right or wrong is an integral part of the learning process. Incidentally, this was one of the topics in my post of which Cherie, Jim, and Gerald reiterated the importance. Our discussion determined that, when students have the information and skills they need to be successful, we need to allow them to struggle to learn resilience, perseverance, and how to overcome challenges.
Gerald and I did quite a bit of back and forth this week between our blogs. Beyond what is above, I encouraged him to think about a different way to frame our students’ rhetoric and remember that they, as digital natives with the power of Google at their fingertips for most of their lives, may not have been taught how to struggle.
The concept skills which our students might be “missing” was highlighted in his blog. His initial post encouraged me to consider the concept of differentiation aligned across a district wherein students were able to learn the skills from Kindergarten forward so that, by the time they tackle harder content, they are firmly aware of the learning process. In response, he expressed a firm belief that the process should start young and I reminded him that, even though that was ideal, we all need to remember that we’re part of the process (because sometimes, when I was frustrated by what my students didn’t know and should have learned, it was easy to forget.)