Saturday I had the opportunity through The Literacy Connection to listen to Christian Long speak. Christian speaks nationally and internationally on topics ranging from emerging trends in education to innovative school planning practices. His research focus is on making connections between emerging technology, educational trends, and school design. As I sat for his introduction I was mesmerized, and I listened and wrote down several thought provoking ideas.
“words are the chess game of language”
“the collision of kids learning is why we teach”
“everyone can fight not everyone can build”
“innovation and creativity are the goals”
"let go of assumptions"
As I begin to think about these quotes within my classroom, I am now thinking differently on how to approach my teaching. Probably one of the key points that hit home with me because of implementing the iPods this year is the idea that creativity is the goal. This is why I am so excited about launching Story Kit this week in my classroom.
The rest of our day was spent on activities that made us think differently and have us work with many different people in the group. This was fun for me because I was able to reconnect with teachers from my district as well as see people I haven’t seen in a while. I was able to meet Mandy who writes the blog Enjoy and Embrace Learning, and also meet some new people from a district that is next to mine. These exchanges are as valuable to me as the presentation.
I have to admit I was never quite sure what the next step was because he had us thinking, writing, and moving quickly. This whole process was interesting, and I am still processing it. However, the one thing Christian definitely solidified for me was the idea of choice in my classroom. I am a huge believer in students’ choice however; I tended to still narrow their choices in writing. Not so much as give them a topic, but I always had them lift something out of their writer’s notebook if they are going to publish. I now ask myself what is the purpose for the assignment? My answer is to go through the writing process while practicing the new vocabulary and writing skills that we have working on in class and finally publish their piece of writing using Story Kit. Therefore, if a child wants to start at the beginning of the writing process with a choice topic for publishing, then that is their choice. I am still thinking about his presentation as I write this blog, but my thinking is different so I believe Christian would be happy.