Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Letting Go - Celebrating Creativity

After reading several blogs, attending Dublin Leadership Academy and having several conversations with colleagues, I am embracing the idea of “letting go.” I spent the summer with my #OLW: reflection.  Thinking about how I can let go and as important allowing students the choices they need to be more independent.  Every step doesn’t have to be planned and every outcome doesn’t have to be known.  I’m doing a little self-talk: take a breath; if you know me this will be a huge learning curve. A focus area for me as a learner and a teacher is going to be celebrating creativity

It’s important to build on what I know. I know the center of our classroom will still focus on inquiry and wonder, which goes hand in hand with allowing students choice especially with collaboration and the opportunity to create. Wonderopolis will continue to be my go to website to celebrate choice in reading as well as allowing students to eventually create their own wonders. 

In the past, my students have completed several first day activities: building a class puzzle, building marshmallow and spaghetti structures, playing fact and opinion. These are all great ideas but again I structured them tightly by Limiting supplies and giving specific directions.  Granted they enjoyed it, but they didn't have the chance to choose their supplies which is a huge part of collaboration with a new group of students. 

The table is set to greet them as they arrive to fifth grade on their first day.
Spaghetti, toothpicks, marshmallows, Duct tape, different size construction paper and containers.
Tomorrow when my students arrive, they are going to see a variety of supplies and my only directions will be to create the tallest structure on Wednesday; Thursday build the strongest structure. After each structure is complete we will discuss the following:
  1. ·      What did you learn about structure as well as working as team?
  2. ·      What are you proud of with the structure and as a team?
  3. ·      What would you change with the structure and as a team? 

I will record their thinking on chart paper..  I will ask each student to write a reflection in their notebook, so that on Friday we can come back to both experiences and compare/contrast them.  My goal is that as a class we will write a class motto for the year and will continue to reflect on these experiences throughout the year.  More to follow who knows what will happen after all I'm letting go.....

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