New Beginnings…

Happy 2015!

I love the idea of beginning a new year because it reminds me that we can take advantage of a fresh start. Whether personally or professionally, starting anew gives us a chance to reflect, revise, and gives us another go at getting it “right”.  It gives us a chance to celebrate what worked and outline what we want to do differently in the future. The ideas behind my thinking aren’t about getting it wrong the first time. Rather, it honors the idea that as time passes we grow…we are smarter and know more…and it gives us a chance to add to our knowledge and make something new. These ideas hold a place in the work we do in education. Each school year, each marking period, each unit of study, each month, week and day marks an opportunity to start again. We can reflect and take what we have learned, apply it to our belief system and outline why what we do matters so that we can figure out our next steps and take action. What a blessing it is that learning allows us to do all of that! This is exactly how we need to think each day as we work with the learners in our care.

What will 2015 hold for you and your students?

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 6.33.48 PMThanks to you ~ for thinking about what you have learned in order to harness what you will do in the future. Here’s to new beginnings and a great year ahead!

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One thought on “New Beginnings…

  1. What I know: I know that kids learn by playing. Even big kids. And playing makes learning fun–what else explains Civll War reenactments?!?! I believe that ownership over learning is critical. The stinkin’ assessments that we are battling/taking right now are not fun, are not learning, and include no ownership. When I look at what my kids are doing in the wake of testing (what looks like & perhaps what is extended recess with some parameters) is confidence building, integrated, fun learning. Right now, half of my class is playing a Super-Uno game with tournament style rules that they have collaborated to negotiate and develop. The other half of my classroom is building an extensive system of cardboard stores & homes, complete with paper engineering, clever design elements, and a complicated economy (including raffles in which community members can win prizes and a bartering system with specialized goods & services). The groups are mixed gender and some of my most timid academic learners are leaders in this productive, collaborative play. What will I do next: honor & prioritize these moments; build upon the skills I see them developing; remember that sometimes the most important thing I can do is sit still, shut up, and listen to children learn.

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