This is a professional development blog for Nottingham Elementary. We'll be discussing books we have read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
I give my students freedom through digital projects they can make through iPad apps such as Chomp and Tellagami. But I could be better at the choice of people they can study. I just have them research people that are in our databases in PebbleGo and the TEKS. But I need to devote some time during the first two weeks of school to allow them to brainstorm possibilities. This freedom is liberating for the students to think critically (Kindle location 537). All ideas, good or bad, are welcome.
I agree with Annie Mitchell's post on June 14th that " freedom is liberating for students to think critically." Freedom is hard as the book states and it comes with no one idea fits all. We are all unique and our ideas should reflect that.
@Annie Mitchell 6/14, I think you have a great idea for where to go further in student choice: social studies research projects. Perfect, because their ideas are limitless and choice of who to research may come from a family discussion, personal interest, or cultural events.I find the desire for choice on the part of students is an example of infinity. Often if I give them 2 choices, they want a different one. If I give them 4 choices, they want something else. However, like the author wrote, having no structure implodes. (Page 20, Time wasn't a magic cure. Interestingly, about 20% of the students to which I introduced 20% Time valued it. The other 80% imploded.)Rotating types of choices such as collaborative teams, end products, supplies, and seating arrangements has led to some success. I will keep pressing forward to offer more choice, within a structure they can handle.
I agree with Melanie Marshall's response about "giving students 2 choices, they want a different one." They see the grass is greener on the other side. Having no structure implodes.
I agree with Melanie Marshall's response regarding giving students choices. I think it is a great first step in getting students to think for themselves. Moreover, just some freedom overall.
As Don gave his students "the freedom to learn whatever they wanted, they did not know what to do," has occurred numerous of times in the class. (page 19) When students were asked to come up with a business idea that others have not thought out and it must be unique. Students started to scramble. They wanted to just take another's idea and branch out. After some brainstorming and googling, they started to get "innovative" on products and marketing ideas on what they wanted to sell.
I agree with Sarah Chu about how freedom is hard. Students coming up with their own ideas has been difficult the pass few years. Students want to know if they are right, not necessarily innovative, with their thinking.
I agree as well. Whenever I give them choices they struggle to come up with things and they are always looking at me for suggestions or approval. I feel kids are not as creative and imaginative these days because they are never allowed to use it like we did when we were younger. They are looking for that approval and thumbs up because again they are looking at the end result which is a grade
I loved on page 20 when they talked about Arthur and his story. It is the perfect analogy for our kids. This man was in jail for years and use to being told what to do every minute of his life. When he was released and had to do everything on his own he was completely lost. He wanted to do well, but he didn't know how and didn't have the tools. He needed direction and guidance just like our kids do. We've always given students choices, but it was when they were finished with all their assigned work. They had choices on what they can do when they are finished. It's scary, but I know this is something I have to get better at. I think It'sLearning is definitely going to help me with this.
I wholeheartedly agree with Breidenthal. We are imprisoning students with our teaching methodologies. We are telling them what to do rather than allowing them the freedom to show us what they can do. We need to compact and give them the opportunity to move on.
Pages 19 and 23, students not knowing what to do with freedom as they are concerned with failure, really got my attention. One of my objectives is to provide students with resources. Most of the time it is a website, that will help them learn on their own or develop an interest or passion. Rather than show what the website entails, I ask students to explore it. Initially, most of them, if not all, would ask me how to proceed or to provide them with a specific objective or task. They were very objective, goal or results oriented. To combat this, I no longer look at a website or app in depth. I tell them this and that I want them to teach me how to use the website or the app. If we come to a problem with a resource, I let them figure it out or we do so together. When you let the student have the freedom of being the teacher, the learning is amazing.
One of the best ways to learn is by doing and it is by providing many opportunities for students to develop this skill is what will assist them in their futures. I think it's great that you empower your students to seek out then explore their resources.
On the Kindle location 431, it says "These innovative companies found that, by giving employees the freedom to work on subjects they find interesting...their job satisfaction increases significantly." I felt like this was true of my homework policy last year. Homework has always been a battle in the past. I used to assign various assignments and make students miss recess when they don't return it. Last year, however, I gave students a variety math packet each week and just asked them to choose any 2-4 pages that they felt like they needed more practice with or just wanted to challenge themselves with. More students brought it back (entire packet completed) last year than in the past because they had that choice. They wanted to do it and weren't made to.
I really enjoyed reading Alice O'Meara's post on July 11th about her homework. I like that it all evolved around choice, but it was also done with a purpose. The students were able to choose what work they wanted to do, but the teacher also chose work that went along with what the students were learning. A very purposeful choice!
I think of mainly social studies projects I have done with the students, where they are given the choice to what type of product they would like to create. During our economics unit project, students were given many different choices as to how they could create their advertisement. They also had freedom in what products they were going to create, as I provided the resources for them. It has always been the most fun and engaging part of our social studies year, because the project thrives around choice. I can also see how students are so used to having what they need to do right in front of them, that "the freedom to pursue projects and choose what they wanted to learn proved stressful." pg. 23 I have always had a set handful of kids who will say that this unit is "stressful" because they do not known exactly what they should create or how to go about creating it. As a teacher, I do by best to observe their interests and suggest something that goes along with that.
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Mid-year last school year, students had the opportunity to complete a choice board activity. My lack of organizational skills and difficulty setting timelines ultimately led it to crash and burn (pg. 42).And after the crash and burn of the choice board projects, I was anxious of how their market day business project would unfold. My students surprised me. Leaders emerged from those I least expected and although somewhat off to a bumpy start, groups truly became excited once the ideas began pouring in.