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 was interested in Creating a Cohesive Community Through Social Media. Something about his use of "sawdust" made me think of 2nd graders. I love this statement on page 121: My vision as a student was to take something I was carrying around with very little value and give it life. Ummm...it reminds me of our many projects with recyclables. Those are probably the best experiences for 2nd graders: science and social studies opportunities to create something new to solve a problem. It is easy to reconsider giving these assignments time in the busy schedule, but this chapter reminds me to stick with the plans.
I was “sparked” by the Learning How to Fail. Madeleine Clark grew up without an ounce of struggle in her life (Kindle location 2118). The system did her an injustice by painting a perfect little path to college. When she got there and became an adult, she failed academically and emotionally. I am a true believer in hard work and learning through failing. If a student does not know how to fail as a kid, what do they except will happen as an adult? I always tell the tale that I never let my son win at Candyland as child. He had to learn to lose, analyze a strategy that I was using, analyze what he was doing, and learn from it. When he finally did beat me, it was gratifying for him. That is why I liked to do Game Theory for my Power Hour. Kids learning to fail, analyze, and overcome.
I agree with Annie Mitchell's response on June 21st that students need to learn about failure and that it builds success. Failure means your brain is growing and that's a positive.
I like Annie's approach of allowing students to understand loss via games. You do develop strategies to win or learn how to soften that "losing" blow. This is especially when you want to beat a certain person. Interesting! I googled Game Theory but did not find much. I would like to know which resource you use.
I like Sara Chu's comment on 6/26 about "Failure means your brain is growing and that's a positive." At a math session with Susan Saied, she did an activity with us where we had to take a piece of paper and crumble it up. All the wrinkles represented the mistakes we made and all that we learned from it. We also had to try to trace on the creases. It was a really neat idea that I'd like to do with my students the 1st few days of school...just have to find the exact directions from her. :)
I was sparked by the story on From student to CEO by Paige Woodard. She began without knowing how to upload videos to YouTube and transpiring it to speak in front of cameras. I'm always very shy about public speaking let alone speaking in front of cameras. I'm inspired that she built up her confidence and skills to stand up for herself. Page 119-120. I'm inspired to use video my lessons more often to build up my confidence.
I like how it became a confident builder for her too. She stepped out and did something out of her comfort zone and it changed her life forever.
I agree with Sara. Paige inspired me as well. p. 120. One of my goals is to do a TED talk. While I am not afraid, I do know that I need to learn the elements so that I can effectively speak in front of cameras for a prolonged period of time. Having to learn this drives my emotions.
"It's not the destination, but the journey." What a powerful quote found on page 128. I really liked and could relate to Madeleine Clark and her Learning how to Fail story. I love how she talks about failure and how it is the key to finding success. Every successful person has failed at least once in their lives. The difference was they didn't give up and they learned from their mistakes and kept going. She talks about failure and how it's all about how people respond to it-do they give up or try again and again. The thing I found most powerful is that she did not learn all of this until college. When you are older and things don't come easy we've learned from our past experiences how to try again. She never had to learn this growing up. I am very impressed that she was able to learn this as an adult and succeed from it.
Madeleine Clark's story on "Learning How to Fail" really got my attention pp. 128-132. She did not have the necessary skills to deal with the problems faced when attending a university; moreover Duke. While it's not a ivy league, it is one of our nation's top prestigious "STEM" schools. Madeleine definitely needed to take a skill set that included overcoming failure. I have found that while students need not give up and a least try again, they do need to know when to stop or bring something to an end that is not meeting it's intended goal. My college daughters had to learn this lesson. They had to learn how to assess and decide when to drop a course. They would struggle and struggle in courses. One even accepted a poor grade. Through failure and discussion they came to understand the benefits of course dropping. For one, the knowledge previous learned can be reused and helpful. We assess our students but we do not teach them how to assess. Not all of our student's innovative projects will be successful, hence they will have a chance to develop a failure skill set.
I really enjoyed reading Madeline Clark's Learning how to Fail piece. I had a similar experience to her, as I was very successful in high school.. made good grades, was in extra curricular activities, etc. When college approached, I began to really struggle. I love how Madeleine is so transparent with her struggles, and really showcased her experiences. When she finally was a part of something that made sense to her, InCube, she began to succeed in different ways. She "learned how to fail brilliantly, beautifully, and outrageously" (pg. 130). Through meeting a group who shared similar interests, she was able to understand who she was. When I started the education program at UT, I had a similar experience. I finally felt like I belonged, and I had a group of friends who were there for me even during the struggles.
I found Don’s story about the Super Bowl Media Day inspiring. A high school broadcasting class began the day thinking they had tickets to one thing, access to media day, discovered they in fact did not, but continued to persevere despite this obstacle. Ultimately, this perseverance paid out, by being open to any and all opportunities for his students, in addition to their desire to be taken seriously by not only looking and acting professional, they were able to achieve something greater than what they had originally planned. (pg. 105-108)
Madeline Clark's story about learning to fail really hit home. On Kindle location 2152, she said, "So to reiterate: I never failed at anything before I went to university. I was the high school senior who still went home in tears over a grade of A minus. And then, I went to Duke University. And suddenly, I wasn’t the top. In fact, I was failing—all the time. And most of those failures weren’t particularly fun.". It is so important for kids to learn and understand that it's okay to fail and struggle...that it's a part of life and a great way to learn. They don't know how to handle challenges and failure. I see that so much in my own 7 year old.
Of all things one has learned, will learn, or ever even want to learn, learning how to fail is rarely at the top of anyone’s list however this lesson is quite often one of the most important lessons many adults are in dire need of. The fear of failing or refusal to fail frequently acts as an influencing factor in the choices people make. It has been engrained in so many that failure is not an option and that one must do all in his/her power to keep that from happening (pg. 128). Then we stop to think, and then realize, that if we continued to hold this belief, this rigid and unbending belief that has a high potential to prematurely stunt any possibility to think outside the box to find a solution to a 21st generation problem, places our students’ futures in jeopardy. If we want our students to be successful, then it is of vital importance that we also embrace this ‘failure can also be a positive thing’ mindset (pg. 48).