What Kids Take Away From Our Lessons

Many of you know I have been complaining on Twitter lately about all the snow we’ve had–over 50 inches in a state that has about 18″ in a normal season–storms of 1-2 FEET where we normally have 2-4 inches at a time. . . I’m really tired of it!

But, it’s been an interesting ride to see how many of my kids have gotten on wikimail and tried to interact with me or work on their wiki on our snow days.  Several have actually written and asked if there was anything they could do for school, so I set up an assignment for them this morning.  We’ll see what happens with that!.

I got a REALLY cute wiki mail this AM.  I have my mail set up so that when I get a wikimail, it flashes in the bottom right corner of my desktop.  If I’m on, I respond right away.  So this morning, I was working on a blog when a kid began interacting with me. On about the 6th exchange, he wrote: “So it’s really true you respond within seconds.”

The other night I had two girls at a sleepover asking me questions about some links I had sent out.  Realizing they really wanted to think, I sent one of them the following email: (My words are in purple)

Remember about two weeks ago when I was telling you something and you asked me if it was going to be on the test and when I said no, you said, good, because I don’t understand it? And you weren’t willing to push through to get it? And I told you I couldn’t believe you said that?

An online friend of mine, Scott McLeod, blogged this today:

“Just tell me what to do”

Seth Godin wrote toda
y that:

People are just begging to be told what to do. There are a lot of reasons for this, but I think the biggest one is: “If you tell me what to do, the responsibility for the outcome is yours, not mine. I’m safe.”

I think another big reason is that most people spent at least 12 years of their life being deeply socialized in the “just tell me what to do” model.

We know that schools strongly emphasize compliance in the name of order and discipline. We know that the fact-regurgitation model that still dominates schooling mostly leads to the student mentality of “Just tell me what to do to get a B,” rather than “Inspire me to follow my passions and interests and learn more about this on my own.” We shouldn’t be surprised when our graduates take that mentality with them into higher education and/or the workplace.

from http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2010/02/just-tell-me-what-to-do.html

Now read this:


Here’s my question:

What would be on YOUR resume from Crozet?


(I did exchange several wikimails helping them understand parts and pieces of the Edurati article and telling them to skip parts of it.)

I totally expected something content driven. After all, I have taught these kids off and on since they were in first grade. These are smart kids, used to me posing hard questions and asking them to reflect on their learning.  I currently have them for math every day.

However, this is what I got back from one, the next morning, after the friend had gone home:

in my resume, I would say…
1 I have learned to work better in a group. (I can do it better than when I started at Crozet)
2 I have learned to exept (accept) whatever someone throws at me.
3 I have learned that ALL teachers have different ways of teaching, and some of them I like, and some of them I don’t like.

I have learned…
4 You should NOT have a boys table or a girls table, no matter what you think.
(My rule-they can choose seats, but have to be gender mixed at the table.)
5 Everyone thinks differently, and you should listen to what other people think, to here (hear) what they think. (Why they think the question is wrong or right).
6 Laugh at your mistakes.
7 There is ALWAYS more than one way to work the problem.
8 Make learning fun.

Here are some of the ones that I thought of.

5th grade student

Pretty insightful, hm?

Would love to hear your thoughts. . .