Day 129 (of 184) The benefits of a new student
It’s always interesting when a student moves schools. Today we had a ‘new arrival’ (ironically on the same day that we welcomed in the Graduating Class of 2027) and I took a purposeful step back to look at what ‘we’ are doing through his (fresh) eyes.
Our morning routine of a breathing break – a MindUP idea – was something that I prepared him for when he showed up to sign up with our school yesterday – and it was interesting to see him follow the modelling of the students around him – both in the morning and again after lunch. On a very difficult day (transitions to new schools are never easy, but in the middle of the week in the final push of the school year…..)
Our push on Physical Literacy was the next experience for him. We start our students off with 45 minutes (or so) of a variety of physical activities. Sometimes structured play (basketball, kickball, dodgeball, etc) sometimes activities from the 60 Minutes Club, sometimes “free unstructured play”, and currently a focus on ‘purposeful running’ – starting with 5 minutes (in the gym still as our field isn’t quite ready) but today he got to see an introduction to some ‘freeish play’ by working with skipping ropes as we prepare some “Jump Rope For Heart” stations to run for our school community in a couple of weeks. A good opportunity for me to see how he moves between groups and ‘feels things out’.
Right after PE we have Math. My push has been for more of a “Recreational Mathematics”: pushing strategies and group thinking as opposed to drill & kill. I’m not sure he really trusted me when I promoted ‘group work’ on the one question posed. And when 10 minutes passed and the one question still hadn’t been solved, I think he was surprised that I gave both more time and some ‘hints’ to lead to solving the problem.
After recess he got to experience his first SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment) where we were winding up our look at how human systems (circulatory, nervous, digestive, respiratory, skeletal/muscular) work together. But he joined into a group and quickly picked up what was being worked on and helped create a ‘body’.
I get the sense that as we played a bit with #geniushour and F2 (Filming Friday) preparation that he was perhaps not as used to the student-centered environment I try to encourage. But he certainly seemed interested in the eportfolios that we are working on instead of report cards and when the final bell went….I was happy to hear that he was surprised with how quickly the day went.
Nice to take a pause and look at a day through a ‘new kids’ eyes and see & think about what we are doing; why we are doing it; and how the learning environment my students are working in barely resembles the classroom that set me up on the path to be a lifelong learner. I’m looking forward to seeing what this next generation of engaged-learners will be doing next…