In the first post, we discussed the process by which SMART goals can be established to set one’s self up for success. This second post in the series focuses on the process of working through the challenges that come with trying to attain success. We will touch on structural protocols that allow goal setters to evaluate their success and document progress; however, much more emphasis will be put on how these metrics elicit the need to work through challenges and develop the grit required to do something great!
As the Olymipics are wrapping up, it has been a great time to reflect on the process of achieving dreams. We all want our students to “dream big,” but at the same time, are we equipping them with the skills they need to manage the process, overcome setbacks, and reward themselves when they reach their goals? This is yet another opportunity for educators to focus on process over product as our students will venture far and wide, but their ability to manage their goals is a universal skill. Continue to read as I discuss how we, as educators, can provide opportunities and support for students as they pursue their passions and dreams! This first post centers on how we help students establish strong goals!
Feedback has been shown to be a key element in student growth models. But how do we implement it so that this actually happens?
We hear it from the very beginning of our lives.... “No one is perfect.” When you really think about it, this phrase could elicit a level motivation or an impression of defeat. How we process this information will ultimately affect our outlook on challenges in the future. If you see these chances as an opportunity, you are bound to push through adversity to achieve wonderful results. Where as, if you see this as an excuse, it will be a perpetual roadblock for success. The first thing we need to consider is adopting a growth mindset. Our abilities are not predetermined, our future is not set in stone. We have the power to make a difference and a little setback is just an opportunity to learn. Whether our students have this approach to challenges or not, we must unlock their willingness to be resilient and feedback is the key to empowering them to push forward. Read on to see how I use feedback in my classroom to help students leap over the hurdle of a fixed mindset and pursue challenging endeavors with fearlessness.
Most students just want to be told what to do, as it is a shorter path to the answer; but in the end developing their curiosity and desire to explore yields so much more than just the answers themselves.
More often than not, students figure out the expectations of a classroom. They know when they need to pay attention, what work needs the most focus, and exactly what they need to study to score well. For better or for worse they figure out the routine. While in many circumstances routine eases the anxiety often associated with school, it also leads to predictability and a lack of excitement in the classroom. Part of why we love movies, especially scary ones, is because we really don’t know what is next and the surprises are exhilarating! In addition, there has been a resurgence in open world gaming. This is where the player has complete autonomy on where to go and what to explore. While this carte blanche approach may not be the exact structure for a classroom, but the nature of the experience provides a ton of value. Encouraging students to be explorers in the classroom, gives them the skills to be explorers outside the classroom. Keep reading to see how I add opportunitities for exploration to my class!
Alone, I win. Together, we succeed.
The concept of competition does not seem like it would be a likely system that would foster collaboration. Under normal circumstances I would agree! However, the mechanics of my gamified classroom have allowed groups of students to rally together to not only find success as a group, but also individually. It is through the group dynamic created in the game that encourages students to think about more than themselves. So what does this look like and how can you add it to your classroom? Keep reading to find out!
Collaboration, critial thinking, persistence, self-reliance.... These buzzwords and many more are constantly being tossed around classrooms. With more and more emphasis on less rote classrooms, are we supporting students in developing the skills we so dearly desire that they possess? I was as guilty as any educator to the effect that what I thought I was doing worked when it came to developing these very complex skills. When I realized that my actions and the culture I created were not doing what I thought, I knew that I had to take a different approach. So what did I do? I challenged students to leave a legacy, to become L.E.G.E.N.D.S.
As we always tell our students, reflecting on what you have done is just as important as doing what you did. The ability to decompress and evaluate the actions of the past allow us to see our faults and celebrate our successes. This short post is just a little insight into my 2017. While it is possible to detail in obtuse specificity the peaks and valleys, my goal will be to isolate one of each, a great achievement and an opportunity for improvement...
Gamification has changed my classroom in a ton of ways, but these three reasons are why you NEED to gamify yours as well.
NEED is a strong work, and trust me, I don’t use it lightly. Throughout my seven years in the classroom I have tried many different instructional models and none have had as profound an impact on my students as gamification. There are plenty of other ideas, such as Socratic seminars or Harkness discussions and Project Based Learning that are still a key part of my classroom, but the defining factor is that they are an element of a greater gamified classroom.
So what is gamification? Gamfication is a instructional strategy that provides a game based overlay or structure to the manner in which students interact with content and how they are rewarded for their efforts. Students may or not play games in a gamified classroom, but the key function of gamification is to create an environment that overlays content and dictates actions within the classroom. The creation of your gamified classroom is an incredibly empowering experience; however, lets not get ahead of ourselves. First, let me convince you why you NEED to gamify your class...
With virtual reality becoming more and more common place, should we as educators be taking a closer look?
This topic has presented itself in my world more recently with gaining access to an HTC Vive. Through a collaboration with GoogleVR, my school is exploring the potential of VR in classrooms. In this post I will take a look at the basics of Virtual Reality (VR) and consider its merits for educational application. But this exploration is not limited to my world! It is something that could be coming your way very soon. As with any other tool considered for education, we need to look at its feasibility for implementation...