I think that when we are moving forward with a new initiative and change, we push for more and more and more, without taking the time to celebrate successes. I thought for my reflection this week I’d point out a few of the successes we’ve seen recently in our school.
This morning on our student produced daily news show, they interviewed one of our fantastic English teachers and students and teachers who love her. This was her statement. I think it stands on its own!
Mrs. Dean created two boards in her room this year. Her students in all her classes added their goals to the board. On Back To School Night, parents added their wisdom for students to the second board. She was most excited to tell me that her students have started to add their own wisdom to the board, too! YES! Helping our students set goals, helping them see they have much to offer each other and our world, helping them learn from and with each other. This is what it’s all about!
Mr. Reiter shared with me when I was taking these photos how awesome it was to see how having the technology allowed students to do something so differently than other classes have done. This activity involves running the car and the no friction block at the same time, stopping them when they reach a certain point, all while timing them. This means that reaction time and our ability to stop the timer can really impact our results. Groups used all sorts of different methods to time this and record their data. Several decided to film the two cars heading down the track which allowed them to zoom in and stop at the exact time and measurement without being impacted by reaction times! This was a new way of solving this problem and of using the technology we have every day. We all know that we can create graphs and charts to explain our findings, but these students took it to another level.
One of the big fears we heard over and over when talking about this project and our plans for the coming year was that we would see students staring at screens and lose the interpersonal skills that are part of so many of our Standards of Learning. We want our students to be able to collaborate and work together with their peers. As we’ve been visiting classrooms, most of what we see involves collaboration.
The easy, every day access to resources has taken our use of technology from an event or special situation that was scheduled far in advance when labs or carts were available to just another tool that we use to learn and practice what we’re learning.