What’s the point?

My end project is to have students leaving 5th grade carry a digital portfolio with them through middle school. It gives them a landing place for their thoughts and place to showcase their learning to their parents. Having students create an ePortfolio opens up so many doors for their education. Many we are not comfortable with them venturing through but we also know that it’s inevitable and more so necessary these days. I read an article with 41 benefits from an ePortfolio. 41? I could’ve named about 5 or 6 before this! I never thought that some of those were even a possibility. The visible learning is what hooks me though. Trying to teach students at their level and with their style is the most challenging part of being an educator. Every so often I have a student that is very aware of what he or she needs to be successful in my room and has not problem voicing that. Not all students are quite as lucky to be able to identify their needs at such a young age. Having them use an ePortfolio allows me to see it through their point of view and offer more customized feedback. Immediately, I can see what they took from project, what’s lacking, and where to push them from there. Feedback from traditional pencil to paper style learning takes me days and isn’t always the most constructive.  

I also like that it forces people, students and adults, to reflect on what they’ve learned, think about what they would like to move forward with learning. Usually when I ask my students to tell me something they learned or took away from our latest project, I’m flooded with the I liked it because it was fun or easy. There’s more in them than that. There always has been and always will be. Are we brave enough to force them to dig?

When you give students choice, you reap the benefits. 

Who would’ve thought?

Why do this?

Never have I thought that one of my goals would be to write daily about life. Teaching, learning, growing….all of the hard uncomfortable things no one likes to talk about. Grad school is bound to bring some changes. If I can get past the good, the bad and ugly…..maybe I’ll emerge on the brighter side someone who doesn’t mind the uncomfortable.

Head thinker or Heart thinker?

Are you targeting the head or the heart? I know my personality is to go logical. I’m a head thinker and not a heart thinker. Teaching has started to force me to be both. My students need both. I feel it’s my duty to send them out into the world knowing they can think with both. 

The Behavioral Guys talked about motivating with questions and I absolutely agree. I can tell the difference in my lessons when I ask rather than tell. Asking tells my kids that it’s ok to have their own answer and it’s ok if it’s not the same as mine.

Kids respond differently when they feel their thoughts and questions are valued. Some are still taught that questioning an adult is not becoming and refrain from doing so. Many times we are quick to disregard because how could what they say or think be any better than what we do? Is it possible to think they know more than are given credit for? Be a heart thinker and find out.