As we near the close of 2014, we take some time to reflect on the passing year. We've delved into a variety of topics, from blended learning to organizing with a splash of color. One thread that runs through all the posts we've shared is our desire to nurture the educational journey for students of all ages. By offering ideas and tools to parents and educators, we hope to make a difference in the lives of our greatest resource, our kids. We've selected three blogs from the year that speak to our love of kids & learning and our desire to foster a lifelong relationship between the two. Check them out, they each share a message that's worthy of a second glance.
Diversity - Embrace Each Face! took a look at our ever-changing student populations. As we accept and embrace the diversity in our classrooms, we pave the way for our students to do the same. Whether we're speaking of a traditional classroom or the larger classroom of life, leading by example and embracing our differences will have a lasting impact on all who experience it.
Another word associated with diversity is variety……it's the spice of life, right? It's also what makes each classroom unique. Without the spice, my career as an educator wouldn't have the heartfelt and heartbreaking moments that make it so rewarding! Unless you're teaching a class full of Mini-Mes, diversity is all around you. We need to see each student and embrace each face that enters our classroom.
Building Conflict Conquerors: The 3 Ws of Conflict Resolution offered us the tools to facilitate the whole getting-along process with kids, both big and small. When we find ourselves in the heat of the moment it can be hard to call upon diplomacy, but providing kids with a simple three-step strategy to become conflict conquerors empowers them to take control of their emotional well-being. It's never too early or too late to get that ball rolling.
We can't control what goes on in other households, so we can't expect our little ones to have flawless encounters with everyone they meet. Preparing them with peaceful and respectful conflict resolution strategies is a must. We have to carry the mind-set that it takes a village to raise our children and ensure that our kids hit the playground with the Words, Wait, & Walk mantra to set good examples for all the little eyes and ears that are always in tune!
Effective Learners Report: Curiosity Captured the Class reminded us to foster an inquisitive nature in kids. By encouraging our students to ask questions that clarify understanding, make connections, and delve deeper into concepts being studied, we are providing them with a lifelong tool set as they encounter new and challenging information. Whether they're starting a new unit or a new career, their ability to effectively navigate these uncharted waters can make all the difference.
So this begs the question, How do we help our students become effective learners? The first step is helping them develop their questioning ability. If we facilitate the concept of students becoming the reporters in their own educational journeys, we'll get them one step closer to becoming effective lifelong learners. Every good reporter knows that the 5Ws and an H questioning method will cover it all! Once they get down the Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, and How? of asking questions, they'll be well on their way.
As we usher out the passing year, let's not forget the lessons we've learned along the way. Embracing diversity, building conflict conquerors, and capturing curiosity are just a few concepts from 2014 that were worthy of a second glance. We look forward to continuing this journey as we work together to ensure all kids develop a lifelong love of learning!