Slice of Life SOL Friend’s Quote

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It’s hard to come up with ideas for blogging. That’s why I provide students with a  March Slice Challenge prompts beyond our notebook lists of ideas [like/hate,favorites, fun/have to, ordinary/extraordinary]. Today’s prompt is “Write a Quote from a Friend.”

And today, Sunday, is a day I check on my Twitter friends, especially those involved in Genius Hour.  Two of them [Gallit Zvi and Denise Krebs] have even co-written a book on Genius Hour: The Genius Hour Guidebook: Fostering Passion, Wonder, and Inquiry in the Classroom (Eye on Education Books).  They also sponsor a #geniushour Twitter chat on the first Thursday of the month at 6 PM Pacific.

That means I missed it last Thursday.  But my search for a friend’s quote was then easy to find.  Denise’s tweet above resonated with me. This year I’m focusing on helping my students own their learning — and decide their own assessment of their achievement towards our essential questions and standards. Some students recognize their quality work’s characteristics without much guidance; others need the scaffolding of checklists; all of them benefit from the feedback that comments in our Google Docs allow. The result is that grades are not a reward or punishment, but rather part of the learning process — and students learn to revise and improve their work, either in the current project or the next one, knowing that their best representation will be shown in that grade report, not just an average.

On Mondays my students spend part of their class time on Independent Reading or project learning.  The rest of Monday is choice: Code, Genius Hour, or Media Making. Students dig in and learn, helping and collaborating on projects or coding — not for a grade, but for their learning. It’s a busy, chattery, and sharing period that students ask for daily, but know that the next Monday is waiting for them.

So, if you’re considering Genius Hour, then also consider the amazing effect that “Just Learning” has on the passion and enthusiasm of students: the goal is learning, without a thought or worry of grades.

And, if you need an idea for blogging, just look to the quotes from your Professional Learning Network/Neighborhood [PLN].

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2 thoughts on “Slice of Life SOL Friend’s Quote

  1. My dear, Sheri, thank you so much. This made my day when I read it quickly the other day. (It happened to be the day before parent-teacher conferences, so I didn’t stop to read it carefully and respond then.)

    I read your post with nostalgia. For some reason I thought of your sweet students and that crazy parts of speech project we did with Scott B’s class a while back when I was just learning to be connected. I miss my junior highers.

    I read your post with the warmth of our friendship. I remembered the lovely time we had at your place–so much rain, and the beautiful accommodations you and Scott provided. I am so blessed with your friendship.

    I read your post with hopeful expectation–that yours and mine and all other students will someday learn every single day like your students learn on Monday. I want them all to learn without a thought or worry of grades. A dream that is so far from where I am now, but I’m hanging on to the hope this post provides!

    God bless you, sweet Sheri!

    Denise

    • Hi Denise! Yes – I remember our parts of speech project. I have some of those videos still to share with current students. That was such fun! Be sure to connect with Scott B again to say hello; it’s important to him these past months. We keep working “on the edge” of the adjacent possible, and I know that this will happen, though probably not soon. Take care, friend. Love catching up with you! Sheri

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