Friday, January 27, 2012

Inspiring or Instructing?

What goes on in your classroom? Do you inspire or instruct? As I reflect back on the week, I have to say I've done a bit of both. The light in one child's eyes as he showed me a book he searched out on his own to read simply because we're reading and learning about Houdini; the PhotoStory another child made about World War 2 (current history topic); the excitement from my Gifted students when I had them make a project to "show" symmetry instead of participating in the lesson with the rest of the class...these are the inspiring moments. These are the times that I cherish and want to have more of. So I asked myself, what's the common thread? In most cases, its technology.
  • I taught my kids to make Prezis about Houdini (current reading story). These same children who would normally "tune out" started spouting information about Houdini that I didn't even know! They found it by themselves because they were inspired and excited.
  • In History, I often show videos or have interactive flipcharts with ActivExpression quizzes or responses.
  • My Gifted kids were using the digital camera to go around the school and take pictures of things that are symmetrical.
The list could go on and on, but inevitably, my students were more motivated and inspired to learn when technology was being used (preferably by them and not me). 

How to get more moments like those? These kids truly are digital learners. We've got to teach them the way they learn.

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