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Day 86: We Are Creating This For Ourselves
By Mark Heintz
Dec 18, 2019

Day 86

I walk around the classroom. It’s habitual. It helps me be available to students. It helps me help me. Walking around keeps me plugged in to what they are saying.

We are creating this for ourselves.

I wrote about visual thinking maps yesterday.  When the students were working on them, one student asked another what they were making and why? The answer: we are creating this for ourselves.

It’s beautiful when students do things for themselves. It’s our ultimate end game. We want them to become independent. We want them to be able to make it on their own. It makes me happy to have a sophomore sum up the goal to another student.

Not a long post today. Just sharing a positive moment as the semester wraps up. The students are getting the purpose and clearly articulate it one another.

Student Created

A student created this above visual map. The students read several different documents and from that information, she created this framework. To honor their voice, when I “cover” content in class, I have a student Airplay their visual map and I ask a few questions.

  1. Where can we add to this framework?
  2. Can we question the validity of what is written down now that we have learned more?
  3. Can we apply what we learned to other areas or times in history?

The students are still reading, writing, and analyzing at the same rates; only now, they have a place to house their learning. As an additional bonus, I’m not creating a worksheet for everything we cover nor am I lecturing. Every student is still coming up with their own understanding. They are similar, but not the same. I’m not having students fill in boxes or limiting the perspectives we read. After we read from a new source, I’m giving the students time to rework their understandings of the topic.

I’m happy for now.

TItle Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

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